5 Takeaways from Dr. Robert Wah’s Keynote

On April 12, Dr. Robert Wah, CSC CMO and President of the AMA, delivered the opening keynote at the Innovation Symposium as part of the HIMSS15 Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago. The presentation, titled “Failure with a Capital ‘F’ May Just Mean ‘Finally’,” delved into the past, present, and future of HealthIT, as well as the increasing complexity of the HealthIT role. Here are five key takeaways from his presentation.

By Lisa Pettigrew, General Manager, Global Healthcare, CSC

We’re in the third phase of the digitization of medicine. Phase one was the shift from paper to digital record keeping, phase two marked the shift to networking information and interoperability, and finally, phase three will see physicians and clinicians begin to analyze the myriad data that has been collected. “In these rapidly changing times in healthcare, we will need agile technology to adapt and succeed,” said Dr. Wah.

“Patients want to be part of their own healthcare. Digital platforms will offer that opportunity.” Digitization of medical records, as well as other key health information, has made it increasingly easier for patients to monitor their own health information. Dr. Wah noted it’s a two-way street; wearable technology will allow frequent monitoring of patients from any distance. Speaking of which…

Telemedicine will improve care for patients. Patients in rural areas or confined to their beds can receive the same high-quality medical care in their homes that they’d receive in a hospital setting as telemedicine technology improves. Dr. Wah noted key advances in telemedicine and how he’s seen the technology improved.

The “I” in CIO is moving to innovation. As HealthIT becomes more diverse and complex, CIOs will need to be the innovators in their facilities. Dr. Wah pointed out that CIOs will have to know how to create a balance between investing in new, innovative technologies and ensuring that corresponding investments are made in key infrastructure such as hardware, office-based software, and cybersecurity.

“Failure is a step toward success.” Innovation in the old days took much longer than today. Dr. Wah noted that years ago, in the agricultural trade, if you made a mistake, it was a career-ending mistake. Today, rapid cycles are happening at a rapid rate due to the ability to spread and/or cushion risk. The failures of yesterday create the successes of tomorrow.

Visit CSC at HIMSS15 – booth 631.


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