In February of each year, tens of thousands of healthcare professionals, vendors and entrepreneurs gather to discuss the latest matters in health information technology. In the past, the HIMSS Global Conference served to showcase new technologies available for healthcare providers. But now as the majority of U.S. hospitals are compliant with the government mandate to adopt an EHR, the conference focus is shifting to the needs of patients and providers and most importantly, value.
There will always be novel, shiny new technologies on the market. But as the economics of Health IT change to address the value-aware executive who is looking to drop costs, as well as meet the needs of patients and other stakeholders, the focus is less about the technology and more about the value it produces. A major area where this is evident is data sharing. With growing global partnerships, we need technologies that will work with us to maintain consistent and complete records.
The HHS/ONC recently announced a push for EHRs to support open data standards, and to remove barriers for data sharing and exchange. In opening up access, EHRs will have the ability to leverage the massive amounts of data coming from their client health systems and most importantly, provide unfettered access for patients. Many provider organizations have been advocating this push for years. With this year’s content, we finally see some aligning ideals. What does this mean for healthcare’s bottom line? APIs and interoperability can be used to innovate and drive out cost for patients and organizations. Singing a cooperative tune, the HIMSS Global Conference, and the Health IT world as of late, are less about the tech and more about the value said tech poses for all.
By: Will Morris, MD, Executive Medical Director, Cleveland Clinic Innovations
Dr. William Morris has been a staff member of Hospital Medicine at Cleveland Clinic since 2006. In his former role as Associate Chief Information Officer he had oversight of design, development, and deployment of all clinical IT systems and health IT innovations. Dr. Morris also continues to practice medicine, and in 2017 was elected to Board of Governors on which he currently serves.
Dr. Morris earned his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and completed training in Internal Medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School. He also received his MBA in 2017 from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management.