Asif Ahmad - Disruptive Forces in Health IT

Who: Asif Ahmad

Current position: Executive Vice President of Technology Services for US Oncology

Location: The Woodlands, Texas

Fast facts: Ahmad joined US Oncology in September after serving as EVP of diagnostic services and CIO at Duke University Health System since 2003. Working with legendary medical informaticist Ed Hammond, Ahmad led a rapid deployment of computerized physician order entry at Duke in 2004-05. In a prior job as CIO of the Ohio State University Health System, Ahmad won the organization a 2001 Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence for a CPOE implementation there. He later chaired the Davies Award committee for the Healthcare Information and Management System Society.

What makes him disruptive: Though not a physician, Ahmad has been a key leader in clinical areas. For one thing, in designing a pediatric CPOE system, Ahmad came to a radical conclusion that often gets overlooked elsewhere: "Children are not little adults." After taking less than a year to achieve virtually 100 percent CPOE compliance, Ahmad continued building out the system, developing various tools for preventing and reporting medical errors. By mining electronic orders, he found ways of improving communication between physicians, nurses and pharmacists, closing the loop on medication administration and helping to reduce potentially harmful events by 45 percent. At US Oncology, Ahmad is responsible for numerous IT projects, including the cancer treatment and research network's EMR, continuing medical education programs and web-based social networks.