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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.

Hopping along toward better health in Western Australia

Hopping along toward better health in Western Australia

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Perth from Kings Park Regular HealthBlog readers know that I often find symbolism in things that I see as I travel the world.  In Japan it was a wooden bridge in a serene garden.  In Switzerland it was the Swiss Army Knife.  In Banff Canada it was a ladder reaching toward a star on top a Christmas tree.  Here in Australia, I saw symbolism in a bronze sculpture of kangaroos that I came across in downtown Perth just in front of the Halls of Justice.

 

(Downtown Perth as seen from King's Park)

 

More RooSome of the most progressive and innovative healthcare organizations in the world are often those that are perfectly aligned between those paying for healthcare services and those who provide healthcare services.  Under the most ideal circumstances the recipients of care are have skin in the game.  However, healthcare is a bit different than other industries.  The balance between payers, providers and recipients of care depends on whether we are talking about private or public systems.  Outside of the U.S., most healthcare is public.

image The Australian approach to healthcare is centered on meeting the needs of its citizens.  Administratively, the Australian system is very similar to the that of Canada.  It is regionally organized and designed to meet the specific needs of the population within each geography.  In Perth, Western Australia, government as the payer of healthcare and the hospitals, clinics and clinicians who provide that care are working hand in hand to build new facilities and plan for a future that leverages ICT to improve the quality and safety of care.  They are also planning for a future where ICT is a foundation for provisioning care and services to citizens in entirely new ways.

This was evident in the meetings I had with officials who are charged with building a new facility just across the Swan River in Perth.  That facility will be known as the Fiona Stanley Hospital.  Scheduled to come on line within the next 5 years, Fiona Stanley will be a 600 bed tertiary care hospital and a center of excellence in Western Australia.  The officials planning this hospital are thinking about healthcare delivery well beyond the walls of their new physical plant.  They are willing to use everything at their disposal to build the kind of facility and services that will meet the needs of a growing and diverse population. That's where the kangaroos come in.  To me, they represent how government in Western Australia, the healthcare delivery system and the citizens under their care are all moving in unison toward a better future; a future in which healthcare ICT will play an increasingly pivotal role.  

This evening I've just arrived in Melbourne for meetings with government and healthcare officials tomorrow.  Then it's off to Brisbane and Sydney before heading back to Seattle.

Bill Crounse, MD   Senior Director, Worldwide Health   Microsoft Corporation

  • PingBack from http://www.biosensorab.org/2008/02/11/hopping-along-toward-better-health-in-western-australia/

  • Microsoft 'amalgamates' Azyxxi and Global Care solutions http://www.microsoft.com/amalga/uis/default.mspx and causes even more confusion to its non-existent healthcare customer base. Azyxxi (Ah-zi-ksi) before and now Amalga - both are hard to pronounce and remember thus causing even more confusion. One had to have perfect score on their SAT or GRE Verbal test to pass on this Microsoft marketing and branding hell ... What are they smoking there ?  

  • Guest,

    Your comment has nothing to do with this post.  So, cool your jets. I just came from a meeting with one of Australia's leading healthcare CEO's representing hundreds of hospitals.  And I assure you, he like many of our cusotmers around the world totally understands the value proposition we bring to the industry.  It's not just about Azyxxi/Amalga.  It is much bigger than that.  Catch the wave, dude.

    Bill Crounse, MD

  • I am cool, alright... If you are to put HSG enterprise products in Australia, then you have to find qualified workforce to support it all - doubt that

    Microsoft Australia has throughput to sustain that. One thing 100 hospital CEO signing up a fat check and another is your ability to execute on the order which is I am very doubtful. And sure, it is not just Azyxxi/Amalga but Windows servers, Windows clients, Word processor, Excel spreadsheets, Exchange server/Outlook, Unified Communications, SQL servers - tell me something I don't know. Cheers, mate.

  • Telemedicine should be used as these aussies are too far away!

  • I revisited the bronze kangaroos that I photographed during my business trip last February. They still

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