4 thoughts on healthcare from McKesson CEO John Hammergren

McKesson is one the largest EHR vendors, commanding top market share along with companies like Epic and Cerner. The company's CEO John Hammergren recently shared his views on healthcare and the EHR market in an interview with Fortune.

Here are four thoughts from Mr. Hammergren.

1. On the balance between innovation and regulations and cost. "You have to be in it for the long haul. Through acquisitions, our company has been involved in technology for customers since the 1960s. We've been in this business for a long time… Healthcare is difficult because of the complexity."

2. On what healthcare has learned from EHRs. "Health records, before we started to automate them, were all handwritten in paper files. Today, they are being automated very rapidly. I think the positive is that the records are available for things like data and analytics, and for sharing. The missing component is that we still have not gotten to the interoperability that we and others desired. I think that remains the biggest challenge left for our industry."

3. On the challenges of interoperability. "They are large hurdles. But I think CommonWell was really created to help. The question should be, 'What should I do to provide the best care?' There's no technical reason that we can't connect to pharmacies. For example, CVS Health is a member of CommonWell. I think the most important aspect of CommonWell is for the industry to come together to create standards that allow interoperability to take place. Once that standard is created, there is no longer an excuse for someone to say, 'Well, I can't figure out how to make my system talk to somebody else's system.'"

4. On personalized medicine. "We help our customers deal with the mountain of information that's made available to them. They need to develop a care plan that makes sense based on individual characteristics of the patient. Our ability to provide customers with data that is actionable, that is accurate and that is easy to use will be paramount to any kind of adoption of personalized medicine. I just don't think the providers are going to have the time for several hours' worth of research for each patient who they interact with. I think the industry is going to have to automate that."

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