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Garets: IT Enabling ‘Incredible Transformation’ for Health Care Organizations

WASHINGTON Feb. 16, 2011

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David E. Garets

"Most health care organizations are undergoing incredible transformations that are enabled by IT," said Garets, who will be honored next week as one of the HIT industry’s 50 most influential contributors over the past half-century by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)  

"I do not think anybody really fully understands what impact health care reform and the movement towards value-based payment systems are going to have on care delivery organizations," he added.  "Accountable care cannot help but be significant and its success cannot help but be driven by an organization’s ability to manage the information about its business and its patients.  We are going to see unprecedented innovation and utilization of IT in the next decade."

Garets has been named as a recipient of the HIMSS 50 in 50 Award, which recognizes memorable achievements in the field or contributions to the body of knowledge of healthcare information technology and management systems.  Nominations for the award came from the full HIMSS membership of more than 33,000 professionals and voting was limited to current and past HIMSS board members.  

"I am gratified and humbled by it," he said.  "I have an incredible amount of respect for the other honorees.  It is a wonderful honor."

Jim Adams Tuesday, February 22nd Orlando 1-2 p.m.

"HIT is going to have to play a much more important role the next ten years than it has any time in its history," Garets said.  He cited the increasingly critical role that data standardization and quality can play in driving clinical behavior and documentation.  He indicated that over the next ten years, this trend will require much more than just meaningful use of electronic medical records and that effective remediation of ICD-10, substantial enhancement of clinical documentation tools, business intelligence, natural language processing, data warehousing, data mining, and data analysis will all also be critical components of an effective HIT approach in the current and coming health care environment.

"The industry has gotten a lot more focused on supporting the business of a health care organization, which is patient care," Garets said. "And I think we are starting to do the right things now: automating care process documentation and improving care delivery and quality.  We talked a lot about that in the past two decades but we are really starting to make significant progress, and that’s really encouraging.

"I think it now has gotten to the point where IT is not optional in a health care delivery organization," he added.  "It is required to run the business effectively and efficiently, take care of patients, ensure quality, and document it all.  It will be exciting to see where the next 10 years take us as HIT makes tremendous strides in supporting the highest goals of our health care delivery system."

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