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Technology is here to help us … right?

By Phil Colpas, Managing Editor J

ust because we work with technology, that doesn’t mean tech- nology is always going to work with us. Here at HMT, we recently found that out the hard way. First of all, the binary data gods are evidently not at all impressed with the fact that we are an information technology trade magazine. This was underscored this past month, when a server move yielded a veritable plethora of problems with our Web site, delaying posting of our September issue content and our online voting system for the 2010 Pioneer of Healthcare IT winner. Because of these technical diffi culties, the ability to cast a vote on

our Web site for the Pioneer of Healthcare IT winner was delayed by three weeks and the voting module itself did not go live until Sept. 20. Therefore, we have extended the vote time until mid-November, and will announce the Pioneer of Healthcare IT winner in our De- cember issue (we were originally going to make that announcement in this issue).

So as the IT gods sit laughing in their cloud (pun intended), we are left to look for the silver lining. Often, it is diffi cult to fi nd, especially when the search takes place in the wake of technical turmoil. As it turns out in this case, however, the delay does give us the opportunity to become more familiar with the six Pioneers of Healthcare IT fi nal- ists. (If you missed the article spotlighting the top contenders, check out the September issue of HMT; it can also be viewed online at www. In brief, the fi nalists are: Deborah Kohn, principal, Dak Systems Consulting; Richard P. Mansour, M.D.,CMIO and VP, product innovation, Eclipsys; Paul Ble- icher, M.D., CMO, Humedica; John Santmann, M.D., president and CEO, Wellsoft; W. Ed Hammond, director, Duke Center for Health Informatics; and Lori Wright, vice president and general manager, Symantec Health. So go to and vote for your favorite. Additionally, despite the technical snafus, we did manage to put together a compelling selection of articles this month, including: a Q&A with experts on the impact of the HITECH Act and the indus- try’s perception of healthcare IT; case studies on optimizing release- of-information processes and reducing administrative costs through work-fl ow automation; a look at what happens when HIEs meet Web 2.0; and a piece on improving healthcare outcomes through evidence- based medicine. The October issue also features part two of former HMT publisher Mike Hilts’ exploration of three decades of healthcare IT evolution.

Enjoy the magazine. And, until next time, here’s wishing you good healthcare IT.


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