HealthBlog

Thoughts, comments, news, and reflections about healthcare IT from Microsoft's worldwide health senior director Bill Crounse, MD, on how information technology can improve healthcare delivery and services around the world.

Is Your Healthcare Business People-Ready?

Is Your Healthcare Business People-Ready?

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If ever there was a business that needs to be people-ready, healthcare is it. The healthcare industry is all about people.  That's why healthcare professionals go into medicine.  We have the distinct honor of caring for people when they need it most; when they are in pain, need to be comforted and healed.  Yet surprisingly, compared to other industries and professions, healthcare workers have very primitive tools when it comes to contemporary information technology.

Microsoft recently launched a "people-ready" business campaign.  Is it relevant to healthcare?  You bet!  I think it is more relevant to healthcare than just about any other industry that I can think of.  So ask yourself, is my hospital, clinic or small private practice as people-ready as it could be?

I know you are doing your very best, and running as fast as you can.  Trust me, I've been there and done that. You really do try to put your patients first; to practice high quality medicine; to "do no harm"; and to keep your head above water in an industry that seems to go out of its way to over-regulate and under-compensate you.  All the more reason you need better tools, solutions and technologies to stay ahead of the game.

You already understand that people are at the center of your business; those receiving care and those providing it.  People are also the most expensive line-item in running your business. At Microsoft, we believe that the right software can improve business performance, and with that improve the quality, safety and satisfaction of care.  You need software that is familiar and easy to use (requires little training), widely used and supported, easy to integrate and connect (think NHIN and RHIO's on that point), and software that is innovative and continually evolves to meet your needs.

OK, you say, prove to me that software can really do all that for my hospital, clinic or private practice.  I'm glad you asked.  Check out our case studies and other customer evidence on www.microsoft.com/healthcare. Read some of the articles in my "House Calls for Healthcare Professionals" series or listen to one of our audio-casts.  Want even more evidence?  Visit customer evidence on www.microsoft.com and do a search on the keyword "healthcare".

Some of our evidence is centered on the benefits of clinical information systems or electronic medical records.  But if you're not ready to take that leap yet, don't despair.  There are lots of other solutions to improve business productivity, communication, collaboration, document management, procurement, training, business intelligence and knowledge management in healthcare without even touching the clinical side of the house. Check it out!  If your healthcare business ran as efficiently as some of the examples I could cite in financial services, retail, manufacturing, or hospitality you would have a healthier bottom line and a lot more left over to invest in what our business is really all about; delivering more cost-effective, timely, safe and efficacious care to people.  Is your healthcare business people-ready?

Let us know what you think.

Bill Crounse, MD   Healthcare Industry Director   Microsoft Healthcare & Life Sciences

  • I personally do not think that such business as "people ready" can be created anyways. Healthcare is science and can not be judjed by such criteria, but only by profeccionalism of the staff.
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  • Thanks for writing.  I think you may be missing the point.  Of course healthcare is based on science.  Of course people who work in healthcare are professionals.  They are also consummate information workers who need better tools to find, use and share information.  That's what we're talking about here.  And if you don't think healthcare is a business, talk to a hospital CEO, clinic administrator or physician who runs his or her own practice.  They have to make payroll, buy supplies, invest in capital equipment, send out bills....... it's a business; a business that could run far more efficiently if its people had the tools they need.

    Bill Crounse, MD
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