Lead­ing the way in Idaho

Modern Healthcare - - INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY -

Maybe Scott Car­rell was born to health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy lead­er­ship, or maybe it was thrust upon him. Or pos­si­bly both. What­ever the an­swer, Car­rell got in on the ground floor of the Idaho Health Data Ex­change and has helped lead its growth to nearly 1,200 users, in­clud­ing nine hos­pi­tals, more than 50 physi­cians’ of­fice-based prac­tices and clin­ics, and five lab­o­ra­to­ries. Re­gence Blue Shield of Idaho, Blue Cross of Idaho and the state Med­i­caid pro­gram have been ex­change mem­bers since its in­cep­tion about six years ago. For his ef­forts, he’s be­ing hon­ored with a 2013 AMDIS Award from the As­so­ci­a­tion of Med­i­cal Di­rec­tors of In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems.

Car­rell, 49, was born in Sil­i­con Val­ley’s El Camino Hos­pi­tal, where the na­tion’s first com­put­er­ized physi­cian or­der-en­try sys­tem was rolled out in 1973.

A for­mer health ben­e­fits spe­cial­ist who had worked for sev­eral of the Gem State’s largest com­pa­nies, he was serv­ing as chair­man of the Em­ploy­ers’ Health Coali­tion of Idaho when he was ap­pointed by then-Gov. James Risch to serve on the Idaho Health Qual­ity Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. Risch tasked the group with sug­gest­ing ways to im­prove qual­ity, co­or­di­na­tion, out­comes and cost-ef­fec­tive­ness of care through­out the state. The com­mis­sion formed the ex­change in 2007 and it went live in 2009, with Car­rell serv­ing first as a found­ing board mem­ber. Since May 2011, he has served as its ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

Growth has been rapid de­spite the lack of mar­ket­ing. “The hos­pi­tals are des­per­ately sprint­ing to meet mean­ing­ful-use cri­te­ria,” Car­rell says. “More and more providers are look­ing to con­nect.”

Dig­i­tal im­age ex­change ca­pa­bil­i­ties are to be added to the net­work statewide this month.

“We haven’t even touched on pa­tient en­gage­ment yet,” Car­rell says. “Could we of­fer ca­pa­bil­i­ties for Idaho res­i­dents to ac­cess their med­i­cal records and man­age their care along with it? That, for me, is the golden goose. We’re re­ally be­com­ing de­pen­dent on mo­bile de­vices. Could you imag­ine us­ing those sys­tems to man­age their health? If you equip the pub­lic with the in­for­ma­tion from th­ese de­vices, if we can en­gage the pub­lic more in their own health­care, it could lend to an ar­gu­ment we may not have a short­age of physi­cians.”

Car­rell

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