4 thoughts on 'disruption' in healthcare from NewYork-Presbyterian CIO Daniel Barchi

Hospital leaders must constantly consider the next wave of technological disruption to stay competitive in the healthcare industry, according to Daniel J. Barchi, senior vice president and CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian in New York City.

"As leaders, we need to think, what is disruption? And what is really going to disrupt us?" Mr. Barchi said during a keynote presentation Sept. 22 at the Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle Conference in Chicago. "We need to think, as leaders, how we grow and learn, and then embrace the next technology."

Here are four key thoughts Mr. Barchi shared during his keynote speech.

On self-disruption and "lateral thinking"

"Just recently, [Purdue University] went out and bought [online college] Kaplan University … They knew they were going to be disrupted by this at some point. So they said, 'let's disrupt ourselves, let's see what's coming, and let's get in front of it.' And in that way, they were really thinking in a different way. … They were doing something called 'lateral thinking,'" Mr. Barchi said. "Lateral thinking is when you stop playing with the pieces you think you've been given and by the rules you think exist and start playing by entirely different rules, and magical things can happen. … We need to think about how we can do more of that in healthcare."

On why hospital leaders can't be distracted by "bright shiny objects"

"We have to be quick and nimble with lateral thinking — like drones. At the same time, we have people to take care of, people in our [intensive care units], we need things to work. We need the planes to run on time. We need [to be] on time, and steady, and sustainable, and reliable. We almost need to be of two minds at all times. Ready to do the quick and nimble things, but ready to be really reliable. You know what we can't be? Halfway in between. That doesn't work," he said. "It's a challenge as leaders to be in this space at all times and be ready to go. It requires leadership. At the end of the day, it's about the important stuff, not BSOs, [or] 'bright shiny objects.' We can't be lured off by the new $2 million piece of software."

On the defining qualities of "revolution"

"We need to embrace these revolutions [in technology] as they come along," he said. "I went back and did a study of revolutions as they happened, from the first industrial revolution up to what's being called the fourth industrial revolution today with prediction and artificial intelligence. What's interesting is most of these revolutions are when something that was expensive becomes cheap. Whether it's steam power, electricity, electronics or today [when] it's about predictive science. When predictive science becomes cheap, we can do things with it we've never been able to do before."

On the importance of the "second curve"

"When we embrace these new technologies, we need to learn, and then we need to apply it, and then we need to learn some more. It's called the second curve," he said. "At some point, all this new technology peters out and you need to learn the next thing. Harvard Business Review said things often look rosiest just before a company starts to head into decline. If you think about this, it's 'everything looks great, I've got no new competitors, I seem to own this market,' but because everybody else has left the market. If you think about Blackberry, Kodak, they had these great periods, but then they went into decline. They never got themselves on the next curve."

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