Designing Healthcare Around Technology, Not Buildings

Posted on December 17, 2015 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of and John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

If I were designing our system from scratch I would design it around technology, not buildings.

Nothing like a quote from Bernard J. Tyson, Chairman and CEO of Kaiser Permanente to get a new post started. Before I get the lynch mob of doctors coming after him for this quote, he also said something else right before suggesting healthcare should be designed around technology, not buildings:

That doesn’t mean more technology always means better care, it means we need to understand how technology can improve the care our wonderful nurses and physicians already provide.

At the end of 2015 as new regulations have largely calmed and most organization settle into the new EHR reality, let’s all take some time to think about how we can leverage that tech investment in a meaningful way (pun intended).

Unfortunately, the past half a dozen years technology has been a means to government incentive as opposed to a means of healthcare innovation. It’s time to stop the insanity and return to positivity when it comes to our discussion of the impact of technology on health care.

I was recently asked if I was passionate about health care and EMR or if I was more passionate about building a great blog network. My answer was simple. My core belief is that technology can have an impact for good on any industry. That’s what I’m most passionate about. I love to see technology transform something.

I’m sure that many would argue that technology has transformed health care. It just hasn’t transformed health care in good ways. I’d argue that regulations are what’s caused health care to transform in bad ways and technology is just the tool that can be used for good or bad.

It’s time we take back our IT in healthcare and make sure the transformation it provides is something great for patients and providers. When was the last time you thought about the transformative opportunity that technology provides? No doubt you have to deal with the operational challenges of today, but don’t forget to spend time thinking about where you want your technology to be tomorrow.

There are some examples. Take what Dr. Jimmie Vanagon is doing with his #ProjectedEHR. You’ve never met someone so excited about the way technology has enabled his practice and engaged his patients. We need more Jimmie Vanagon’s in healthcare showing us the right way to use technology for the benefit of patients and doctors and fewer regulations which strangle us.