healthcaretechoutlook

Healthcare Technology Enables - "The Value of Communication, Culture and Collaboration"

By Dhrumil Shah, CMIO & CIO, Compass Medical

Dhrumil Shah, CMIO & CIO, Compass Medical

Technology enabled disruptive innovations have paved the way for consumerism in many industries like automotive, retail, finance and telecommunications. Then why is Healthcare Consumerism so difficult and complex, that most disruptive technologies are still struggling to fix the basic needs of our system? Perhaps it is due to the fact that this is an industry which is largely driven by the Culture of ‘Command and Control.’ Perhaps it is because our basic communication norm is ‘Do Not share DATA unless you have to.’ There is nothing more complex in healthcare than defining and agreeing on the problems to solve and measuring the value to enable behavioral modifications. If you are a healthcare provider in this supply chain process, it leaves you wondering ‘What value is it that I am responsible for producing and what am I being measured on?’

There is a lot of awareness and talks about transition from ‘Fee for Service’ to ‘Value based medicine’ in the industry but have we really educated our healthcare force and the providers who are primarily responsible for producing this change? Value in Healthcare is largely dependent on outcomes we are able to produce and outcomes are the byproducts of science and art which enables behavioral modifications. Healthcare IT has a true potential to disrupt this industry inside and out but yet we struggle to get past initial wave of innovations making an impact visible enough to change clinician behaviors and produce convincing clinical utility data.

To achieve higher goals, perhaps one has to understand the first step in the process of engineering design—‘Defining a Problem.’ The real problem in healthcare is that we have too many problems and our TEAMs especially clinicians which provide the care and patients which receives the care are not enabled sufficiently to execute and sustain real outcomes. Why is that? Perhaps the answer lies in understanding the five stages of Behavioral Modifications. Engage-Educate-Motivate-Execute and Sustain. Healthcare technology can enable us with all of these five stages of behavioral modifications and create highly effective solutions and tangible population health outcomes.

Have we really educated our healthcare force and the providers who are primarily responsible for producing this change?

Five steps to succeed in creating sustainable business model

• Aim High
• TEAM Up
• Fail Well
• Learn Fast 
• Repeat the Cycle

I have seen many great ideas in Healthcare poorly executed and so called mediocre idea evolve over time with great execution especially when it comes to innovative endeavors. The key to success lies in the TEAM and its ability to work cohesively before we can learn to fail well. Especially in healthcare this is very true as this is an industry where ‘Evidence based medicine’ and ‘Failure is not an option’ are some of the integrated principles of our early education. It is very hard for this industry to embrace early failures and learn very fast from them. The landscape is changing very rapidly as we are seeing entrepreneurs and innovators already working to challenge this culture from inside out. We are also seeing many disruptive innovations and solutions creating incremental improvements and reducing waste in healthcare spending.

There are many opportunities around us to leverage and create value, but to start this journey first we have to learn to acknowledge this value and collaborate on collective efforts and insights needed for us to grow. Immersing ourselves in these educational experiences which are likely to make us feel uncomfortable, and being ‘opportunistic’ and ‘agile’ with that new knowledge is the best enabler for us to be part of Healthcare success stories.