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The first step of our long, exciting journey: A note from the editor

Welcome to the launch of HIT Leaders and News.

I hope that you soon see the value of making our site of constantly-updated collections of editorial features and news releases a daily-required visit. I also hope you recognize, in both our journalistic approach and the nature of the content we present, that our driving desire to interact with each and every sphere of healthcare IT is the nexus of everything we do. 

Our staff wants to thank each contributor to our launch for their willingness to put their names alongside ours as we begin our open-ended investigation in the evolving states of healthcare IT. To learn that so many in our profession share our feelings regarding the need for new discussions and new collaborations in healthcare is both humbling and inspiring. We are certain that many new voices will join ours in the months and years to come. However, we will never forget the first few who saw us a leap of faith, and not a job of stupid. 

For those of you unfamiliar with us, the purpose of our work is to provide a forum for anyone with a compelling insight into the current and future states of healthcare IT. When we say anyone, we mean it. We understand that we are all, at one time or another, impacted by the evolution of healthcare IT, and the ever-growing reach of technology must be both embraced as well as scrutinized by everyone – no matter their background or their personal self-interest.

I assure you that we will present viewpoints that other HIT publications reject as being either too far out of the bounds of our current technological environments, or for not being tied to a “big enough” player in the industry. We are too smart to repeat these sorts of mistakes. 

Case in point, our initial series of interviews is not centered around a typical HIT topic like compliance, interoperability or population health. Rather, we decided to investigate the level of attention hospital Chief Information Officers (CIOs) place upon patient-centered approaches to their healthcare IT strategies. We became interested in creating such an editorial series after reading a HIT Leaders and News submission from Shaun Gummere, Chief Design Officer, Story+Structure.

Gummere provides a clear definition of human-centered design that he believes is vital to the future effectiveness of healthcare IT. Some might disregard Gummere’s call for more human-centered design as being incompatible with today’s healthcare IT demands and government regulations, but we feel nothing could be further from the truth.

After you read, and literally hear, what the Chief Information Officers that we interviewed have to say on Gummere’s topic, we believe it will be clear that more human-centered, or to use more industry-specific terms, more patient-centered and more staff-centered, mindsets are critical within the C-suite. Without it, is will be impossible to adequately strengthen healthcare IT in the coming generation. 

To gauge the industry’s feelings on the subject, we set out to interview a broad scope of perspectives. 

We interviewed Subra Sripada, Chief Transformation Officer and System Chief Information Officer, Beaumont Health in Detroit, Michigan, one of the largest healthcare organizations in the United States. We learned that while he supervised the combination of three major healthcare facilities Sripada never allowed consumer service to became second to any other administrative goal.

We spoke with Roni Amiel, Chief Information Officer, Blythedale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla, New York. He shared his belief that a young professional’s interpersonal skills, not technological prowess, will ultimately dictate the level of care they provide and the level of success that his or her career will reach. 

Perhaps our greatest surprise came from interviewing Walnut Hill’s new Chief Information Officer, Aaron Miri, but also Dr. Rich Guerra, a Cardiologist and key contributor to the culture at Walnut Hill. While their organization has earned wide acclaim for its advanced applications of healthcare IT, Miri and Guerra make it clear that Walnut Hill is ideological encased within the belief that the patient, not technology, is the center of their universe. 

In addition to these CIO interviews focusing upon patient care, we reached out to other clinicians, vendors, lawyers and academics to present additional discussions centered upon some other important issues facing the industry including the final countdown to the approaching ICD-10 mandates, the evolution of enterprise content management, next-generation billing solutions and the status of the Unique Device Identification (UDI) system.

We did not select any of our editorial topics randomly. Topics organically came to us as we spoke with members of our industry.

We will never follow a formal editorial calendar. Our content will be published as and when it is produced. We are coming from all angles and we are coming in fast.

In addition to these efforts, we have begun our Bridge Panel series where we ask various members of the healthcare IT community to give their personal perspectives of issues that are not often shared. We believe that this panel series, along with our HIT Generations Webinar Series directed at undergraduate and graduate students in healthcare-related fields of study, we help to foster new interactions and new ideas in the industry that could be felt for years.

Again, welcome to our launch and please pardon our progress. We have prepared for a very, very long journey and we are thrilled that you were here to see us make our first step. 



Jason Free, Managing Editor

Beaumont Health, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, HIT Generations Webinar Series, Story+Structure, Walnut Hill