by Eric Thrailkill, TN HIMSS President and VP/CIO of Amsurg

It certainly started like “just another Wednesday night” in the Gulch neighborhood of downtown Nashville, complete with the sights and sounds of music, pedal taverns and overflowing dining establishments.  However, the discovery, learning, curiosity and thought leadership on display was inspiring, educational and enjoyable.

The TN HIMSS Chapter hosted our third “CIO Dinner”, featuring two giants within our industry – Haden McWhorter, CIO of Premise Health and recent recipient of the Greater Nashville Technology Council’s (GNTC) CIO of the Year Award and Dr. Kevin Johnson, Chair of Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt University and recent recipient of the Greater Nashville Technology Council’s only addition to the GNTC Hall of Fame Award.

With generous sponsorship from Saleforce and Silverline, a group of 22 enjoyed dinner, discussion and yes, a movie during this event.  Dr. Johnson presented the first public screening of a documentary short focused on the implementation of Epic Software at VUMC.  Haden followed with an impressive video designed to establish project confidence at Premise Health.

Both gentlemen discussed their respective projects – both central to long term strategies enabling information use for better health among patients, physicians and providers at their respective institutions.

Epic, based in Madison, WI, is a privately-held 40-year-old company and one of the leading Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms within our industry.  Known for a rich collected of connected modules and quirkiness of their corporate campus, they have been a leader in this segment on heels of the ARRA and HiTECH Act, specifically, in 2009.  Enterprise implementation of the software, with successful outcomes measured against budgets and timelines are rare – enjoying the experience with two leaders with input, questions and comments amongst the attendees, was indeed a rewarding experience.

We cannot thank our hosts – Kevin and Haden – enough for their time and careful discussion of their strategies and initiatives.  In addition, we thank our sponsors and attendees, not only for their thought contribution to the Chapter, but for their contribution to our organizations throught leadership and mission – “better health through information and technology”.