HIMSS announces 2 public health Davies winners
The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) has announced two winners of the HIMSS Public Health Davies Award of Excellence. These organizations join 14 past public health Davies award winners, all honored for positively impacting population health by optimizing health IT.

The two winners include:

  • The Florida Department of Heath, Bureau of Epidemiology, Electronic Surveillance System for the Early Notification of Community-based Epidemics, Florida (ESSENCE-FL)
ESSENCE-FL serves Florida's population, including 18 million residents, plus all visitors (80.3 million annually). With the state’s population doubling in the last 20 years, the ESSENCE-FL system meets the demand for a single system that could be used to work with many different types of health data.

Based in Tallahassee, Fla., the Florida Department of Health (FDOH), Division of Disease Control, Bureau of Epidemiology, Acute Disease Epidemiology Section, manages the ESSENCE-FL system. A surveillance epidemiologist recruits and enrolls participating hospitals, expands the system to include new data sources, operates the system from day to day and carries out regular epidemiologic analyses.

State- and county-level epidemiologists across all FDOH program areas rely on and use the system to detect outbreaks and unusual cases and monitor deaths and injury or illness after events, such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, pandemic influenza, the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, etc.

  • The New York City Department of Health & Mental Hygiene, Primary Care Information Project
The Primary Care Information Project (PCIP) is a Bureau of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene designed to improve the quality of care in underserved communities through health IT. With a staff of 95, PCIP has extended prevention-oriented EHRs to more than 2,800 New York City primary care providers working in underserved settings. This virtually integrated healthcare system includes 541 independent practices, 38 community health centers and three hospitals. Collectively, these practices serve more than 2 million patients in New York City.

These practices all have access to shared resources, such as clinical quality and technical staff, a unified public health hub, quality dashboards and group training. By being connected to PCIP, these independent practices have access to important tools that can save lives and improve population health.