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ISMA member honored for work to improve care
e-Reports, July 23, 2012
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St. Vincent Health Chief Medical Informatics Officer Alan Snell, M.D., a long-time ISMA member, was among 82 technology “trailblazers” honored at the White House last month for accelerating health information technology (HIT) progress to Indiana. That progress, funded by stimulus dollars from the HITECH Act, holds promise to benefit you and your patients in any part of our state.

Alan Snell, M.D., and Lisa Harris, M.D. Other Indiana-connected physicians honored at the White House were:

Lisa Harris, M.D., CEO and medical director, Wishard Health Services, representing Indiana Health Information Exchange and the Central Indiana Beacon Collaborative

Glenn Loomis, M.D., president and CEO, St. Elizabeth Physicians (Ky.), formerly from Ind., representing Tri-State Regional Extension Center

Scott Callahan, M.D., medical director, Children’s Health Care, Batesville, representing Tri-State Regional Extension Center

Alan Snell, M.D., with Lisa Harris, M.D., in Washington, D.C.  

In 2009, HITECH funding from the federal ARRA Stimulus monies established 17 Beacon Communities across the country and set up regional extension centers (RECs) to help physicians adopt electronic health records (EHRs).

The June 19 Health IT Vanguard Conference in Washington, D.C., gave HITECH grant recipients a chance to report on their progress, detail barriers and problems they’ve encountered, interact with their counterparts across the nation – as well as accept recognition for their service and their vision.

Attendees also shared comments about stage 2 meaningful use for EHRs and gave advice on what to improve as EHR implementation grows.

The Department of Health and Human Services recently announced more than 110,000 eligible professionals and 2,400 eligible hospitals received federal incentive dollars to implement EHR systems. Indiana hospitals and physicians alone have earned more than $135 million since 2011 from the federal stimulus program.

Connectivity and health information exchange (HIE) were major topics at the D.C. event, since some states, like our neighbor Illinois, are struggling to make a single HIE operational. Indiana is a leader, having five HIEs, including the Indiana Health Information Exchange, the nation’s largest.

Benefits of all this HIT will be measured in part by fewer hospital stays and improved chronic disease management. Dr. Snell reported that use of mobile technologies, supported by the Central Indiana Beacon grant, enabled St. Vincent to decrease readmissions for some chronic diagnoses to 3 percent when the national average remains at 20 percent.

Learn more about the BEACON project in this 2011 ISMA Reports story.

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