The greatest benefit of working with the online #HITsm community is, without a doubt, the opportunity to collaborate with and learn from so many brilliant, passionate health IT and health technology leaders and innovators. Our weekly tweetchat – which is now in its sixth year – continues to present new ideas and conversations on how the care of patients, through the use of technology, can be improved.
For the past four years, our annual #HITsm gathering at the HIMSS Conference and Exhibition has continued to evolve and now allows us to bring the conversations typically confined to social media to an exciting “real life,” in-person format. Much like 2015, this year’s HIMSS event will feature an outstanding panel of experts, who have graciously volunteered to share their thoughts with us in a unique Q&A format straight from the exhibit hall.
Add it to your HIMSS calendar here. This year’s event is located in the HX360 Innovation Pavilion, which is located on Level 3 in the Murano and San Polo rooms.
As you can tell from the graphic above (which I encourage everyone to share via social media), we have chosen Innovation in Health IT as the topic for discussion. This year’s panelists include:
- Lygeia Ricciardi, president of Clear Voice Consulting and former director of the Office of Consumer e-Health at the ONC
- Dr. Rasu Shrestha, chief innovation officer at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and executive vice president at UPMC Enterprises
- David Chou, health IT advisor, CIO, and regular contributor to Health Standards
- Drex DeFord, freelance digital health advisor, and former CIO at Scripps Health, Seattle Children’s, and Steward Healthcare
I’m also happy to have everyone’s favorite #HITsm chat leader, Mandi Bishop, serve as co-moderator with me for this panel discussion.
Why did I choose innovation for this year’s topic?
Innovation is a term that’s thrown about loosely in technology circles. I’ve worked with the local Health 2.0 group where every startup is “innovative,” “revolutionary,” “disruptive,” or a “game changer.” Imagine what the industry would look like if each new piece of technology completely changed operations or rewrote current hospital workflows? My guess is that we would see a revolt and a quick return to fax machines and paper files, and that’s to say nothing about how new tech impacts patient care.
What I am looking to hear from this group of fantastic panelists is: What kind of technology innovation does health care need? And, what can we say to calm the fears of those who are afraid of the change that innovation can bring to their jobs, to their coworkers, and to the soon-to-be dated skillsets they have worked so many years to perfect?
It’s only appropriate that this year’s event will be held on the exhibit floor, where hundreds of vendors will be promoting their special brand of innovative technology.
According to Mandi: “I plan to challenge each of our panelists to talk about how each of the ideas we’re discussing can be realistically applied at scale – and how it will impact the lives of real people in the real world, not just those of us healthcare wonks who live to dream up new ways to make the world better. If there is not a way to reach mass market adoption to solve the problem for the broader population of intended users/benefactors of the innovation, is it a worthwhile pursuit?
“The flip side of that is how do we overcome the barriers to adoption for much useful innovation that’s already been introduced in the past several years.”
To serve as a teaser of the type of discussions we will have at the HIMSS event, I sent each of the four panelists a question about innovation that Mandi and I will use to serve as a starting point for our live discussion.
Enjoy, and we hope to see you all at HIMSS16, 10 a.m., in the HX360 Innovation Pavilion!
Much innovation goes unnoticed in hospitals and health systems. What unheralded innovations are you most excited about?
Innovation doesn’t have to be instantly industry-changing to be important. Sometimes it’s the small stuff like creating visual systems to better manage work flow, or building and following standard work processes. Lots of small innovation adds up to better, faster, cheaper, safer, easier-to-access healthcare for patients and families. An army of incremental performance improvement enthusiasts are something to get excited about. The moral to the story: You don’t have to spend a million dollars to be innovative!
Vendors, providers, and even the government keep searching for technology that can engage patients. Why do so many current solutions miss the mark?
Although there are thousands of apps, wearables, portals, and other tools designed to engage patients in health, most are fairly limited in the information they draw on and the motivation they are able to provide. Portals tend to report only the clinical data in an individual’s medical record, while most apps and wearables collect and use only data related to behavior and environment, such as data on exercise, diet, and symptoms reported by the patient or his or her device.
The magic of engagement is more likely to happen when solutions incorporate both kinds of data: clinical and behavioral – and mash them up in ways that are clear and actionable. I believe we’ll get there, but we need better access to clinical data (it is still ridiculously difficult to access!) and more refined ways of helping people transform information and knowledge into action in their daily lives.
What type of innovative technology do you think could have the most widespread impact on the health care industry?
There are two technologies that will change healthcare. First is the smart device (iOT) in the healthcare setting. Smart devices include sensors, wearables, and other connected medical devices. These smart devices will allow the patient and clinician the ability to proactively monitor their health and obtain real time data so that the clinician can intervene if needed. The cost of sensors and smart technology now is very affordable and I do see them playing a critical role in managing the health of the future patient.
The second technology that will have an impact is reality technology. This technology provides an experience that can simulate various healthcare scenarios and it is a great tool for training clinical staff (e.g., training the clinical staff on the proper technique to transport a patient). The possibilities in reality technology are huge and I see smart devices and virtual reality as the two main technologies that will change how we practice medicine in the future.
Is it realistic or fair to think that larger enterprise health IT organizations can actually innovate on a big scale?
Dr. Rasu Shrestha:
The biggest enemy of innovation is complacency. It may seem like larger organizations may be more set in their ways, and, hence, may be more averse to change. This assumption may hold true for vendors, or for healthcare provider or payer organizations. The reality, however, is that for organizations big and small, it is as critical to continue to look within as it is to look without in search for meaningful innovations.
Innovation is a strategic imperative. It needs to be ingrained into the culture of all organizations. Organizations that are able to embrace innovation in a big way, stand the chance to continue to differentiate themselves from the pack.
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