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Organizations Name CIO of the Year

Recognizing that health care providers need to transition from sick care to well care, Carolinas HealthCare System has been aggressively pursuing a technology strategy that powers more effective patient engagement, virtual care delivery, and interoperability amongst providers in the Carolinas. At the Charlotte, NC-based health care system, IT professionals, clinicians, analysts, and operational leaders collaborate on executing a strategy that delivers tools and technology to improve patient care, easily.

Spearheading these initiatives has been Craig D. Richardville, MBA, FACHE, FHIMSS, senior vice president and chief information officer. In recognition of his efforts to bring better care to patients in North and South Carolina, Richardville has been named the 2015 John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year.

The award, sponsored by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and HIMSS, recognizes HIT executives who have made significant contributions to their organization and demonstrated innovative leadership through effective use of technology. The boards of directors for both organizations annually select the recipient of the award, which is named in honor of the late John E. Gall Jr., who pioneered implementation of the first fully integrated medical information system in the world at California's El Camino Hospital in the 1960s. Richardville will receive the award on March 3, 2016, at the HIMSS Annual Conference Exhibition in Las Vegas.

"I'm honored and humbled to be recognized for this award," Richardville says. "I credit the team at Carolinas HealthCare System who has the commitment and talent to serve our patients. With this team, we've been able to leverage technology to improve and support the care delivered."

Richardville has been instrumental in advancing innovative technologies for patient care. In 2013, the health system deployed one the nation's largest virtual ICU practices. Currently, nearly 300 ICU beds in North and South Carolina were being monitored virtually. Clinicians cans also conduct virtual psychiatric visits, as well as provide care for stroke and other complicated conditions to rural communities.

Richardville and his team of 1,200 staff have also been on the cutting edge of improving patient engagement. For instance, the health system developed two mobile health applications that allow patients to share data from Fitbits, wireless scales or nearly 50 other devices and apps directly with their care team.

The health care system also leads a statewide private health information exchange where more than 270 providers are contributing data so patient data is accessible throughout the Carolinas.

"From the bedside to the home, we always are looking for ways to truly engage the patient in managing and improving their health status," Richardville says. "Virtual visits, virtual ICUs and mobile applications like MyCarolinas Tracker puts the patients in charge of their health. Here in the Carolinas, we're proud of the work we've done, and we recognize there is a lot more work to do. In order to be truly effective, one of the biggest challenges facing us as an industry is interoperability. We cannot leave it to the government or the vendors. Rather, all of us have to come together to craft a solution that securely and safely enables meaningful health data access for our citizens."

"Craig is a true visionary," says Charles E. Christian, FCHIME, LCHIME, CHCIO, chair of the CHIME board of trustees. "He is passionate about finding innovative ways to use technology to not just transform health care, but ensure that we are improving care for the patients that we serve. His work at Carolinas HealthCare System has raised the stature of the CIO and is raising the bar for the rest of the industry."

Richardville has been extremely involved in both CHIME and HIMSS. He is a HIMSS fellow and was previously the president of HIMSS' North Carolina chapter. Currently, he serves as a reviewer for the HIMSS Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model.

"Craig Richardville led the Carolinas Health System team in its health IT implementation process with nine of the system's hospitals and 254 of its ambulatory clinics achieving stage 7 on the HIMSS Analytics Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, the standard for measuring health IT implementation progress. Craig's leadership in this effort resulted as well in the establishment of exemplary business and clinical intelligence used to monitor and improve the health of the Carolinas patients. As an active HIMSS member, he has shared his expertise as a committee chair and as a reviewer to validate stage 7 hospitals. HIMSS recognizes the many accomplishments of this health care leader and CIO who has contributed so much to improving health with IT," says Carla Smith, MA, FHIMSS, CNM, executive vice president of HIMSS North America. 

Source: The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives