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Simpler Point of View

HIMSS17 Day Two

February 23, 2017

By Adam Ward

On the first day of HIMSS17 I stayed in our booth, so Day Two was my day to venture out. Where do I even start? The HIMSS community has literally taken over the area around the Orange County Convention Center. There are product launches, awards ceremonies, and press interviews galore. The twitter-verse is overflowing with #HIMMS17 and other associated tweets. I'm particularly amazed how every hotel, restaurant, Wi-Fi hotspot, pedi-cab, and Uber is crawling with formal and impromptu meetings between attendees and exhibitors.

I decided to take advantage of the hoopla and joined the #HCLDR meetup in the Hall D lobby. It was there I was approached by Nick Adkins, a kilt-wearing, healthcare MBA who welcomed me into the #pinksocks tribe by presenting me with a mustached-pair of pink socks.

The socks are intended to be a conversation starter. “It's easy for us to get caught up with technology and get stuck behind a screen," Nick said. “Sometimes we need to be reminded to talk face-to-face and show empathy looking into the actual eyes of another human."

For me, that was the theme I pulled away on Day Two. The show floor is filled with vendors that all claim to be “doing" population health, value based care, and data security. On the surface, there is little to no differentiation between vendors.

As a developer who believes deeply in ethnographically-based solutions, I have to ask, “Where is the human value of the product or service?" While my design engineering background gets excited about technical solutions and my business background relishes in financial implication, it's my humanness that begs there be more than technology and net margin.

One attendee told me, “What I want [from AI] is the ability to talk with the patient and have AI listening to the conversation and [cognitively] pop up suggestions based on what we're talking about." That could be a game changer for doctors, but what about the nursing staff, care coordinators, coders, IT staff, and other front line staff?

Healthcare organizations need to be strategic about their technology investments. They can't assume that purchasing one more software packages or devices will result in successful implementation and achievement of the IHI Triple Aim - improved quality outcomes, improved patient experience, and an overall reduction in the cost of care.

Too often, organizations inject new technologies before understanding the overall impact on the continuum of care. So, how can organizations successfully implement new technologies?

They can't count on a vendor to know all of this information. At Simpler®, we believe healthcare systems need to orchestrate clear plans that take into consideration all systems that contribute to quality patient care. These plans are rooted in deep customer insights and bounded by properly set operational constraints. To develop and implement a new solution, healthcare systems need to determine what is important to their patients, what would help them run the business better, and what would position them for the competitive edge.

This brings me back to the #pinksocks. Every healthcare system feels compelled to differentiate themselves in this competitive market. While outfitting a healthcare system in pink socks won't do the trick, a customer-first, development technique like Simpler's can distinguish organizations from the sea of others. By optimizing work flows around the patient, clinicians, information, equipment, and quality, organizations can introduce winning, new services that set themselves apart.


You can find out more on how Simpler® is successfully guiding Lean transformation in the healthcare sector here: http://www.simpler.com/p/healthcare


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