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Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Executive Forum


EDI recently hosted its first Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) Executive Forum at our corporate office in Atlanta. One of our foremost goals for this forum was to “walk in our clients’ shoes” for a few hours. To help us achieve this, we asked a distinguished group of healthcare IT professionals to join us, and we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the following: 

  • Mr. Ed Brown, CIO - Gwinnett Medical Center
  • Ms. Dee Cantrell, CIO – Emory Healthcare
  • Mr. Jack Storey, CIO – Children’s of Alabama, Birmingham
  • Mr. Stephen Edge, Chief Enterprise Architect – WellStar Health System
  • Dr. Julie Hollberg, Medical Director - Emory Healthcare IT 

With constant change in both the healthcare and the technology industries, we already knew everyone had their hands full, but we wanted to get to the bottom of what keeps these folks awake at night. EDI wants to bring our knowledge and experience to bear on the most current of issues and knows that this is best achieved through collaboration with our clients, vendors, partners, and employees. 

During the discussion, we were able to narrow down the rather large list of trends and initiatives to the following eight broad categories:

  • End-user devices - and all that this entails, such as: applications, training, connectivity, tracking, security, etc.
  • Doctor and nurse workflow: suffice it to say who, what, when, where, why, and how.
  • Patient entertainment and education: it is not just TV anymore; it is IP TV, including patient records, scheduling, informational videos, internet, RF badge display, food ordering, games, and guest entertaining.
  • Location-based services: tracking and security of personnel, patients, equipment, supplies, and pharmaceuticals.
  • Wireless connectivity: hand-in-hand with almost all technology now is the desire to use it without a cord. Plus, the need for reliability has never been stronger.
  • Virtualization and the cloud: these are not just fads any longer - they are the future, and it is on everyone’s agenda to find out how they can be leveraged.
  • Interoperability: how can we effectively communicate and share information between doctors and patients, departments within the hospital, clinics, and physicians within the community and around the world?
  • Acquisitions: consolidation has finally come to the healthcare industry, and with it comes the integration of systems, and the merging of electronic records, as well as training, upgrading, and downsizing.

Our outcomes from this forum are twofold. First, EDI has the knowledge, experience, and ability to help our healthcare clients address many of the IT issues they are facing right now.  Second, we are able to harness our existing skills in device management, RF technology, wireless infrastructure, and data center solutions to meet the needs of the future.  

EDI already has programs in place to spur creativity and continue to build lasting relationships with our clients so we can meet their ongoing needs. One of them is our “Project Close-out Process”, which ensures follow-up communication with clients after a project is completed as a means to ensure our designs have met and exceeded their expectations. From this process, we are able to determine if our designs are being used as envisioned or if there have been any modifications or adaptations in design, in use, or in human behavior since inception. 

Another program, currently in development, is our “Know the End-user” endeavor. Based on the information gathered during this forum, we are dedicated to ensuring that EDI’s Associates know exactly who is using our designs and for what purpose. To that end, we will be augmenting our internal training efforts by including more external interaction with healthcare professionals who use our designs every day. 

We believe that this recent forum was both informative and enlightening for all participants and that discussion, such as this, hold unlimited potential. As such, we will be hosting more and similar forums in the future.  

Again, EDI, Ltd. would like to thank all those who participated.

For further information on HIT, please contact EDI at info@ediltd.com or 888-334-5831.