6 big ideas in healthcare innovation

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From their thoughts on how to craft an effective digital health strategy to hospital at home initiatives to the most overused terms in the health IT field, here are six quotes about the role of innovation in healthcare that hospital and health system executives shared with Becker's Hospital Review in July:

Jason Szczuka. Chief Digital Officer at Bon Secours Mercy Health (Cincinnati). The way I view the promise of digital health and where, as a society, we have not optimized it yet, is the extension of the actual delivery of great care in the more convenient, connected and consistent forums, so that all participants can be greater contributors and greater receivers of the benefits of this new forum. And that will require that we connect at the nexus of virtual care and in-person care. Only by doing that will we begin to fulfill the digital health promise.

Maneesh Goyal. Chief Operating Officer at the Mayo Clinic Platform. The state and federal flexibilities provided during the pandemic made it possible for many providers across the healthcare system to revisit how we conceptualize bringing the best medical science to our patients, moving away from an a prior anchor in bricks and mortar models. Hospitals will continue to need flexibility capacity, and the regulations unlocked nonhospital spaces to be used for patient care during the COVID-19 emergency. With the rise of telemedicine and positive experiences with it, patients will expect to have home hospital care available to them. There is no going back.

Lisa Stump. Senior Vice President and CIO at Yale New Haven (Conn.) Health. I recommend we avoid the phrase "keep the lights on" when it comes to health IT. The phrase implies that IT is simply a utility in healthcare, and that we simply need our computers and systems to "turn on" when needed. The phrase vastly underrepresents digital technology and the data it generates in support of high quality health services. 

Zafar Chaudry, MD. Senior Vice President & CIO at Seattle Children's. I find that the phrase "digital" is overused. There are so many different definitions as to what "digital" really is, and it is different for each organization. Many tack on "transformation" leading to the term "digital transformation." I find that people often talk about "digital transformation" without understanding it. For example, enabling the clinical workforce to use mobile devices — now is that really "digital transformation" or simply playing catch up to 2021?

Stephen Parodi, MD. Executive Vice President of the Permanente Federation. Access to care that is simple and seamless is a priority so we can meet our members where and when they need us. Mobile and digital technologies are a part of our everyday lives, so using these capabilities to "extend the stethoscope” through the power of the healthcare system is a natural next step.

Will Weider. Senior Vice President and CIO at PeaceHealth (Vancouver, Wash.). On the top of a very long list of ambiguous and incorrectly used terms is artificial intelligence. AI has come to mean anything that involves a complex algorithm. Of course, software algorithms have continually gotten more complex since ENIAC started calculating missile trajectories. It is a given that tomorrow’s applications will be more complex than yesterday’s. So, I don’t need a consultant telling me to "use AI" without a specific use case or technology.

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