I’ve learned that being given the freedom to try new things, fail, and succeed, can ultimately lead to innovation, professional growth, and personal satisfaction. I saw the power and promise of iterative learning at a presentation on Watson, IBM’s technology that uses the ability to analyze both structured and unstructured data, natural language capabilities, hypothesis generation, and evidence-based learning to support medical professionals as they make decisions.
So much of what I’ve learned through my years of interviewing CIOs, CMIOs, and other leaders is that culture change is usually at the heart of healthcare IT innovation. What I learned recently from Stephen J. Dubner, who was the keynote at the 2012 New York eHealth Collaborative Digital Health Conference, is that what incentivizes behavior change is often very hard to predict.
Remember back in middle school gym class when the team captains began the agonizing process of selecting teams for whatever the sport you were playing at the time. You'd cringe and hope you wouldn't be the last kid standing waiting to be chosen for a team. Well, that seems to be a possible consideration for organizations that are still pondering their next steps for health information exchange (HIE) and community alignment.
Everyone from time to time needs some help. A more-experience hand to help us along, be it in our personal lives, like a piano teacher, a basketball coach, a life coach. Others may need some assistance in their professional lives, perhaps in a work mentor or a skills trainer. What I’ve realized in my personal live, as well as what I’ve been hearing from those I’ve interviewed, is that at one point we all need a little help to move forward on our particular brand of transformation.
With new imaging requirements in Stage 2 meaningful use, IT departments are going to have to start the arduous task of integrating imaging into clinical workflows. It's apt that more organizations will be following a path similar to UPMC, which is successfully federating multiple imaging archives into a more "patient-centric" view, where all images are pulled together in one federated diagnostic image repository, called SingleView.
For a larger feature on enterprise imaging that I’ve been working on, I touched base with Todd Rogow, director of information technology at HealthInfoNet, Maine’s statewide health information exchange, to see how the statewide image repository that jumpstarted in May was shaping up. And from the interest of other states being shown in this model, it appears to be going quite well.
Many organizations are moving forward with population health initiatives tackling many problems like reducing preventable readmissions, ED utilization, and frequent flyers. At the core of all of these types of initiatives are a number of common elements, one of them being the ability to provide physicians in practice with real-time data on their patients. However, many challenges remain in how to access these multiple sources of data, and how to make decisions on which IT resources to use to analyze it.
I think Henry Ford articulated it best when he said, "Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, only this time more wisely." We all learn from our mistakes, and I think one area rife with redos and re-tinkering of strategies is the health information exchange (HIE) market.
There were several things that caught my eye lately, namely Cerner's computer outage and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's interesting consent management process that I find worth exploring. Putting together processes for data center outages and HIE consent management are just a couple of the many challenges healthcare IT leaders are facing today.
In our post-ACA world, healthcare organizations large and small are on the gradual path toward forming accountable care organizations (ACO) to provide value-based care for patient populations. A small pilot at the Cleveland Clinic Heart & Vascular Institute and the Cleveland Clinic Bariatric & Metabolic Institute is showing the possibilities for clinical registries to synthesize data from different sources into a common understandable format to track high-risk patients and manage patient populations for ACOs.