In my last blog post, I shared some of the comments Michael Dahlweid, VP Product & Portfolio Management for GE Healthcare IT, shared with CPNUG (CentricityTM Perinatal Users Group) attendees in his session “Succeeding in the World of Value-Driven Healthcare.” He spoke about one of biggest themes he hears as he talks to our customers: the focus on delivering better outcomes. More and more, discussions about outcomes are occurring in the healthcare community—at the provider level, vendor level, government level, and even the patient level as patients become more engaged in their care plans.
The outcomes we are talking about have faces and names. Rob Taylor is one. By lucky coincidence, I was seated next to Rob (who gave us permission to identify him by name) at a recent Red Sox game (and, yes, they did win that night, thanks for asking). Rob, who said he is referred to as “B1” in medical journals, told me that he was about 11 years old when he became the youngest patient at the time to have angioplasty and the first to have angioplasty in the lungs—and about 5 years later, he became the first to have stents in the lungs. Prior to angioplasty, his diagnosis was quite dire. Thanks to countless conversations among his care providers, tireless efforts to collaborate on his treatment plan, and brave innovations in surgical procedures, Rob is now a delightful, incredibly grateful adult “outcome.”
The fact that Rob Taylor is here to enjoy the finer things in life (i.e., Fenway Park) is the result of more than one doctor, vendor, organization, or system. It takes continuous conversations between all the stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem to drive enhanced outcomes like Rob’s. To improve the quality, cost, and access to healthcare, we must work together. One system rarely can meet the needs of all stakeholders across a healthcare organization. The needs of patients are different, which means the needs of the caregivers who treat them are different as well. The system must address the unique workflows within the various care areas, while supporting the overall goals of the organization. That’s why many of our customers are augmenting their Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system they use for their longitudinal patient record with a system that addresses the critical and complex workflows of clinicians in the various units of the hospital.
So the need for systems to interoperate is paramount. A commitment to open standards and continuously improving interoperability is a goal that should be shared by system vendors. It’s why we are an active member in key industry & government standards bodies (like HL7, HIE, HealtheWay, and DICOM). And it’s why we continue to invest in interoperability engineering and regularly work with other vendors on behalf of our customers, driving proven connectivity between our system and virtually any EMR or other system. To drive enhanced outcomes, we must work together. People are depending on us.
On a beautiful evening out at the ol’ ballpark, I met a personal and powerful reminder of what happens when the healthcare community works together. We help drive great outcomes. We hit the ball out of the park.