Ernie is a Senior Research Director with the Advisory Board Company and the former Vice President and CIO at Group Health Cooperative, one of the nation’s largest consumer-governed health care systems. He has worked in information services for 30 years and the health care industry for 20 years. In his role as CIO, he successfully implemented leading-edge technology solutions that increased the quality of care, improved patient outcomes, and lowered costs. His focus has been to seamlessly integrate information technology with the work and goals of the organization. Group Health is well known for a shining example of this approach, its leading-edge patient portal which was one of the first to enable patients to email their doctor and get their lab results online. Patients also use this website to order their prescriptions, make appointments, and even view their medical records. Connecting these features to the normal practice of medicine helped Group Health to earn a JD Powers Award in 2008, 2010 and 2011 and to become one of the most highly rated health plans in the country.
As a consumer governed organization, Group Health has eagerly embraced the Lean movement in Health Care. Ernie, seeing this as a perfect fit with his strategy to seamlessly integrate technology in the processes of the organization, was among the first to apply these techniques to information services.
In 2010, Ernie decided to focus on a new mission to encourage the effective use and integration of information technology throughout the health care industry. To that end he took on new roles in the Washington State health care community to enable the adaption of electronic medical records and the exchange of health information so that medical records can be available wherever the patient seeks care. He has applied the same concept of seamless technology and process integration in supporting various organizations such as WIREC, the lead organization for enabling the adoption of electronic medical records in Washington and Idaho and with OneHealthPort, the organization designated by the State to enable health information exchange.
Education has been a passion for Ernie who has been a lecturer in the Health Information Management Program at Bellevue College since 2009 and holds a seat on the University of Washington Information School Advisory Board and the Washington Health Information Industry Education Council. He has also supported education and knowledge sharing through the Washington chapter of the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Ernie has served on the Board of HIMSS Washington since 2005 and is currently serving as chapter president.
He is a graduate of the University of California and holds an M.B.A from the University of Houston.
Ernie specializes specifically in Cyber Security, Lean Process Improvement, IT performance and Optimization, Governance, Strategy, Systemness, Business Intelligence and Analytics, EHR implementation and Optimization, and Portals.