Information WeekInformationWeek Named Dr. Carol Steltenkamp of UK HealthCare and Kentucky REC one of the “20 Health IT Leaders Who Are Driving Change” in their organizations and the industry. This list calls out leaders in informatics, in data integration, even the CEO of a health information exchange. This mix reflects the fact that many people are influencing the tech decisions at health organizations.

I am not a techie,” concedes Dr. Carol Steltenkamp, chief medical information officer of University of Kentucky HealthCare. Yet she has positioned the academic health system as a leader in IT since she arrived in 2006, carrying on a legacy that predates her tenure.

In January 2011, UK HealthCare became the first organization in the U.S. to get a bonus Medicaid check for Meaningful Use. Years earlier, in 2003 and 2004, the health system took the then-daunting step of installing computerized physician order entry at a time when the Leapfrog Group was touting CPOE as one of its four key “safety practices.”

Carol Steltenkamp“The very first thing we did on the inpatient side was CPOE,” Steltenkamp says. CPOE usually is one of the toughest pieces of clinical IT — the medical staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles rebelled against a poorly implemented system in 2003 — but UK HealthCare got it done and has been refining it for years.

But the order sets at UK had gotten unwieldy. “We have too dang many,” Steltenkamp says. So UK is updating its technology as a beta customer of Elsevier’s InOrder cloud-based system for creating and managing order sets. For example, the health system had nine order sets related to stroke care across its main UK Chandler Hospital, the adjacent Kentucky Children’s Hospital and the UK Good Samaritan Hospital. It has condensed those to two. A pediatrician who practices part-time, Steltenkamp sees her clinical background as helpful in understanding how to cull order sets and build useful ones backed by proper medical evidence.

As a CMIO, her challenge is to apply data to deliver actionable knowledge at the right point in the workflow to help clinicians make “judicious decisions,” she says. Steltenkamp looks at the multitudes of clinical data UK HealthCare has compiled and deems it “untapped.”

Kentucky REC is very proud of our fearless leader, Dr. Carol Steltenkamp!

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