National Health IT week kicks off on September 15th. The goal of the week is to recognize how health IT is advancing medicine and to promote “One Voice. One Vision.” for our industry. With a chance to acknowledge a market that profoundly impacts each of us personally, I recalled a recent experience. This encounter reminded me that the industry is moving towards a shared vision, changing medicine and improving a fundamentally flawed system – even if those efforts are done quietly.
In August, I was asked to participate in a business journal panel on technology and the future of healthcare. The team organizing the event purposely recruited eight panelists from distinct healthcare market segments. From the outset, it appeared that each person would bring unique but potentially conflicting perspectives. The panel intent was clear: spark conversations between providers, clinical experts, payers, bigger health IT vendors, health IT start-ups and academic leaders on whether health IT can truly advance medicine and help solve critical national health issues.
I love tough, healthy debates. But this 2-hour discussion wasn’t exactly that. Instead of disagreement on whether health IT will advance medicine, there was a shared sense of passion that health information technology must, and in fact already is, making an impact on medicine.
Representing the “large health IT vendor” on the panel, I chose not to speak about Citrix products or how we plan to impact healthcare. Instead, I shared stories on behalf of those that inspire me – the thousands of healthcare providers we’re proud to call our customers.
I’ve had the chance to get to know many IT leaders from these organizations over the past few years. Understanding how diligently they’re working to improve U.S. healthcare is inspirational. And it’s made me personally invested in their success, and in finding them the recognition they deserve.
So with National Health IT Week kicking off, this is my chance to pay homage to these inspiring people and organizations. While they often don’t realize it, or their progress goes unnoticed as new challenges emerge, the headway they’ve made warrants attention. Over the next week, I’ll share 3 blogs on how providers are leveraging health IT to:
- Put information at clinician’s fingertips to accelerate clinical decision-making and reduce inefficiencies
- Encourage the best and most compassionate caregivers to join (and stay in) the profession of medicine, and
- Bring accountable, value-based care into the communities that need it most
With each of these examples, you will see a common theme: health IT leaders are breaking from past molds. They’re working across organizational lines and medical specialties so internal IT strategies focus on the people that provide care and the people that receive care. They are putting their own version of “One Voice. One Vision” into motion for health IT.
If there was one thing I did debate during the aforementioned panel discussion, it was a comment that, “if IT is in charge of the implementation of technology, it’s doomed”. I debated this because I truly believe IT leaders recognize they’re not ‘lone soldiers’ anymore. As one customer explained, “Success is delivering the product that is needed to treat our patients. The physicians are looking for certain things – being mobile, getting to the patient data they need, wherever they are and whenever they need it. Our goal is to make it as easy as possible, at the same time securing data. We want to make sure that the technology we’re implementing is usable and not something that stifles the physicians workflow. Their endgame is making sure patients are treated, and we can’t make that difficult for them”. Christian Boucher from Southcoast Health shares more in this video.
Along with these strategies, health IT leaders will define robust approaches to gather input from users, develop clinical champions, test in real-world scenarios and focus wholeheartedly on showing value. They too want clinicians and patients to get the most from their investment. Penn State Hershey Medical Center is a great example. Before the organization rolling out it’s Clinical Mobile Workspace called iConnect, the organization created this video. Their own clinical champions showed others how the technology is used, the value it provides caregivers and patients, and how to set it up on their mobile device of choice – in a matter of minutes.
This is the new era of health IT. While many advances occur behind the scenes, I hope that what I’ll share over the next week will make our industry as proud as I am about how far we’ve come.
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Lindsay Sanchez: Sr. Director, Vertical Solutions Marketing & Strategy, Healthcare Evangelist
Lindsay Sanchez is a senior vertical and solutions leader with 14 years of experience developing, planning and executing go-to-market strategies for multi-billion dollar high-tech companies. At Citrix, Lindsay is responsible for defining and executing the company-wide enterprise and vertical solutions marketing strategy. Her current focus includes Healthcare, Financial Services & Insurance, Legal and Education. Since joining Citrix in early 2006, Mrs. Sanchez has served in a variety of product and solutions marketing leadership roles. She holds a bachelors degree from Middlebury College in Vermont.