Navicent Healths Omer Awan Wins 2018 CHIME Transformational Leadership Award

Omer Awan

MACON, GA (November 1, 2018) – Two years ago, Omer Awan joined Navicent Health in Macon, Ga., as senior vice president and CIO. In that short period of time, he has changed the culture in his department to make his team valuable contributors who work collaboratively with others to find creative solutions that benefit patients and the healthcare system. At the same time, he has elevated the profile of IT within the ranks of Navicent’s executive leadership, giving him a seat at the table as they carry out Navicent Health’s vision.

“Today, IT is considered a strategic asset and looked upon as an innovative and customer-oriented group that is consistently raising the bar for gold-standard customer service,” said Dr. Ninfa M. Saunders, president and CEO at Navicent Health. “Omer has fostered the spirit of innovation within the IT team and the organization as a whole.”

His success has earned Awan the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) Transformational Leadership Award. The award is given annually by CHIME in conjunction with the American Hospital Association in honor of a CEO and CIO whose organization developed and deployed transformational IT that improved the delivery of care and streamlined administrative services. The honor was announced today at the 2018 CHIME Fall CIO Forum in San Diego.

Awan said he institutionalized a framework that called for simultaneously strengthening their IT foundation, advancing the culture and innovating, always keeping in mind Navicent Health’s business needs. IT staff embedded themselves within other groups to better understand their programs and get more involved in problem solving and decision making. This process changed mindsets within the IT department and throughout the organization.

“IT has broken out of the shell of technology,” Awan said. “It is all over the place. It is in business; it is in the clinical areas. All of my IT managers and directors rewrote their job descriptions. They are not just managers and directors, they are solution partners. It was incumbent on them to know as much about their respective clinical and business areas.”

Among their successes has been the rollout of a real-time care coordination platform that serves as a one-stop shop for surgical staff and patients. The program, utilized for OrCarestra, Navicent Health’s surgical patients, has eliminated the use of faxes, phone calls and hand-written requests and added standardized processes. OrCarestra has shortened scheduling times, decreased scheduling errors, sped up financial clearances and allowed them to complete more cases faster.

Saunders said Awan and his IT members are now trusted partners at Navicent Health. “His colleagues trust his leadership, admire his insights and cherish his partnership,” she said. “His team feels the same way and is motivated and passionate about achieving their vision and making a difference.”

Awan’s commitment to transformational leadership parallels the vision of CHIME, noted Cletis Earle, CHIME Board chair and senior vice president and CIO at Kaleida Health. “Our vision statement is ‘Exceptional Leaders Transforming Health and Healthcare,’ and Omer exemplifies that,” Earle said. “Omer is a perfect example of what we can achieve with visionary IT leaders who embrace innovation.”

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