During a discussion on health IT and electronic medical records, a senior physician once said to me "I feel after so many years of medical school and decades worth of practice, I ended up as a typist." Earlier today, a massive ransomware attack infected computers worldwide and went as far as to seriously disrupt operations in the UK National Health Service. We are in a new age for healthcare, one with immeasurable challenge and concerns.
This is a reality I have come to appreciate after working with many clinicians and provider organizations nationwide (and worldwide). The complexities and uncertainty of the present day combined with the pace of change and innovation only seem to be making healthcare more perplexing than promising.
What does the future of healthcare look like? Where will politics and consumerism lead it to? Which technologies can help? What are the opportunities and risks, or perhaps threats? The list of questions is long.
What many providers do not realize (or perhaps forget) is this new reality for healthcare correlates with the very nature of health systems. Complex adaptive systems with non-linear components. Constantly self-organizing, interacting, adapting, responding, and exhibiting behaviors towards the forces within and from beyond. More importantly, naturally becoming counter-intuitive and even resisting change. The key to effectively exploring and understanding such systems depends greatly on which lens we choose to view it through.
I choose to view health systems through a complex systems-thinking lens. This modern paradigm takes us away from more conventional "mechanical" views of health systems to one where health systems are "living" organisms, not machines. Where the crux of system design is established in people, relationships, and experiences that can be interpreted towards appreciating the sum of the whole, not just the parts. Where lack of clarity is a natural product of appreciating the irrationality of living entities, inside and outside the system. Where having the ability to fully control such an intricate extension of our social realm in addition to being able to seemingly measure it as behaving rationally and rendering it as almost lifeless, is irrational.
I am passionate about strengthening healthcare by focusing on the interrelations between technology, patients, and providers. It is with great pleasure to have joined IDC, the premier global provider of market intelligence, to work on areas of direct significance to my research ethos and specifically lead the provider IT transformation strategies practice. Topics that will be covered will be those of most relevance to healthcare providers looking to navigate strategic challenges in health information technology. I will also be closely analyzing the healthcare industry on a constant watch for information technologies that exhibit qualities that truly embrace the nature of healthcare in this age and especially that of the provider space.
We are witnessing a digital transformation that is revolutionizing healthcare. It is no longer an option to not make it a strategic priority. My intention is to empower executive, clinical, and technical healthcare IT leaders with meaningful, impactful, and critical insights to help them transform complexity to clarity in their decisions around this area. In turn, I will be developing research that helps providers enhance quality, decrease costs, optimize systems, and champion care through health IT. There are many exciting topics to cover and much work to be done, please feel free to follow, connect, and reach out to me with any ideas, suggestions, questions, and/or feedback.