Digital Transformation



Empowerment and innovation: A dialogue with healthcare leaders

Veteran healthcare executives discuss the factors buffeting the industry and the need for a new path to transformative healthcare future.

The healthcare industry is not just at the cusp of transformation — it's already undergoing monumental shifts that promise a brighter future for providers and patients alike. Spearheading this change are industry veterans and leaders, who recently met to discuss the challenges and opportunities lying ahead.

Kicking off this conversation was Mitchell Josephson, who offered a central question to the panel: "What gives each of you hope for the future of healthcare?" Michelle OConnor, President and CEO of MEDITECH, responded with a perspective rooted in the next generation of healthcare professionals. "Young medical professionals are genuinely excited about the role of technology in patient care," O'Connor observed. She elaborated on how advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning have the potential to ease the cognitive overload frequently experienced by clinicians.

Echoing the optimism, Helen Waters, COO of MEDITECH, reflected on the past, showcasing the industry's commendable growth over the decade. "I've witnessed firsthand the tremendous strides we've made in patient care tools. This evolution hasn't just changed procedures — it's saved lives," Waters emphasized. She further stressed the triad of people, processes and technology as the pivotal forces shaping transformative change in healthcare.

Adam Gale, CEO of KLAS, brought to the fore an often-overlooked component: The human spirit. Recounting his experiences from a recent summit, Gale said, "Despite ongoing challenges like clinician burnout, the air was thick with hope and there was a tangible sense of optimism." He highlighted the role of collective efforts among clinicians, asserting that collaboration is the cornerstone of elevated care quality.

Factoring in patients

One cannot overlook the increasing empowerment of patients in this dynamic equation. As O’Connor pointed out, today's patients are more informed and assertive – they demand superior access to their healthcare information, and this engagement is acting as a significant catalyst that’s propelling the industry's forward momentum.

Diving deeper into the operations of MEDITECH, which has won several Best in KLAS awards over the years, Josephson explored the company's unique approach to innovation. The company's bottom-up culture, which enables grassroots-level ideas to bubble up and find voice, stood out. "The best ideas often originate from those grappling with challenges daily," Waters affirmed, emphasizing the importance of an engaged workforce in driving innovation.

The effects of culture

Waters reinforced the importance of staff passion and pride. "I think the passion and pride of our staff is honestly what gives fuel for me," she said, emphasizing that empowering various levels of the organization is crucial for sustained growth and success. Echoing her sentiments, O'Connor highlighted the significance of listening to cross-pollinated teams and empowering them to implement their ideas.

Reflecting on MEDITECH's 50-year journey, Josephson remarked on the firm's adaptability, a testament to its enduring commitment to excellence. This adaptive mindset was aptly summarized by O’Connor, who predicted that, "The MEDITECH product you witness today will undergo profound evolution in the next three to five years."

O’Connor touched on the pressing challenges of clinician burnout and staffing shortages, while also shedding light on collaborations aiming to leverage technology to alleviate these issues. "Burnout is real. The technology, especially AI, has a role in aiding our clinicians," she stressed, bringing attention to a promising partnership with Google.

On partnerships, Gale commented, "Real partnerships demand fresh perspectives and actionable plans." And Waters added a layer of pragmatism to this vision, saying, "Talk is commendable, but actions cement intentions."

O’Connor captured this sentiment by noting, "With the right team and the ever-evolving technology landscape, we are poised to instigate change. There's a reservoir of hope, and we're here to tap into it."

In his closing remarks, Josephson summed up the fervor and dedication of the leaders, expressing his hope that the broader industry would take cues from the insights shared. With leaders this passionate and a roadmap this clear, the future of healthcare seems not just promising, but transformative.

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