Have you wondered how the news media knows to report which states are experiencing a spike in the number of cases of the flu? Healthcare providers and laboratories share clinical data about certain diseases and conditions with local health agencies in order to protect the health of the community. Exchanging certain health information is one way to boost awareness about illness, to be proactive in preventing any sort of disease outbreak, and to assess how effective preventive methods actually are.

Reporting clinical data to all of the appropriate public health organizations can be a time-consuming, manual task. Not any longer. That’s where HCA’s Information Technology and Services (IT&S) department brings award-winning expertise. HCA IT&S has been named winner of the 2014 Microsoft Health Users Group (HUG) Award for Innovation in Electronic Medical Record Optimization.

HCA’s IT&S department won this industry recognition for their development of a public health reporting tool called the Enterprise Public Health Exchange (ePHEX). The ePHEX reporting tool now automates the processing and submission of required clinical data, such as immunizations, electronic lab reports and syndromic surveillance data, from HCA-affiliated facilities to public health organizations. IT&S partnered with Microsoft to design and implement ePHEX in a way that streamlines the sharing of public health data and ensures compliance with varied state reporting requirements and timelines. At the end of the day, ePHEX frees up healthcare support staff so they can focus time and attention on other tasks that contribute to HCA’s overall mission of providing excellent patient care.

IT&S was presented the Microsoft HUG Innovation Award at the 2014 HIMSS Conference & Exhibition which opened yesterday and closes on 2/27. For the past seventeen years, healthcare organizations and technology providers have been recognized by the Microsoft Health Users Group for the innovative ways they have used technology to enhance the quality of patient care, improve clinician productivity, optimized electronic medical records (EMRs), and streamlined clinical and business processes. This is the first year HCA IT&S has been honored with this award.