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2023 CDHI Summit Recap

Martin Citardi, MD, Babatope Fatuyi, MD, MPH, and Amar Yousif, MBA standing in front of an orange UT Health Houston backdrop

Innovation and collaboration took center stage on September 27, 2023, as UTHealth Houston's Center for Digital Healthcare Innovation (CDHI) hosted its annual Informatics Summit. Epic builders and physician champions gathered for a day filled with learning and fun revolving around the theme, "Looking Back to Look Ahead." With a touch of cinematic and archeology-themed activities, the event aimed to celebrate the past, strengthen communication and collaboration, and set ambitious goals for the future.

The CDHI Informatics Summit has a clear purpose: to reflect on past electronic health record (EHR) achievements, set future goals, and foster stronger ties between physicians and builders. Babatope O. Fatuyi, MD, chief medical information officer for UTHealth Houston, set the stage last year, and this year's summit not only embraced these objectives but went beyond.

Martin J. Citardi, MD, vice dean of clinical technology, provided insight into CDHI's evolution over the last 12-18 months, along with introducing five CDHI projects. One of the standout initiatives, Finfax, promises to streamline operations and save significant costs by reducing the time it takes to process incoming faxes by 50% through an automated solution within Epic. As Citardi put it, "We need to be flexible and adapt to the situations around us."

The summit also featured two panels of Epic champions who discussed their accomplishments within the system and their plans for future improvements. These individuals are instrumental in one of six councils that oversee meetings to review issues and initiatives submitted by the user community. They include Brian Heaps, MD; Sarah Cavenaugh, MD; Rita Willis; Kevin Hwang, MD; Kulvinder Bajwa, MD; Lindy Anderson-Papke; Julie Bortolotti, MD; Olasunkanmi Adeyinka, MD; Rahil Tai, MD, MBA; and Stephanie Unger.

During an afternoon dedicated to recognition, Mir Rahimi, an EPIC application analyst III, was awarded the first-ever Center for Digital Health Innovation Award. This award acknowledges innovation and creativity in seven different categories. Rahimi's accolade was for the "Charge Generator" software he developed, which eliminates manual data entry, saves time, and accelerates revenue capture without any lag.

In the end, the CDHI Informatics Summit provided ample opportunities for thought-provoking discussions and community celebration of the year's achievements. The participation of leaders across the university, IT professionals, physicians, UT Physicians operations, departmental managers, and employees showcased the collaborative nature of the project. As Bassel Choucair, associate vice president of IT User Experience and Support, pointed out, "It illustrated how vibrant and innovative our UTHealth Houston community is."

As attendees left the summit, they carried with them inspiration and a renewed commitment to achieving 10 Gold Stars for a third year, solidifying their place as leaders in the field of health care informatics. The CDHI Informatics Summit proved once again that when physicians and builders work together, the possibilities are endless.

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