Inside CHIME: Years of IT Wisdom and Fresh Perspective of a Newcomer
By Amy McDonald, CHIME Communications
One of CHIME’s newest members brings over two decades of IT knowledge and a passion for improving patient care.
Anthony Williams made the transition to healthcare just five years ago, but that hasn’t stopped the self-professed “newbie” from tackling some of healthcare’s most daunting challenges. Far from being unfamiliar with IT, Williams, CIO at American Family Care, has over 15 years of experience in the government sector, telecommunications and retail. He is passionate about his job and fascinated with the unique IT challenges healthcare presents. Given the opportunity to work at AFC, a nationwide urgent care provider, he jumped at the chance not only to overcome a new challenge, but to make a difference in the lives of patients.
“I saw healthcare as the last industry to be impacted by IT. I saw it in the finance industry with ATMs, manufacturing with robotics, retail with Amazon and Google and I see the same type of movement now taking place in healthcare,” he said. “There are the same concerns as banking with security and trying to protect medical records. Things like HIPAA and cybersecurity are very exciting, with lots of government regulation that can be both positive and negative, and it’s evolving right about now. I wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else.”
With his passion for the industry and varied background, Williams is poised to be a game-changer in the urgent care sector. Coming into the industry at a very pivotal moment, he sees that healthcare providers are struggling with cybersecurity, interoperability and electronic health records. “There have been good efforts, but we are just now scratching surface of what ultimately needs to happen,” he said.
Williams and his team at AFC are digging deeper to make meaningful gains in their urgent care sphere. “We have a close relationship with our EHR provider. We are one of the largest customers, so we are able to work closely with them to really help enhance their product by sharing and providing real-time feedback on things we are seeing in everyday workflow and tweaks we feel will enhance the product.”
With the company active in 26 states and 178 locations, it is important to ensure that the over 2 million people who visit American Family Care each year have the best, most cost-effective care, that includes being able to transfer records to other healthcare providers. Williams is working to share medical records safely and securely with their partners, whether hospitals, small and large physician practices, as well as ER staff, for the best overall patient care.
Patient care is at the core of what CHIME members are all about and as one of CHIME’s newest members, Williams is excited to grow as both professionally and personally.
“I welcome the opportunity to engage with and network with likeminded individuals who have been where we are going, are open to sharing experiences and perspectives on this evolving industry, and at the same time, I have things I can share with others who haven’t been where we have been. I can be a resource for others in the space as well.”
Williams is not only a CIO, but a family man who enjoys a healthy work-life balance; a lifelong learner with a “healthy expectation” for his golf game.
“I love what I do, I am blessed to be in a field that I absolutely love, and enjoy doing every day,” he said. “I love the challenges that it offers, and I love the fact that it is evolving, I am not a static guy–I am very much intrinsically motivated, I love solving problems.”
He credits his CEO for the opportunity to be on the leading edge of changing lives. Everyone will need healthcare at some point in their lives, and improving quality of care improves quality of life as well.