Georgia Health Information Network (GaHIN) Board member, Warren Hutchings, M.D., of the Atlanta-based Georgia State Medical Association (GSMA), was awarded the Distinguished Service Medallion for his numerous years of dedication to the Association. As the outgoing chair of the GSMA, Dr. Hutchings was recognized for his many years of dedication to the Association’s growth, development and promotion, at the Association’s annual convention at Hilton Head Island, SC, on June 12, 2014.

Dr. Hutchings currently serves on GaHIN’s Regional Health Information Exchange Committee, and for the past three years, he has offered GaHIN invaluable insight from the provider’s perspective, both as an individual clinician and as a member of a larger organization. At present, he is the medical director for Mercer University’s Student Health Center. Dr. Hutchings provides GaHIN insight on what practicing physicians face daily regarding connectivity and stability issues involving electronic health records (EHR) and electronic health information exchange.

“In the ever-changing healthcare environment, providers need tools to simplify their practices,” said Dr. Warren Hutchings. “GaHIN helps to assist Georgia’s providers with statewide and nationwide connectivity through a single source, ultimately reducing duplication of services and time wasted looking for information from multiple sources. I appreciate the opportunity GaHIN has provided me in promoting the progress of electronic health information exchange in Georgia.”

Dr. Hutchings is actively involved in implementing Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) in his family medicine practice, located in Macon, Georgia. He currently uses a certified EHR, and exchanges with two regional health exchanges: the Georgia Regional Academic Community Health Information Exchange (GRAChIE) and Central Georgia Health Exchange (CGHE). Dr. Hutchings actively shares information securely by accessing Continuity of Care Documents (CCDs) through the electronic health exchanges. He also e-prescribes and actively works with IT professionals to fine-tune the practice’s EHR and electronic health exchange functionality.

“What I find most useful through GRAChIE and the Central Georgia Health Exchange is that I can get a snapshot of my patients’ health and also see what diagnostic studies my patients have undergone so that I do not repeat those tests unnecessarily,” Dr. Hutchings said. “At the Family Health Center in Macon, I am in the process of achieving MU Stage 1 and 2. One key benefit of being a GaHIN member is that GaHIN has helped me to focus on the necessary elements in my patients’ charts that I must document in order to achieve MU Stages 1 and 2.”

Additionally, I access GaHIN’s website frequently to stay knowledgeable about GeorgiaDirect and Georgia ConnectedCare, which are invaluable resources for Georgia-based physicians and health organizations,” Dr. Hutchings concluded.

About Dr. Warren Hutchings:

A native of Macon, Georgia, Dr. Hutchings received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University and his medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. In addition to his role as medical director for the Mercer Student Health Center, he is also an assistant professor of Family Medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine.

Historically, Dr. Hutchings has had a positive impact on Georgia—and the health of Georgians across the state. In 1993, Dr. Hutchings reorganized the Macon Academy of Medicine, Dentistry and Pharmacy and founded the Middle Georgia Medical Society (MGMS). Under Dr. Hutchings’ leadership as its president from 1997 – 2000, the MGMS was voted National Medical Association (NMA) Local Society of the Year, Small Chapter for 2000. Dr. Hutchings served on the NMA Board of Trustees from 2002 – 2004 as NMA Region III Chair and served as Convention Chair and Moderator for the NMA Region III Scientific Program at the Half Moon Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica, in 2004.

Since 1993, Dr. Hutchings has been board certified in family medicine and has received awards and accolades, including: Distinguished Alumnus Award, Morehouse School of Medicine in 1999; NMA Region III Outstanding Service Award in 2005; GSMA Presidential Commendations in 1996, 2001, 2006 and 2009, the President’s Award in 2012, the Dr. George A. Johnston Sr. Community Service Award in 2004 and 2006, plus the MGMS Outstanding Leadership Award in 1996 and 2000. In 2013, Dr. Hutchings received the NMA Practitioner of the Year Award, which recognized him for his lifelong dedication to improving the health of others, his exemplary leadership and outstanding work as a physician, his ongoing efforts in the education of physicians and health care providers, as well as for his impact on the minority community.