Tony Williams joined UTMB’s Correctional Managed Care family more than 20 years ago, as assistant director of health information management. He also served as executive director of clinical programs prior to his current role as associate vice president of Inpatient Services.
Williams was a system administrator for CMC’s electronic medical record and was instrumental in the development of many of the transcribed documents, chart management, appointment scheduling templates and diagnostic maintenance systems currently used today. His vast knowledge of information management and operational processes has been vital in the ongoing development and maintenance of the EMR system.
Before joining UTMB, Williams worked with the Texas Department of Criminal Justice as a regional medical records administrator and was promoted to system-wide coordinator for medical records.
He received a bachelor’s degree in medical records administration from UTMB and a master’s degree in business administration from Sam Houston State University.
What does Best Care mean to you and how do you contribute?
Best Care is an opportunity for any health care entity to provide access to the highest quality of care to its patient population given the available fiscal and system resources. As a servant leader, I strongly believe in facilitating Best Care by ensuring health care staff has the resources needed to provide quality services that measure up well against industry metrics and standards.
What are the biggest challenges you face as AVP for Inpatient Services?
There are three huge challenges in CMC Inpatient Services: the ongoing demand for infirmary beds for patients discharged from acute care settings, the effective management of end-stage kidney disease and chronic kidney disease patients, and limited inpatient mental health beds for a growing caseload in corrections. Caring for this population is even more complicated since the health acuity of offenders entering prison is typically higher than in the “free world” due to poor life choices such as drug abuse, high levels of violence, etc. The fact that the Texas Department of Criminal Justice prison population is aging and there are more patients with medical and mental health inpatient needs further complicates delivery of services. Although the challenges are plentiful, our CMC employees are committed to providing Best Care to all, and we continue to look for innovative, low-cost ways to provide health care without risking quality.
What inspired you to pursue a career in the correctional managed care environment?
As a health information management student at UTMB, I read an article regarding the need for HIM professions in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, known as TDC back then. I felt I would have a greater impact in a non-traditional health care setting and would be exposed to more opportunities to advance in the profession. Both proved to be true.
What was your first job?
My first job was as a bus boy/dishwasher in a new steak house. This was a great experience that taught me how timely customer service and cleanliness is paramount in any setting.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Most of my activities outside of work are fishing, hunting and volunteer civic support—I serve as the president of a memorial scholarship fund and am a member of a local Economic Development Corporation. My fishing excursions can be local trips along the Gulf Coast, as well as an annual fishing trip in Canada.
Do you have any hidden talents?
Most people wouldn’t know that I’m a former professional saxophonist. I started playing the sax in the 7th grade and often volunteered to play at various fundraising functions. I also played in a jazz band at cocktail clubs in the Houston area and began cutting an album with a local R&B group before I started college.
What’s something you always wanted to do but have not done yet?
I’d like to attend an Oakland Raiders football game in Oakland, California. I became a Raiders fan as a young child because they played an aggressive style of football that I liked. Also, a family friend (Lester Hayes) was actually drafted by the Raiders and won a Super Bowl with the team.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
The Himalayas. It’s an extremely remote part of the world that has a landscape and wildlife that intrigues me.