Friday, March 30, 2007

Herding geeks deserves an award!


The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI) announced that it has presented our own Dr. John Halamka with the 2007 Louis Sullivan Award, recognizing individuals who have distinguished themselves through their leadership, vision, and achievements in advancing the overall quality and efficiency of healthcare. Congratulations to John!

John chaired the ANSI-affiliated Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), comprising over 200 public- and private-sector members. In January, HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt accepted the recommendations of HITSP to create 30 consensus standards that enable health care data interoperability in the United States. This sounds pretty arcane, I know, but you need these kind of standards to allow computers and disparate organizations to talk to one another electronically. This enabled an executive order that requires any new or upgraded federal health information system launched after January 1, 2008, to be compliant with standards recommended by HITSP. Agencies administering or supporting health insurance programs and government contracts for purchasing health care -- i.e., virtually everybody -- will be directly affected.

WEDI notes: "Dr. Halamka's efforts for HITSP, and his many other industry roles, demonstrate his regional and national leadership in the healthcare industry on how to use and leverage the industry's collective knowledge, expertise, and information resources to improve the quality, affordability, and availability of healthcare.

"The award is named in honor of former HHS Secretary, Louis Sullivan who in 1991 was instrumental in the creation of WEDI and initiating the healthcare industry's ongoing collective commitment to improving the quality, efficiency and cost-effectiveness of personal healthcare through the development and implementation of standards for administrative simplification. The award was first presented to Dr. Sullivan in 2001 and recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through their leadership vision and achievements in advancing the overall quality and efficiency of healthcare."

As I have noted elsewhere, back here at BIDMC, John is designing and implementing a marvelous clinical and administrative information system for our hospital. Check out some of his projects. Meanwhile, a prize to the real geeks out there who can name the computer shown above . . . .

8 comments:

farzana said...

Ooh, now I'm showing my nerdiness. Could it be the Illiac?

(For a little more supercomputer trivia: I used to work for Jay Forrester, who, while he was working on Whirlwind, developed magnetic core memory, enabling your present day RAM. He also founded the field of system dynamics, where one uses computer simulations to analyze social systems. Quite applicable to SI in hospitals, I think!!)

Paul Levy said...

You almost win the prize. First, it is all caps -- ILLIAC. Second, it is model 2. Too bad. It was a good prize.

(But you did better than the afore-mentioned supergeek, who thought it was a PDP...)

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, the mere mention of the PDP brings tears to the eyes of New England's aging computer force. DEC, wherefor art thou? And sounds like Dr. Halamka deserves flowers. These standards are like ISO for the healthcare field? Congrats. You guys are cleaning up!

--and to your previous post about Ms. Turnbulls's insightful verse, Mr. Levy, I didn't know the Maori do haiku. I thought they were famous only for their renditions of koans.

Paul Levy said...

No koan do.

Tim said...

John is designing and implementing a marvelous clinical and administrative information system for our hospital

Does John believe in Open Source?

Does he plan to release the clinical information system code for the open source community...?

Nancy Turnbull said...

A haka--a traditional dance often performed before a battle-- might be a better bit of Maori culture for the next struggles in health reform. It's quite a sight: it includes stomping your feet, showing the whites of your eyes, and sticking out your tongue as far as possible, all while grunting loudly. Maybe the Connector board could adopt it as the opening ritual at all its board meetings!

And thanks for the kind words, Paul.

Anonymous said...

It says ILLIAC2 on the picture source...so no prizes for guessing:)

Paul Levy said...

I made it easy for the real geeks!