Before joining UC, I worked in the healthcare industry, and spent more than a decade connected to the mission to help save and improve lives. Because UC has 5 medical centers, I stay engaged with developments in the healthcare IT space. Over the last five weeks I attended 2 industry events for healthcare IT practitioners.
The largest of these is given by the Health Information and Management Systems Society, and usually attracts about 35,000 attendees with an amazingly large number of exhibitors. Presenters describe best practices in all aspects of healthcare and how technology is being used to enable the delivery of high quality healthcare. Keynote speakers this year included Hillary Clinton and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini. Representatives from our five medical centers attended, and we discussed the next big thing – patient medical records combined with patient genomics. CIO Mike Minear and the UCDavis Health Systems team this year won the prestigious Davies award. UCLA also was recognized, achieving the highest-level of certification for electronic medical record use, known as HIMSS Level-7.
The other event, held in San Francisco, was part of a national series on how technology shapes healthcare best practices. This was a more intimate setting with about 150 healthcare IT leaders from around the country – mostly clinicians and chief medical information officers. We got insight into emerging technologies and views on the consumerization of healthcare. Especially interesting was Ari Lightman (@alightman), a professor from Carnegie Mellon, with whom I am standing next to in the picture. His expertise is in Digital Media and Marketing, and he gave an interesting perspective on how changes are happening in the consumption of health services.
After 6 months at UC, I see many similarities in how technology is having an impact on, and indeed transforming, healthcare and higher education. This means the IT community has tremendous opportunity to leverage investments for broad benefit across the system, extending our precious dollars further. I have been sharing this perspective with members of the President’s Cabinet and the chancellors. Truly IT has an important role at the University of California.