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My thoughts on the Healthcare of Tomorrow 2016 conference

November 22, 2016

Mark Weber, Senior Vice President, Healthcare Development

I had the opportunity to attend the Healthcare of Tomorrow conference in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Previously, the conference had been known as the U.S. News and World Report health care forum. It was rebranded this year to demonstrate the industry’s commitment to developing patient-centered care for the future. The conference included breakout sessions and key note speakers who are experts in public policy, data and medicine. The conference covered topics that ranged from interoperability to patient health in order to engage an audience of c-suite executives on the challenges that hospitals and healthcare providers will face in the future.

I participated in a panel discussion at one of the sessions called The Interoperability Progress Report: Building an Effective Health IT Infrastructure. Interoperability was a major theme at this conference because of the importance of sharing patient information between hospitals and other care providers to improve the patient experience, increase quality, and lower cost. However, when we just consider interoperability for interoperability’s sake, it is easy to overlook the fundamental goal of an accessible, complete, secure, and germane patient record. We must also keep in mind that it is the patients who are the true owners of their medical data. The objective of data sharing, then, is to improve patient care by pulling together a patient’s medical record on-demand where the underlying data exists in multiple health systems. If we focus too much on simply increasing data transfer and duplication, we risk impairing the ability to quickly find relevant information.

Despite the challenges that interoperability poses for healthcare systems, I gathered from the conference that industry leaders are excited about making improvements by helping patients throughout the entire process of care, regardless of whether patient interactions are short or long-term hospital visits. While these industry objectives pose a variety of challenges, they are attainable and we will do so by continuing to share knowledge with each other at events such as the Healthcare of Tomorrow conference.

For more information on the conference and recaps of the sessions, read this article from U.S. News and World Report.

Did you attend the Healthcare of Tomorrow conference? Please share your findings here.
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