KANNAPOLIS, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Cardinal Innovations Healthcare was recognized at the Blue Diamond Awards ceremony on Tuesday with finalists in three awards categories. Data Scientist Erin Drucker and Director of Technology Infrastructure Robert Edwards were recognized as 2017 Blue Diamond Award finalists during an awards banquet at the NASCAR Hall of Fame. Drucker received the first place award in the Business Value – Analytics & Big Data category. Edwards was one of three finalists in both the Cool Innovation and the Business Value – Non-Profit categories.
The Blue Diamond Awards are presented by the Charlotte Area Technology Collaborative (formerly IT-oLogy Charlotte) to honor individuals and companies responsible for the best achievements in technology in the Charlotte region. Finalists are selected in 10 categories that recognize accomplishments in Human Capital, Community Outreach, Cool Innovation, Business Value, and also honor the best IT Entrepreneur and the best Student Innovator.
“The technology team at Cardinal Innovations delivers high-quality solutions every day in support of our corporate mission to do the same for our members, providers, stakeholders and communities. Our unwavering focus on technical innovation is one way our team keeps Cardinal Innovations at the forefront of a dynamic and changing healthcare industry,” said Pete Murphy, Chief Information Officer for Cardinal Innovations. “Having three of our business initiatives recognized at this prestigious event underscores the kind of team I am proud to serve and our commitment to a best in class healthcare technology platform.”
As a Data Scientist, Drucker was nominated for her work on the Antipsychotic Medication Adherence Project, which helps predictively identify members who are most at risk for a crisis event or non-adherence to their medications. Non-adherence to antipsychotic medications, especially among people with severe mental health disorders, is one of many factors linked to increased use of crisis and hospital services among this population. Drucker and the Data Science team worked with Cardinal Innovations’ pharmacy and medical departments to help clinical teams proactively identify members most at risk for a crisis.
“Erin has a passion for developing rigorous analytics solutions. The Antipsychotic Medication Adherence Project is an extremely valuable contribution toward Cardinal Innovations' continued efforts to identify members most at risk for a crisis event and provide effective, targeted services that improve outcomes,” said Brent Matthewson, Director of Data Science for Cardinal Innovations.
“I was honored to be included among the finalists and to win first place in my category,” Drucker said. “Cardinal Innovations’ Data Science and Business Analytics team is always looking for ways to support our business partners and members with data-driven approaches to innovating healthcare. This project was an example of that commitment. The Antipsychotic Medication Adherence Project results are currently being used by the pharmacy and medical teams, and the project continues to grow as new interventions and targeted solutions are recommended for our members based on this analysis.”
Edwards was one of three finalists in two Blue Diamond Award Categories. He was nominated in the Cool Innovation category for his team’s implementation of a virtual desktop system that will replace all end-user computers with low-cost access devices and keep all user data stored in the Cardinal Innovations data center. Where many companies have tried and failed at such implementations, which dramatically lower IT costs and increase data security, Edwards and the IT Infrastructure Team took an innovative approach to designing the platform from the end-user’s perspective. Branding it “My Workspace,” the team built the solution to so closely mimic a real end-user’s computer that users would have little to no learning curve or change in their daily lives, creating a win-win for both employees and the company’s bottom line.
Edwards also was recognized as a finalist in the Business Value: Non-Profit Organization category. Under his direction, the Cardinal Innovations underwent a complete overhaul of its data center, eliminating the traditional three-tier architecture and replacing it with a lower-cost hyper-converged solution that allowed for greater scalability and the creation of an enterprise cloud. While the traditional data center architecture was adequate and effective for Cardinal Innovation’s business for at least the next three to six years, Edwards and his team saw an opportunity now to set the company up for more agile growth and expansion with this new solution, while saving tens of thousands annually in licensing fees. Cardinal Innovations’ IT infrastructure is now ready for almost any direction the business could take, while lowering the company’s annual cost of doing business.
About Cardinal Innovations Healthcare
Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is the largest specialty health plan in the country, serving more than 850,000 members through its Medicaid, state and county funded plans. Using a community-based model of care management, Cardinal Innovations seeks to improve the health and wellness of individuals with complex needs by collaborating with local providers and stakeholders. Recognized for operational excellence, innovative solutions and superior outcomes for members, accuracy and speed of payments to providers, and cost-effective funds management, Cardinal Innovations is a leading healthcare company in the United States. For more information, visit www.cardinalinnovations.org, or engage with us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube.