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Continuous Learning in Healthcare and Technology

Continuous Learning in Healthcare and Technology | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

What was the last webinar you participated in? What was the last podcast you listened to? What was the last book or in-depth article you read to learn something new? The bigger question is do you have a continuous learning plan?

 

One of the things I love about working in healthcare and technology is the pace of change and that there is always something new to learn. But that is also one of the challenges. So how do we keep up?

 

Don’t doubt that having a continuous learning plan is important for your career. The most recent This Week in Health IT podcast was interviews with six CIOs. Bill Russell asked them each the same five questions. The last question was what did they wish they knew or had done before they started their current role. A theme in the answers was around staff development – needing their staff to develop new skills and developing their leadership teams.

 

There are many different options and formats for ongoing training and learning to consider. You may prefer reading or webinars or podcasts or classroom training. Most likely you need a combination of all.

 

A few observations and tips from my own experience:

 

Reading: What used to be a stack of publications piled up in my office to read has now become a lot of bookmarked articles to read online. I read a lot of articles each week and add more to my list, even though I may not get to them. Having a few good “go to” resources and knowing your key areas of interest help manage and filter out the noise.

 

Webinars: You could spend several hours a week just doing webinars. Focus on a few “go to” resources and register for the ones that are most relevant to what you need to know. Or register for something new that you want to learn about. Once you put it on your calendar, consider it like any meeting. Too often we register with good intentions and then decide we don’t have the time when that day comes. But, if you really can’t make the time, many webinars are archived and available later.

 

Podcasts: I find several times a week when I can be listening and learning – driving a long distance, gym workout, or walking the dog. Find the podcast series that are most useful to you and subscribe. Then go to your Podcast library and pick one next time you have 30 minutes to listen.

 

Conferences: IT budgets have gotten tighter over the years and far fewer people are able to attend conferences. As a CIO, I encouraged the “divide and conquer” strategy. Plan in advance, coordinate attendance at sessions and hold staff accountable for sharing their learning when they return.

 

Online courses: This is a new one for me. I’ve thought of going back to school to get more current in healthcare and technology emerging topics, but I really would just like to take some specific courses. I am hearing about edX, an online learning destination offering a huge collection of online education courses, Also, there are MicroMasters programs, a series of graduate level courses from top universities.

 

Degrees and certificate programs: If you are considering going back to school for an advanced degree, more power to you. I got my MBA over a four-year period taking one course a quarter when my children were young, and I was already in management. It was hard to balance it all. But I had the long view on the value of getting my master’s degree and never allowed myself to say I was too busy to do it. I saw too many colleagues putting off starting a program and others skipping quarters – all because they thought they were too busy. A certificate program in a focused area is another option to consider. Most likely your company offers some form of tuition reimbursement. Make sure you understand the benefits and take advantage of whatever is offered.

 

I’m guessing that for those six CIOs who were interviewed and every CIO I know, one of their ongoing challenges when they review their IT budget is training and development. They want to invest in their staff and that takes time and money.

 

But far too often, the various institutional memberships we were paying for were way underutilized. I found the solution was to educate and promote the resources to my entire staff. If possible, try to work with the company to customize and target content that is most relevant to you. Organizational level subscriptions and memberships in HIMSS, Scottsdale Institute, Advisory Board, or Gartner to name a few should be leveraged to their fullest. If not, they will be the first line item to cut at budget time.

 

Some of the smartest and most successful people follow the “5 hours a week rule” – spending 5 hours a week learning. Busy people like former President Obama, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey follow it. So why can’t you?

 

Think about continuous learning like you do your gym workout schedule. Develop a plan that’s right for you. Make the time. And remember, it’s an investment in you.

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Innovation or disruption?

Innovation or disruption? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

“You only call it a disruption because you didn’t create it – stop being disrupted, innovate.” That was just one of the messages in the opening keynote from Terry Jones at the fifth Annual Thought Leaders on Access Symposium (ATLAS) in Boston this week. His talk was titled “Turning Disruption OFF and Turning canstockphoto30429373 (1) innovationInnovation ON”.

 

As an entrepreneur with an impressive history, Terry Jones knows what he’s talking about. He is best known for founding Travelocity.com and serving as founding Chairman of Kayak.com. As consumers, we’ve experienced the disruptive innovations in the travel industry. As healthcare leaders, we were challenged by Terry to consider the innovations and disruptions yet to come in our industry.

 

ATLAS is a patient access conference for hospital and health system leaders sponsored by Kyruus for their customers and invited guests. Kyruus is a software firm that offers provider search, scheduling, and data management solutions to help health systems match patients with the right providers and enhance patient access enterprise-wide. This year’s theme was “Systemness. Ignited.” with excellent speakers on innovation and digital transformation in healthcare. The focus of the conference was on patient and consumer engagement. Health systems such as Banner Health and Piedmont Healthcare, leaders in transforming the patient experience, shared their stories.

 

It was inspiring to see so many healthcare leaders passionate about improving the patient experience. I’ve been in health IT management for decades and I was humbled to hear leaders from marketing, patient access, and innovation teams talk about getting things done in spite of roadblocks they sometimes face from IT.

 

I was in the invited guest category as a panelist for the session “Getting Buy-In for Digital Innovation at Your Health System”. My fellow panelists were Matt Roman, Chief Digital Strategy Officer at Duke University Health System; Don Stanziano, Chief Marketing Officer at Geisinger; and James Terwilliger VP Clinical Services at Montefiore. Judy Murphy, Chief Nursing Officer for IBM Global Healthcare, moderated.

 

We had a lively discussion on the structural approach to innovation and where it lives in an organization, how to scale innovation, and how to work with IT. I am a big proponent of IT leaders partnering with the health system’s leaders responsible for innovation if it’s not within the IT department. To be successful, innovation needs to happen from the bottom up. You need a culture that supports and encourages innovation. It can’t be one person or team’s responsibility. Having said that, support and funding must come from the top of the organization.

 

Edmondo Robinson, Chief Transformation Officer at Christiana Care Health System, did a presentation on “How to Drive Transformation in Healthcare Delivery”. He emphasized that it’s about people, process and culture first and lastly technology as an enabler.

 

Having served as CIO in four different healthcare organizations in the past several years, I’ve seen different models and approaches to innovation. There is no one size fits all model. But I think we all can agree that innovation means change and disruption. And as Terry Jones said, “If you don’t like change, you are going to like irrelevance even less.”

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Advancing healthcare through technology

Advancing healthcare through technology | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Healthcare is personal. Each of us knows stories of friends and family dealing with difficult medical issues. We hear how hard it can be to navigate the health system. It seems that one fills out the same information over and over and wonders why the physicians and hospitals don’t have it already. We hear how people must research their own conditions to make tough decisions about treatment options. We know there are access and affordability issues for many people.

 

As National Health IT week comes to an end, we must renew our commitment to make a positive impact on health care through technology.

 

I am fortunate to have worked with many passionate, committed people in healthcare over the past 30+ years. And I’m grateful to have a team of advisors working with us at StarBridge Advisors. Each has made an amazing and lasting impact on healthcare.

 

In our most recent StarBridge Advisors blog, “NHIT Week: 6 Leaders on the Value of HIT”, we discussed the value of health IT with six of our advisors. Their perspectives provide a lens into how technology is transforming healthcare though there is much more to do.

 

I encourage you to check out the perspectives shared by these CIOs and clinical leaders here. And if you like what you see, read more of our “View from the Bridge” posts and subscribe to receive notifications of new posts from our team of industry leaders.

 

Together, we all make a difference!

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The Consumerization of Healthcare: Can Providers Keep Pace?

The Consumerization of Healthcare: Can Providers Keep Pace? | Healthcare and Technology news | Scoop.it

Healthcare is undergoing a wave of consumerization. Changing regulations are requiring patients to contribute more financially toward their own care, turning them into true healthcare consumers and motivating them to make more careful and informed decisions. At the same time, the consumerization of healthcare is driving more players into the healthcare space – from tech giants like Google and Apple, to convenience-focused retailers like Walmart and CVS. These new entrants are not only creating savvier, more informed patients, but are opening up more choices for where and how consumers direct their healthcare dollars.

I see three key changes that providers will need to make in order to compete with new entrants and adapt to this new era of healthcare consumerization:

  • Making patient information a shared responsibility. The days of keeping each consumer’s information locked up in a filing cabinet and available only through a paper document request process are long over. Many providers have already started making progress by using patient portals to share information. Today’s patient portals are only a beginning. Instead of information flowing from provider to patient, consumers will increasingly want and need to contribute more of their own information, such as daily readings from weight scales, wearables or in-home test results.
  • Allowing more variety in care settings. Patients are increasingly looking for care to come to them instead of traveling to a hospital or doctor’s office. Healthcare providers are shifting care to the home and to other outpatient settings in an effort to respond to these new demands for convenience, and new connected technologies and mobile devices are making it easier to deliver quality care in new settings.
  • Delivering more personal healthcare. In an era of healthcare consumerization, healthcare providers need to think more like other industries. This is challenging because of the perverse incentives associated with fee for service. For many patients, interacting with the healthcare system is like dealing with the DMV. Interactions can be lengthy, complicated and frustrating. However, healthcare organizations that put the patient at the center of their care delivery processes can improve the health and wellness of their communities; drive patient satisfaction and engagement, which are critical to controlling costs; and increase quality and profitability. This can start with simple measures, like providing a multi-lingual staff, addressing people by a preferred name, knowing personal histories and providing more convenient after-hours access that other industries have mastered.


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