|Dr. Louis J. Capponi, Chief Medical Informatics Officer
Although his true love will always be direct patient care, these days Dr. Louis J. Capponi, is more likely to be practicing his bedside manner next to computer drives. As HHC's Chief Medical Informatics Officer, Dr. Capponi is immersed in automation, data mining and computerized decision support – all features of HHC’s advanced electronic clinical system.
But for Dr. Capponi, all the hands-on high tech always points back to patient care. After all, his mission is to find ways that technology can improve health outcomes for HHC patients and the experiences for doctors, nurses, and others who practice, educate, and conduct research at HHC.
"I firmly believe that healthcare needs to transform through automation and leave physicians and other members of the healthcare team to use their intellect, creativity, and personal touch," Dr. Capponi says. "Computer technology should be making the jobs of doctors, nurses and pharmacists easier and less stressful, allowing them to spend more quality time with patients. This translates to incredible opportunities to advance science and improve health outcomes."
Under Dr. Capponi’s guidance, HHC developed an electronic patient registry used to care for over 40,000 diabetic patients and monitor their levels of blood sugar and other health indicators. He also led a two-year effort to train more than 3,000 nurses across 150 nursing units in the use of HHC’s Electronic Medication Administration Record, an effort that earned the NYC 2007 Excellence in Technology Award. The system enables nurses to document medication administration at the point of care, displays advisories such as drug-drug interactions and lets nurses view orders exactly as the doctor writes them. It's one of the many automated systems that Dr. Capponi has worked on at HHC to enhance medication safety. (See related story, "High Tech Solutions for Medication Safety.")
One of Dr. Capponi's biggest new projects in 2008 will be to lead HHC's acquisition of a new electronic medical record system. Ironically, because HHC embraced electronic systems more than a decade ago when just 2 percent of US hospitals had adopted such practices, the organization now finds itself in need of a more advanced system to take it into the coming decades. Dr. Capponi's goal is to provide healthcare workers with a system that will be easier to use and allow more ready access to a patient’s clinical data from any HHC facility - a system that not only permits more intuitive and efficient documentation, but also supports more comprehensive evidenced-based care.
A general internist, Dr. Capponi has held numerous leadership positions during his 14 years at HHC, including Chief of Medicine at Gouverneur Healthcare Services and Medical Director in Ambulatory and Long Term Care. He still works in Urgent Care at Gouverneur once a week, which keeps him in touch with patients and allows him to test the real time use of those systems he helped put in place.
"I feel that the mission of HHC is incredible and the opportunity to work on projects that impact the lives of such a large population is very humbling. I am blessed to have a job that constantly challenges me, the support of the leadership team at HHC and a dedicated staff to help make our projects a reality," Dr. Capponi says.
Dr. Capponi is a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine and did his training at The New York Hospital in Internal Medicine. He spends weekends upstate with family and friends reading, hiking and cooking.