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.

Bridging the Gaps in Healthcare IT

Bridging the Gaps in Healthcare IT

Rate This
  • Comments 7

I'm sitting in Narita Airport waiting for my flight back to Seattle and reflecting on my experiences at the STS Forum in Kyoto and the meetings I had with customers in Tokyo.

Besides the opportunity to hear from Japan's new prime minister, I was thrilled to attend a luncheon presentation given by the Chairman of Toyota, Mr. Fujio Cho.  Mr. Cho reviewed the history of Toyota and shared personal thoughts on Toyota's well known and highly regarded production methods.  I am aware that many healthcare organizations send executives to Japan to study with Toyota and take back home ideas on how to transfer some of that knowledge and relentless pursuit of perfection to patient care.

Another highlight was spending some time with Dr. Yuji Yamanobe and some of his fellow staff members from the National Center for Child Health and Development.  Dr. Yamanobe was trained as a plastic surgeon but now spends his time working with his hospital to improve healthcare IT and the quality and safety of care.  Dr. Yamanobe provided an overview of the Japanese healthcare system that surprised me.  Despite having a population about one-third the size of the US, Japan has nearly twice as many hospitals.  According to the doctor, the average appendectomy patient who is discharged within 2 days from a US hospital, spends a week hospitalized in Japan.  Furthermore, the hospital receives about one-tenth the amount of money that a typical US hospital would receive for caring for the same patient.  He also said that a typical 500 bed Japanese hospital would be staffed with just 600 workers, most of them trained doctors and nurses.  In other words, it's not uncommon for Japanese nurses to be changing bed linens and for Japanese doctors for be pushing patients around in wheelchairs.

I found that surprising in a country that is the birthplace of Toyota.  Clearly there is an opportunity to bring greater efficiency to the Japanese healthcare system.  And in fact, I was told that the government hopes to reduce the total number of hospital beds in Japan from around 320,000 to 160,000 while increasing the capacity of nursing homes to care for Japan's aging population.

I was duly impressed when Dr. Yamanobe told me that his hospital was virtually paperless and that at least 20 percent of Japanese hospitals had full CPOE.  That places them well ahead of American hospitals, but then that comes as no surprise since America is so far behind the rest of the industrialized world on the path to electronic records.

I was struck by the opportunity for us to learn from each other, and create new bridges of understanding in our quest to improve the efficiency, safety and quality of patient care.  I commend Dr. Yamanobe for his leadership and interest in bringing greater innovations to his hospital and for his interest in partnering with Microsoft's healthcare team in Japan.

Bill Crounse, MD    Worldwide Health Director    Microsoft Corporation

  • PingBack from http://www.artofbam.com/wordpress/?p=7050

  • It was a great honor for me to have that opportunity. Dr. Crounse inspired us so much.

    Toyota runs its own 513 bed hospital and it is open to the community. Of course, they introduce "Toyota-way" into the hospital administration and it is a first-class-hospital in Japan. However, it does not attract healthcare executives worldwide. Even Toyota-way is not so effective in windy Japanese healthcare environment.

    Yesterday, I changed my desktop to Windows DreamScene before I started my presentation. I was very happy because only Dr. Crounse congratulated my attempt. I wonder how many Japanese Microsoft people there noticed the feature of their product.

  • The upcoming presidential election has really started to focus America's attention toward electronic medical records and other forms of health care information technology, and their potential to improve quality while lowering costs. In consideration of this increased attention, I've compiled a comprehensive, party-neutral summary of where every presidential candidate stands on EMRs and health IT.

    I hope everyone finds it informative, and that it generates some lively discussion here.  You can view the summary on my blog at:

    http://electronic-medical-record.blogspot.com/2007/10/presidential-candidates-and-health-care.htm

    Sincerely,

    EMR Software Guy

  • Regular HealthBlog readers know that I often find symbolism in things that I see as I travel the world.

  • Regular HealthBlog readers know that I often find symbolism in things that I see as I travel the world

  • Nice to meet you.

    I knew this blog by an introduction to Dr. Yuji Yamanobe.

    We made a Personal Healthcare Record system called the ITKarte in Japan.

    People can use the ITKarte as a personal medical record which is disclosed to patients throughout their lives.

    Doctors and medical coworkers can exchange medical information involving their patients.

    It have functions of a web conference board.

    We get an idea of special access privileges management technique and acquired Japanese patent.

    This system was developed in .NET2.0 technology,

    and we think this system has a high affinity with HealthcareVault.

    Please contact us if interested.

  • Nice to meet you.

    I knew this blog by an introduction to Dr. Yuji Yamanobe.

    We made a Personal Healthcare Record system called the ITKarte in Japan.

    People can use the ITKarte as a personal medical record which is disclosed to patients throughout their lives.

    Doctors and medical coworkers can exchange medical information involving their patients.

    It have functions of a web conference board.

    We get an idea of special access privileges management technique and acquired Japanese patent.

    This system was developed in .NET2.0 technology,

    and we think this system has a high affinity with HealthcareVault.

    Please contact us if interested.

    --

    Fuminori Muranaga,MD.

    Dept. of Medical Informatics , Kagoshima University Hospital

Page 1 of 1 (7 items)
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 7 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post