Healthcare Operations



The future of healthcare: Optimism, technological progress and partnerships

Industry leaders discuss the potential of technology, patient care and the power of genuine partnerships among industry players.

In a series of enlightening discussions about the future of healthcare, Mitchell Josephson engaged in conversations with two prominent CEOs, BJ Schaknowski of symplr and Adam Gale of KLAS Research. The dialogues revolved around the transformation of the industry, the role of technology and the importance of partnerships.

Josephson started the discussion with a reflective tone, mentioning an interaction with a downtrodden mentor. This experience propelled him to deeply consider the trajectory of the healthcare industry and the essential role of optimism in its development. Challenging his panel with the question, “What's giving you the hope, the optimism for the future of healthcare?” he invited insights that could illuminate the path forward.

For Schaknowski, the journey in healthcare is filled with potential. “I couldn't be more excited about the potential for the advancement and frankly, the betterment of (healthcare),” he enthusiastically shared. To him, while the patient remains the primary focus of healthcare advancements, it is crucial to bridge the gap that exists in addressing the needs of healthcare workers.

He expressed his surprise at realizing that certain healthcare systems still depend on outdated methods like fax machines. Schaknowski emphasized that the transformative role of technology should empower professionals to prioritize care over tedious tasks.

Conversely, Gale brought a personal story to the conversation, narrating a poignant story about a young individual's struggle with mental health. This story underscored the significance of behavioral health support in modern healthcare. Highlighting the evolution of virtual care tools during the pandemic, Gale asserted, “there are so many things that actually are changing the lives of caregivers, the lives of patients, that I get really excited about what's next.”

Still, challenges abound

However, optimism is not without its challenges. Josephson emphasized the thirst for dynamic leadership to drive innovation. Schaknowski echoed this sentiment by highlighting technological inertia in the sector.

He observed that many in healthcare believed the sector was lagging, sometimes by a decade, in the adoption of technology. This perspective, he believed, often obscured the professionals' vision of what's possible. Schaknowski said, "You can't blame someone for not knowing how to do something if they've never seen it before."

Tackling these challenges requires strong partnerships. Schaknowski spoke about how symplr aims to showcase the potential of technology, walking hand-in-hand with healthcare professionals towards efficiency. Gale added to this, emphasizing the crucial role of transparency and mutual trust. "Good partners are the ones that tell you no; good partners are the ones that tell you you're doing something wrong," Schaknowski pointed out.

The essence of partnerships was also a focal point in another discussion. Schaknowski elaborated on symplr’s philosophy, emphasizing the reflection of a company's internal culture in its external interactions. "How we run symplr and how we treat our symplr team a direct reflection of how you run your own company," he said.

He also spotlighted the evolution from mere software sales to genuine partnerships with shared goals, a sentiment echoed by Gale.

As the global work landscape evolves, particularly with the advent of remote work, Schaknowski shared insights into symplr's forward-thinking approach, emphasizing open communication and transparency. This reflects a broader trend where CEOs prioritize effective partnerships to innovate and advance health and care systems.

In another engaging discussion, Schaknowski laid emphasis on the need for system standardization in healthcare. He warned, "If you are a CEO, a CIO or COO of a system that doesn't think for some reason that you should have a standard way of doing things... you're going to get left behind." Beyond just standardization, he also pressed the importance of cost-effective streamlining and taking initiative, urging leaders to "Pick a lane and get going."

In conclusion, a future rooted in technological advancements, innovative leadership and genuine partnerships is needed above all else if health and care are to progress. The message is clear – the industry is on the cusp of transformative changes, driven by visionaries who prioritize patient care, system efficiency, and meaningful collaborations.

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