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Favorite Quotes of 2012

January 2, 2013
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A snapshot of some of the health IT challenges addressed last year

Last year I looked back through the news stories and blog items I’d written in 2011 and pulled out a few favorite quotes that seemed provocative or intriguing. I decided to do the same thing this year, because I think these quotes also provide something of a snapshot of where we are in the evolution of healthcare IT. Without further ado, then, here are my 10 favorite quotes from the stories I wrote in 2012:

“ACOs are the tip of the iceberg. We are moving to routine data sharing on a vast scale with all our stakeholders.”
-- Niall Brennan, director of the Office of Information Products and Data Analytics, Office of Enterprise Management, in the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services

 “It seems like most of the focus has been on how are we going to pay instead of what we want to buy. It’s as if we went to a car dealer and spent the whole time talking about the financing and none talking about the features of the car.”

-- Jeffrey Brenner, M.D., executive director of the nonprofit Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers in New Jersey, commenting on the public dialog about the Affordable Care Act.

“I would describe our current state as an archipelago, with many islands of excellence. Within its boundaries components of a learning health system are already taking place.”
-- Charles Friedman, PhD, director of the Health Informatics Program in the University of Michigan Schools of Information and Public Health & former chief scientific officer for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

“It was very disappointing to think we would wind down after hundreds of stakeholders volunteered their time to work on an HIE framework.”
--Keith Cox, CEO, Health Information Partnership for Tennessee, after his organization’s board chose to drop plans to create a statewide clinical health information exchange.

“The ability to interface in healthcare offers the possibility of unbounded opportunity for discovery. But without standards, that effort is going to fail. Currently we have a cacophony of data that needs to be managed, integrated, massaged, and distilled. It will only confuse us if we don’t take the next steps.”
-- Kevin Fickenscher, M.D., president and CEO of the American Medical Informatics Association

Chief information security officers “can replace ‘fear, uncertainty and doubt’ with nuance, fact and confidence. Nuance is how the facts relate to your organization specifically, which provides confidence that your recommendation or response is appropriate.”
-- Michael Boyd, director of information security management for 32-hospital Providence Health & Services

“What we find is that technology is about 20 percent of the solution and 80 percent is more sociological: how the tool fits into the workflow and what type of incentives work best.”

-- David A. Dorr, M.D., an associate professor in Oregon Health & Science University’s Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology, who has spent the last several years developing IT tools for care managers.

“The biggest challenge of Stage 2 meaningful use is going to be engaging patients and families. That requires a huge cultural shift. Getting patients registered for secure messaging is not going to happen by the staff suggesting it. The physician is going to have to actively engage them about why it is important to use a portal.”
-- Denise Scott, director of quality & informatics at CDPA, a multi-specialty practice association in western Massachusetts

“A best-of-breed system is more difficult to provide support and training for. Users call the help desk and they’re not even sure which system they are in.”
-- Donald Levick, M.D., M.B.A., Lehigh Valley Health Network’s chief medical information officer

“I would say to health system CIOs you have to be careful with the definitions. You can say you want to look for high-risk members, but high risk of what? High medical costs? Not being treated with evidence-based protocols? Before you send in five business intelligence guys to start drilling into the data, be sure you have your definitions and goals clear.”

-- Dan Coate, principal, Aspen Advisors

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