Florida, N.Y. Health Systems Recognized for Health IT Programs

This week, the Florida Department of Health's Bureau of Epidemiology and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene were named recipients of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's Public Health Davies Award of Excellence, Modern Healthcare reports.

The organizations were recognized during CDC's Public Health Informatics 2011 Conference in Atlanta for "positively impacting population health by optimizing health information technology," according to HIMSS (Grace, Modern Healthcare, 8/25).

Details of Florida's System

HIMSS recognized the Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, Florida -- or ESSENCE-FL -- which uses hospital data to identify disease outbreaks and track injuries and fatalities from natural or man-made disasters (Goedert, Health Data Management, 8/25).

According to state officials, ESSENCE-FL is capable of collecting and analyzing disparate sources of data and categorizing thousands of separate data points.

Details of New York's System

The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene was recognized for its Primary Care Information Project that aims to use health IT to improve the quality of care in underserved communities.

PCIP has helped more than 2,800 primary care providers in underserved areas implement electronic health record systems, including 541 independent small practices, 38 community health centers and three hospitals that together provide care for more than two million city residents.

A recent study found improved cholesterol, diabetes and high blood pressure management among practices participating in PCIP (Merrill, Healthcare IT News, 8/25).

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