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Defense Health Agency among FedHealthIT Innovation Awards honorees

Defense Health Agency Tricare Online Patient Portal, Solution Delivery Division members Tim Larson (foreground, far left), Stan Adamus (foreground, second from right), and Navy Capt. Lisa Morris (foreground, center) receive the FedHealthIT Innovation Award from FedHealthIT  executive editor David Blackburn (foreground, second from left). (Courtesy photo by Chris Ferenzi) Defense Health Agency Tricare Online Patient Portal, Solution Delivery Division members Tim Larson (foreground, far left), Stan Adamus (foreground, second from right), and Navy Capt. Lisa Morris (foreground, center) receive the FedHealthIT Innovation Award from FedHealthIT executive editor David Blackburn (foreground, second from left). (Courtesy photo by Chris Ferenzi)

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The Defense Health Agency received five FedHealthIT Innovation Awards for innovative federal health care programs, which were presented last week at a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

FedHealthIT, a resource for senior government and industry executives in the federal health care community, launched the annual awards four years ago to honor companies, government agencies, and programs driving innovation in health care. The honorees are chosen by their peers for their willingness to take achievable risk and deliver real results, the FedHealthIT press release stated.

This year’s DHA awards went to:

  • TRICARE Online Patient Portal, Solution Delivery Division
  • Enterprise Intelligence & Data Solutions
  • Pharmacy Analytic Support Services
  • Enterprise Blood Management Systems: Transfusion and Donor
  • Mitigation and Remediation Support Team

Tim Larson, principal in the clinical support solutions delivery division, accepted the award for TRICARE Online Patient Portal.

“(Managing) patient appointments online, filling prescriptions, it’s setting the groundwork for bringing health care into the home and paving the way for MHS GENESIS” he said. MHS GENESIS, a new electronic health record for the Military Health System that provides enhanced, secure technology to manage health information, is being phased in over several years.

Additional winners included the United States Air Force Medical Service, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the United States Digital Service, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Jim Trafficant, managing director, Accenture Federal Services, kicked off the afternoon event by saying he believes health care providers are beginning to recognize that effectively managing a service member’s health from enlistment until the end of his or her life requires collaboration between private and public partners.

Retired Navy Capt. Joe Grace Jr., president and CEO of Grace and Associates, moderated two panels on federal health innovation and technology. Panelist Lauren Thompson, director of the DoD/VA Interagency Program Office, noted that the focus is on making the data available and on-target, and delivering the best possible care to help ensure that providers within the system have the data they need. “We’re trying to impact service members and their families, as well as private providers,” she said.

Dr. Barclay Butler, DHA’s acting assistant director for healthcare administration, spoke to the crowd about health care change management and socioeconomic data. He said one impediment to innovation in federal health programs is skepticism, adding that when looking at products or services, there’s a lot of “background noise.” Butler said he believes one way to manage that is by looking at the value equation of an organization.

“For us at DHA, its quadrupling health care and readiness,” he said. “Better health, better care, better readiness, at lower cost. To manage a portfolio of innovation, we have to really test it against the value equation. Without (that), you have no idea how to invest, which innovative ideas or disruptive ones are going to be the most (valuable) to your organization.”

This year, the awards ceremony drew more than 300 attendees from government and industry, celebrating 26 of the top federal health programs and the teams behind their efforts, representing the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs and Health and Human Services

When asked by Grace about the impending disruption of DHA, Butler said going from two hospitals to 55 will make DHA an implementation organization. “We are ripe for an innovative approach,” he said, “…and change management is an essential part of it. Change management has to be a key element in managing disruptions.”

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