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Viewpoint For HMT’s 30th anniversary, pearls of a different kind By Phil Colpas, Managing Editor P

earls are the traditional gift to commemorate a 30th anniver- sary.

And tradition, as it informs the present and foreshadows the future, is foremost on our minds as Health Management

Technology magazine enters its fourth decade. Tradition is an important part of any culture, the bedrock upon which a foundation is built. In business, tradition can dictate the lay of the land, help determine its appearance and establish parameters that will hopefully nurture that business and allow it to grow. But you’d be hard pressed to fi nd an industry that has undergone more transformation over the past few decades than healthcare IT. Think about what the world was like in 1980, when this magazine was


The personal computer had just made its debut three years prior, in 1977, and the fi rst rudimentary PCs for business were just entering the market. No one had heard of the Internet. IBM punch cards gave way to 5-1/4-inch fl oppy disks, green screens gradually morphed into color CRTs and powerful computers the size of houses have evolved into iPhones that fi t in our pockets. Meanwhile, the models to deliver and pay for healthcare have changed just as rapidly as the hardware and infrastructure, making communication among peers that much more indispensible. IT trade magazines exist to provide readers with valuable information in their specifi c fi elds; to connect them with their counterparts across the country; and to facilitate the exchange of information between vendors and end users. It considerably eases the pains of solutions implementation when you can read about someone who has been there, done that. So, as we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we’re taking stock of what’s important, and trying to refl ect in these pages what it’s all about: It’s about respecting the past, as HMT founder Bill Childs, former HMT editor Damon Braly and former HMT publisher Mike Hilts demonstrate with their respective columns in this issue. It’s about dealing with now, as our Pioneers of Healthcare IT fi nalists take on six of the hottest topics in the industry and how best to deal with the challenges they present. And speaking of technology, for the fi rst time, our readers will be able to vote online for whom they think should be the Pioneer of Healthcare IT for 2010. The winner will be revealed next month.

It’s about staying in the moment while simultaneously peering over the horizon, just as the staff at the Connecticut hospitals did as they piloted the fi rst statewide health information exchange.

It’s about looking toward the future, as we ask industry experts the question, “Where does IT go from here?”

And it’s about sharing ideas, experience and – if we’re lucky along the way – some genuine pearls of wisdom.



Healthcare Information Systems Solutions since 1980 Publisher/ Executive Editor

ECHNOLOGY Health Management Kristine Russell

EDITORIAL Managing Editor Phil Colpas

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Associate Editor Mike Foley

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nP Communications, LLC Printed in the USA. HEALTH MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY (ISSN: 1074-

4770). Published monthly by NP Communications, LLC., 2506 Tamiami Trail North, Nokomis, FL 34275 (941) 966- 9521. Subscription rates: $96 per year in the United States; $118 Canada/Mexico; International subscriptions are $173 per year (surface) and $293 per year (airmail). Current single copies (if available) are $14 each (U.S), and $18 each (international). Back issues (if available) are $16 each (U.S.) and $20 each (International). Payment must be made in U.S. funds on a branch of a U.S. bank within the continental United States and accompany request. Subscription inquiries: subscriptions@ Title® registered U.S. Patent Office. Copyright© 2010 by

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