Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with David Lehr, Chief Information Officer, Anne Arundel Medical Center

David Lehr serves as Chief Information Officer for Anne Arundel Medical Center. 

On April 2nd, David will speak at Becker's Hospital Review 10th Annual Meeting. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place April 1-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and David's session, click here.

Question: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

David Lehr: I’m working on bringing a team together to establish a new innovation department called the RISE unit (Rapid Implementation of Strategic Experiments). I’m so excited about the way this could change our ability to create and tailor new healthcare models in a more agile way – like how we approach things inside of a startup. For instance, we’re hoping to launch a hospital at home program through this department. If we approached it in the typical way, it would be much slower and more capital-intensive to launch. But the RISE approach will allow us to build it on a small scale and then rapidly expand as we gain knowledge and adapt through validated learning.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

DL: I recently gave a few talks about this within our organization. The speed at which our industry is able to create new breakthroughs is exponentially increasing. Yet IHI estimates that the time from the breakthrough until it becomes common practice is 17 years! I believe that the places that aren’t able to keep up with the increasing pace of advancement are going to be replaced by those who can. Luckily, I truly believe that our organization is part of the latter group, because we work at it and we build strategies around it.

Q:Tell us about the last meaningful interaction you had with a patient.

DL: I was recently rounding on inpatients who were using our Bedside iPads to learn how the technology impacted their hospital experience. I was surprised to learn that the patients’ spouses were actually getting some of the biggest benefits from the devices. They were able to use the entertainment features as well as help support the patient better by understanding the care process and upcoming milestones. We have a really strong patient/family advisory council, so I interact with patients almost daily. But talking to people who were currently sick and receiving care in the moment is always enlightening. CIO’s need to spend time with patients.

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