David Fitzgerald, chair of the Provider-Payer Community, has over 25 years of health IT experience, working with shared medical systems, Siemens medical solutions health services systems and the past seven years at Aetna as an enterprise systems architect. Fitzgerald has served for over 15 years on two different hospital boards, currently serving as the chairman of the board of trustees at Jennersville Regional Hospital in southeastern Pennsylvania.
HIMSS: Can you explain what an Enterprise Systems Architect does at Aetna?
Fitzgerald: An enterprise system architect helps determine, set and govern the future of IT systems in the enterprise. Enterprise system architects work with the business teams to understand the organization’s vision, and help create and determine how the IT systems need to support that vision. Enterprise system architects insure that key information system initiatives support strategic goals by understanding the business and technical strategies.
HIMSS: How did you become involved with HIMSS?
Fitzgerald: I joined HIMSS in 2006, and in 2007, I joined the HIMSS Personal Health Record (PHR) Steering Committee, under Dr. Holly Miller; it was a fantastic experience! It was a dynamic committee, with outstanding positive interactions and excellent leadership. This team strongly encouraged participation, and I was anxious to learn and contribute.
HIMSS: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your involvement with HIMSS?
Fitzgerald: HIMSS is an extremely supportive, encouraging, engaging organization with great employees and leadership. All of my interactions with HIMSS personnel have been positive. This positive attitude comes through in everything HIMSS supports and engages in. With this type of atmosphere the HIMSS attitude is contagious, and most of the members of HIMSS communicate and foster genuine relationships. This type of interaction is rewarding and refreshing to me as a HIMSS member.
HIMSS: What was the greatest challenge as chair of the Provider-Payer Community?
Fitzgerald:The greatest challenge is to engage, foster, facilitate and encourage member involvement. Members of HIMSS have so much to offer; our challenge is to find the mechanisms to channel and deliver their skills they are willing to share.
HIMSS: What has been your greatest success?
Fitzgerald: Our greatest successes in the Provider- Payer Community have been our ongoing membership growth, sponsorship and recognition at HIMSS. We have just wrapped up a successful annual conference where we hosted a lunch and had an engaging experience at the HIMSS Spot.
HIMSS: What has been your favorite project with the Provider-Payer Community?
Fitzgerald: I would prefer to look at a favorite theme instead of a favorite project. This fiscal year, our community leadership has embraced a Provider-Payer Community theme of “Let’s Create a Revolution! – A Health Care Revolution.” This theme has created thoughts, inspiration, interest, and most importantly, dialog.
HIMSS: What advice would you give professionals just entering the healthcare or IT?
Fitzgerald: I might offer advice to someone entering this dynamic field to be focused. If there is a recurring theme that carries through IT and healthcare, that theme would be constant change. When change and variability abound, confusion and frustration are ever present. Focus on what interests you, what you want to change and what you can offer. Create your theme, your mission and tie those to your interests.