Carolinas HealthCare's Craig Richardville named CIO of the year by CHIME, HIMSS

Richardville earned the award for pursuing an aggressive and effective approach to employing technology to help provide better care, the groups said.
By Bernie Monegain
09:33 AM
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Craig D. Richardville

Carolinas HealthCare Systems Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer Craig D. Richardville has been named the 2015 John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year by CHIME and HIMSS, which give the award jointly each year.

Richardville earned the award for pursuing an aggressive and effective approach to employing technology to help provide better care, the groups said.

"Recognizing that healthcare 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 among providers in the Carolinas," the organizations said in a joint statement.

[Last year's winner: Sue Schade named 2014 CIO of the Year]

"At the Charlotte, North Carolina-based healthcare system, information technology professionals, clinicians, analysts and operational leaders collaborate on executing a strategy that delivers tools and technology to improve patient care, easily," they added.

The award recognizes healthcare IT executives who have made significant contributions to their organization and demonstrated innovative leadership through effective use of technology. The boards of directors for both CHIME and HIMSS select the recipient of the award annually. The award 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.

"I'm honored and humbled to be recognized for this award," Richardville said in a statement. "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."

CHIME and HIMSS pointed to several initiatives Richardville led at Carolinas.

[Earlier winner: Ed Marx is 2013 CIO of the Year]

He 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 are being monitored virtually. Clinicians can 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 enable patients to share data from Fitbits, wireless scales or nearly 50 other devices and apps directly with their care teams.

The healthcare 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 said. "Virtual visits, virtual ICUs and mobile applications like MyCarolinas Tracker put 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.

[See also: CIOs target population health, patient engagement in 2016]

"In order to be truly effective, one of the biggest challenges facing us as an industry is interoperability," he added. "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."

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"Craig is a true visionary," Charles E. Christian, chair of the CHIME board of trustees, said in a statement. "He is passionate about finding innovative ways to use technology to not just transform healthcare, 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 active 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," said Carla Smith, executive vice president, HIMSS North America. "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."

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