NewYork-Presbyterian CIO on technology in the healthcare industry: 'We need to be open to embracing it as it comes along'

The healthcare industry should embrace, not fear, technology, as it improves clinicians' ability to help patients, according to Daniel Barchi, senior vice president and CIO of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. Barchi said technology will and already is improving healthcare during a keynote address Oct. 11 at the Becker's Hospital Review Health IT + RCM conference in Chicago.

"Technology is an enabler because it levels disparities," Mr. Barchi said. "Technology allows us to break down barriers."

Health IT is 80 percent people, 15 percent process and 5 percent technology, according to Mr. Barchi. He spoke about several ways the healthcare industry is already embracing technology, including through telemedicine and artificial intelligence.

"We're investing in ways to reach out to patients in their own home," Mr. Barchi said. "It's almost becoming primary care."

He addressed the fear that clinicians will be forced to become IT professionals in the future if too much technology is introduced into the healthcare industry.

"Will we all be IT people in 10 years? No, we'll still be caregivers," Mr. Barchi said.

Mr. Barchi disputed a common fear that technology will cut down the number of jobs, saying a look at the past shows that the introduction of technology does not correlate with employment rates.

"Technology is not better than our clinicians, but our clinicians plus technology are better than our clinicians alone," Mr. Barchi said.

He concluded by emphasizing the importance of having a reliable team to make the inevitable changes that come with technology work.

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