Becker's 10th Annual Meeting Speaker Series: 3 Questions with G. Hamilton Baker, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Medical University of South Carolina

G. Hamilton Baker, MD, FACC, serves as Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Medical Univeristy of South Carolina.

On April 3rd, Dr. Baker 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 Dr. Baker's session, click here.

Question: What do innovators/entrepreneurs from outside healthcare need to better understand about hospital and health system leaders?

G. Hamilton Baker: “Move fast and break things” doesn’t always translate well in the clinical healthcare space. While it is paramount to keep an aggressive approach to innovation, healthcare comes with certain constraints, some of which should be pushed and others require a delicate approach. Healthcare innovation has moved through an interesting life cycle. It is a field full of very innovative minds, but the infrastructure for innovators and entrepreneurs has not kept pace with the rate of innovation, especially in recent years. While some healthcare systems have implemented this infrastructure and benefited greatly from it, others are still struggling. The field of healthcare would benefit greatly from promoting and supporting innovation and entrepreneurship at all levels of healthcare education and training.

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

GHB: The endeavor that will be most demanding of my time and energy could be a real game changer for our institution. We are currently forming a Center for Advanced Data Analytics as well as an Applied Artificial Intelligence Incubator. The mission of these two complementary initiatives will be to develop, evaluate and deploy AI tools to improve patient care, empower providers, enhance value and reduce cost in a manner that keeps ethics, diversity and inclusion at the forefront. Moreover, it will provide a nexus for industry, philanthropy, investors and investigators from within the institution as well as partnering institutions.

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

GHB: I think it is easy for folks in other fields to be critical regarding the pace of healthcare innovation, but some may be underestimating the complexities of the field. Innovation is an enormous umbrella and some areas are less risky for trying new things. At the same time, many healthcare enterprises are forced to keep expenditures extremely lean which can affect allowable margin for error. Unfortunately, I think many use this as an excuse to sit on the sidelines while a smaller number of pioneering institutions push the envelope and change healthcare. I prefer to align with the latter.

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