The FedHealthIT100 Awards: A Peek At The Year Ahead & Networking Celebration event capped off a year of challenge and success within the Federal Health space. Recognizing those who are influencing the industry, the event honored FedHealthIT100 winners, inducted the first class of Hall of Fame honorees, recognized the first recipients of the Vision Award and acknowledged this year’s Communicators of the Year. The event also included three panels providing content aimed at addressing the issues, gaps and opportunities for industry and Government to partner in the coming year. Additionally, a Making IT Matter segment was debuted. Watch for more on the FedHealthIT website in the coming weeks on this.
James Gfrerer, Assistant Secretary for Information & Technology and Chief Information Officer, Office of Information Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs, provided the keynote address. His remarks centered around the Agency’s creation of products and services that make an impact on the lives of Veterans. He emphasized VA’s work in digital cloud based solutions and health IT modernization. Gfrerer also provided an update on efforts around digital strategies including Electronic Health Records Modernization (EHRM) and Defense Medical Logistics Standard Support (DMLSS).
Focus on EHRM
Susan Sharer, President, FedHealthIT and CEO, MileMarker10, served as moderator for the day’s panels. The focal point of the first discussion was EHRM. Holly Joers, Acting Program Executive Officer, Program Executive Office, Defense Healthcare Management Systems; Captain Michael Nasitka, Assistant Program Executive Officer, C5I, Electronic Health Records Modernization, US Coast Guard; William Tinston, Director, Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization Program Office; and John Windom III, Executive Director, Electronic Health Records Modernization, Department of Veterans Affairs shared their insights.
Members of the panel discussed lessons learned and how they have been applied to continuously improve deployments. Each agency represented works individually but also collaborates to find opportunities for improvement in infrastructure, training and the experience of the end user. The ongoing pandemic has fostered out of the box thinking, the establishment of better contingency plans and increased efficiency. Looking ahead to the new year, the panel indicated continuing to build, maintain and make new partnerships with industry would continue to enhance and expand EHRM capabilities.
Disruptive Technologies in 2021
The afternoon’s second panel looked at how disruptive technologies will shift the landscape in the new year and beyond. Vid Desai, Chief Technology Officer, Food and Drug Administration; and Charles Worthington, Chief Technology Officer, Office of Information and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs discussed how their agency will look to meet missions through the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain while maintaining an agile thought process.
The use of emerging technologies will enhance data collection and analyses, resulting in better decision-making. Cloud technology continues to be an important component in remaining agile and maintaining a flexible network. Entering 2021 VA will find value in modular architecture brought forward by industry. FDA will look for industry partners to show package solutions to support their needs.
A Look at the Year Ahead
The final panel of the day shared what the upcoming year may bring and how industry can be involved. Suzi Connor, Chief Information Officer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Andrea Norris, Director, Center for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, National Institutes of Health; Todd Simpson, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Information and Technology Department of Veterans Affairs; and Rajiv Uppal, Chief Information Officer, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services discussed Health IT initiatives and programs that their organizations will be driving and how industry can help fill IT modernization gaps in 2021.
Building out new product lines, cultural transformation, modernizing infrastructure and strengthening detection and prevention capabilities are some of the efforts on the forefront of the coming year. Agencies will look for vendor experience to help with improving processes, leveraging capabilities and disrupting current operations through industry research and development.
Celebrating Award Winners
The inaugural class of FedHealthIT100 Hall of Fame inductees was announced this year. This group consists of 51 people who have received the FedHealthIT100 award at least three times. This distinguished group will grow each year.
The 2021 FedHealthIT100 winners were also honored. Consisting of Government and Industry leaders, these are individuals who are making an impact, going above and beyond, driving innovation, challenging conventional wisdom, driving positive outcomes and giving back to the larger community.