Top 25 Innovators in Health Imaging & IT

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hiit040601 An innovator is someone who helps to open up a new line of research, technology or art—and below, you’ll meet 25 “Innovators” who are making a mark on clinical, administrative and IT excellence as well. These trailblazers—hospital executives, physicians, department chiefs, researchers, CTOs and a chief medical information officer—are focused on improving the quality and safety of healthcare by speeding workflow and clinical decision-making and bettering outcomes. Their projects aim to improve hospital networks, initiate evidence-based medicine and decision support programs, and advance cardiac CT and MR, breast CAD and radiation oncology. We salute their excellence, expertise and commitments to bettering healthcare for us all.

Nominations for “Innovators” employed by healthcare providers were solicited via online ballot at and from subscribers of Health Imaging News and Health Imaging & IT.

Ballots were accepted from March 21 through April 4, 2006.


Eran Bellin, MD

Director of Outcomes Analysis Decision Support,
Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

After serving as the medical director of the Rikers Island Prison System for 10 years, Dr. Bellin embarked on a mission to create a tool for research and quality improvement utilizing clinical system data records and “off the shelf” tools to analyze aggregate patient data across a continuum of care in real time. He has delivered a clinical research engine that is now operational at Montefiore—Clinical Looking Glass. The system consolidates patient information into an intuitive analytical plat-form that provides critical hospital intelligence, essentially providing answers about the quality and efficacy of medical treatment. It processes patient information collected by clinical care systems—that track the 56,000 patient discharges and 850,000 outpatient visits there each year—through a statistical server to create meaningful summaries and graphic representations of outcomes, efficiencies and other modeled criteria. Dr. Bellin is in the process of transforming Clinical Looking Glass into a transportable product for other institutions.

bonzheimKimberly A. Bonzheim

Director, Noninvasive Cardiology and Cardiac Rehabilitation, William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, Mich.

Bonzheim’s work in improving the safety of patients monitored by centralized telemetry has reduced critical response times from 9.5 minutes to 39 seconds. The alarm communication process had been plagued with inherent communication delays. Bonzheim led a multidisciplinary team that studied the communication process. They selected a hands-free, voice-activated communication badge that allowed telemetry technicians to immediately communicate heart rhythm alarm information directly to the patients’ nurses so treatment could begin immediately.

coppleRick Copple

Chief Technology Officer, Community Health Network, Indianapolis, Ind.

After evaluating the services provided by the hospital’s local carrier, Copple began to investigate new network infrastructure options, specifically migrating from a carrier-based network to a private optical network to deliver new, flexible services and state-of-the-art patient care. He found that in addition to increased flexibility and the ability to roll-out new applications, Community Health could save more than $11 million in the span of 13 years by implementing a private optical network. The new network connects data centers at Community Hospital, Indiana Heart Hospital, and a disaster recovery site in downtown Indianapolis. One of the sites has a centralized repository of digitized medical images and electronic medical records which doctors, clinicians, and authorized administrators can immediately access from any of the sites. The hospital also is well-positioned to handle the future bandwidth requirements of an all-digital state-of-the-art pediatrics facility, opening in 2007.

cupplesTommy E. Cupples, MD

Private Practice, Breast Imaging and Interventional Specialist, ImageCare, LLC, Columbia, S.C.

Dr. Cupples was the lead investigator of a two-year study that prospectively evaluated CAD’s impact on the size of tumors detected and women’s age at diagnosis. Rather than following the traditional approach of studying increased detection rates, he studied not only the increased number of cancers detected with CAD, but also looked at other factors such as type of lesion and patient age. Dr. Cupples is a frequent speaker on breast imaging and breast biopsy techniques. He studies human