Dr. Michael Pfeffer on how healthcare will change in the next five years

Health CIOs need to be on the cutting edge of innovation and be able to project what technology is going to change the healthcare market.

Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Health Care CIO and Associate Dean at the Stanford University School of Medicine Michael Pfeffer, MD, stopped by the "Becker's Hospital Review" podcast to discuss changing technology.

Note: This is an edited excerpt. Listen to the full podcast here.

Question: How do you see healthcare delivery changing in the next five years? What technologies are most essential to support that shift?

Dr. Michael Pfeffer: I think if you ask five people you get 10 different answers. So I kind of think about this shift of value and that has been talked about, but I am looking at it in a little bit of a different light over the next five years in that the value that people or patients or providers get out of healthcare delivery and working in healthcare, I think is more personal and requires personal preference and personal choices in ways that we are getting better and better at providing. It is kind of an individual value proposition to patients, to clinicians and to society in general.

So how do we do that with technology while we really need to get our technology smarter in order to better support clinicians and patients? So, you know, a lot of the buzzwords — AI, precision health wearables, all of these things — but being more customized to the patient's needs and easier to use and integrate for our clinicians. So it is really focusing on those that are receiving the care and those that are providing the care. I would also say that I think we are getting better with big data and analytics, and this is going to have to become more and more useful for both providers and patients. I think that is going to happen by a little bit more focus on what I call small data, which is the kind of individualized data that is collected and aggregated into big data. As smaller data gets more accurate [and] easier to collect, we are going to get better insights as we bring all that data together.

So I think that is going to be really important and something that our technologists and data scientists are gonna play a huge role in. I mentioned health equity. I think this is absolutely critical. We need to weave it into the fabric of allour technologies that we are using in healthcare. And then finally, clinician wellbeing is really, I think, front and center now. It is absolutely critical to how we think about the user experience, how we design and implement technologies and how we look toward improving upon automation opportunities to help reduce some of the burden around technology  and administrative tasks.

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