What's not talked about in healthcare enough?

In the rapidly evolving landscape of healthcare technology, industry leaders express a common concern: the overshadowing of fundamental practices by the allure of cutting-edge innovations. 

Becker's asked seven hospital and health system leaders at the HIMSS 2024 annual meeting: What's something in healthcare or the health tech space that is not talked about enough?

Amy Trainor, BSN, RN. CIO and Senior Vice President, Ochsner Health (New Orleans): Simple solutions that focus on efficiency for physicians and nurses are not talked about enough. Some of the enhancements we made at Ochsner this year were able to save 6 million clicks from nursing, but we don't talk about reinvigorating the basics enough. We always talk about shiny new objects, but never on the things that we can do to make it easier for our staff. 

BJ Moore. CIO of Providence (Renton, Wash.): What's not talked about enough is Internet of Things. All of our biomed devices are capturing information, but none of that is going anywhere or having purpose. But what if these biomed devices streamlined all of that data to the cloud? We could have all of this telemetry 365 days a year, and then AI could be analyzing trends that were just missing. 

Clara Lin, MD. Associate Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer at Seattle Children's: With all of this talk about AI, I think virtual reality has kind of taken a little bit of a backseat. 

How do we use virtual reality to train our trainees? How do we use it to prepare patients for a procedure? How do we use it therapeutically? We shouldn't forget about VR because there's so much more use cases out there that we haven't touched on.

John Halamka, MD. President of Mayo Clinic Platform (Rochester, Minn.): I was one of the first patients sequenced in the Human Genome Project. And to me, health is a combination of who you are, the probabilities you have for disease and what you eat.

I would like to hear more about the democratization of genomic interpretation so we can give patients the ability to make lifestyle choices based on the feedback given to them.

Paul Williams. Associate Vice President of Information Services Infrastructure Technology at Penn Medicine (Philadelphia): Employee retention is not talked about enough, and there's a lot of things that go into that. It starts with recruitment, getting the right skilled talent, but then once you get them, how do you onboard them to make them feel like they're part of the organization? How do you keep them engaged? How do you ensure that they're gonna get up every day loving their job? How do you make sure that they're equitably compensated? Those are battles that everyone fights with today's economy. 

Sarah Pletcher, MD. Vice President and Executive Medical Director of Strategic Innovation at Houston Methodist: Everybody gets excited about the tech; they get excited about the devices and they get excited about the AI. But nobody is disciplined enough to talk about what actually makes the difference, and that's the boring stuff. It's project management, it's designing your workflows, it's thinking about the patient experience. 

The cooler the tech gets, the more people forget those fundamentals. 

Zafar Chaudry, MD. Senior Vice President and Chief Digital and Information Officer at Seattle Children's: I think what we've certainly learned over the last 90 days is that technology is great, and we should use it and promote its use. But the more we embed ourselves in the technology, the less prepared we are when that technology doesn't work. 

We've had many recent cyberattacks in healthcare. And what I've learned is that we're not ready for business continuity or disaster recovery. 

What is interesting to me is the better we get at using this technology, the further away we get from what would happen if we didn't have it.

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