12 Apr Thompson receives leadership award for technology solutions for patient safety
CHICAGO – The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) awarded the Honorable Tommy G. Thompson, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), with its annual HIMSS Advocacy Award for his leadership to include healthcare information management technology in the nation’s plan for improving healthcare quality.
“HIMSS is both pleased and honored to present this award to Tommy Thompson,” said David Garets, HIMSS Board Chair who presented the award at the HIMSS Advocacy Day and Solutions Showcase in Washington, D.C. “We recognize his extraordinary leadership in advocating for the inclusion of healthcare information management and technology in the healthcare system to achieve more portable and interoperable healthcare information solutions that will improve the quality, safety, and cost-effectiveness of patient care.”
“This award recognizes the commitment of our staff striving to harness information technology to improve health care and safety across the country,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson upon hearing about the award. “We will continue to work with members of HIMSS and others in the private sector as we pursue progress in this area.”
As noted by Thompson, improving health and patient safety continues for HIMSS as a primary objective. Healthcare information technology vendors, healthcare organizations and government agencies displayed their technology solutions on-site including products for easy and immediate access to patient health information; e-prescribing capabilities to save time and money for patients, physicians and pharmacies; and electronic scheduling systems to give health care clinicians more time for patient care.
Represented at the reception were the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), Cardinal Health, HIMSS’ Auto ID Task Force, Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise (IHE), McKesson Corporation, U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System, Misys Healthcare Systems, Raytheon Company, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC); Siemens and Sun Microsystems.
The HIMSS showcase demonstration of technology solutions for patient safety becomes even more relevant to legislators and the healthcare industry with voting now underway on the second draft of a model for standard functions of the electronic health records. Health Level Seven (HL7), a standards development organization, developed this standard at the request of the government. HIMSS is a co-sponsor of the standard, which includes the basic functions of an electronic health record and would help foster interoperability of electronic medical records and ultimately, improve patient safety.
“Patient safety can, and will, improve when the healthcare industry is able to implement healthcare information technology that makes access to patient information easy and immediate,” said Randy Thomas, chair of the HIMSS Advocacy Committee and vice president of implementation services for Healthlink Incorporated, Houston, Texas. “The healthcare solutions that were presented at this event let legislators see what technology can do to ensure the delivery of quality and consistent patient care.”