InformationWeek Healthcare's second annual list of IT executives highlights the exceptional thinkers and doers who are moving patient care forward.
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Drexel DeFord, senior VP and CIO of Seattle Children's Hospital and chair of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives, is on a mission to improve care for the children treated in his institution.
In 2010, a patient died as a result of medical errors at the hospital, DeFord recalls. Hospital leaders analyzed the facility's processes to figure out how to prevent a repeat. One of the things they heard from clinicians was that as they moved around the hospital it took too long to log in to computers and pull up records.
DeFord and his team decided the best solution was to move to a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Now it takes clinicians 25 seconds to boot up, rather than several minutes, he said. "We've taken 45 minutes out of a typical clinician's day just in logon and boot-up times," he said.
VDI also provides a mobility option that clinicians didn't have before: Anywhere they log in, they get the same PC image with the same applications, exactly as they left it during their last login. In addition, IT security has improved with VDI because all software patches are applied centrally. Also, the IT staff is accomplishing more because it no longer has to do desktop maintenance, DeFord said. This improvement is a perfect example of Seattle Children's "lean" philosophy: becoming more efficient to free up resources for more important work.
ICD-10 On Front Burner
Seattle Children's has devoted substantial efforts to preparing for ICD-10, DeFord said, and won't slow down even now that the government has postponed the ICD-10 deadline.
DeFord views ICD-10 as more important than Meaningful Use. "If you want to file claims and get paid, you have to do ICD-10. Meaningful Use is your bonus check," he said. "If you do Meaningful Use, you'll get some additional dollars. But if you don't do ICD-10, you won't be in business."
Seattle Children's is also at the forefront of computerized physician order entry. Instead of using canned order sets, it has developed specialty order sets--and generously provides them to other pediatric institutions heading down the CPOE path.
The challenge with order sets is that they must constantly be reviewed and updated, DeFord said. The same, he said, is true of EHRs: Implementation is only the beginning of the long process of maintaining and improving these systems.