On Tuesday, Cerner Health Conference (CHC) attendees enjoyed a full roster of education sessions, presentations from our Cerner LIVE! stage and demonstrations in the Solution Gallery. We also recorded thought leaders sharing insights for The Cerner Podcast, which is published each Tuesday on the Cerner.com blog. There’s no podcast posting today because of CHC, but you can check out our podcast library and listen to these five essential podcasts to get amped for the rest of the conference.
Here are some of today’s highlights:
John Glaser, Cerner’s senior vice president of population health, kicked off Tuesday’s general session with a discussion about disruptive technology and its impact on the health care industry.
“If you look over the last 25 years, there have been three major IT leaps,” he said to a packed Sprint Center. “What do we mean by a ‘leap?’ A leap is a class of technology that has been released into the world, and as a result of that, the world is fundamentally different.”
Those three leaps, he continued, were the world-wide web, the spread of mobile technology and access to a high-speed network and, finally, intelligence.
“The third leap in its early stage,” Glaser said. “Intelligence isn't a new idea – your car will show you when the oil is low. But we're about to take a significant leap in the intelligence of our devices right now. Intelligence is everywhere, and the world will look very different because of this.”
Glaser added that we're still on the cusp of disruption in health care. The industry is facing new demands as we collectively shift our focus from reactive sick care to proactive health management, fragmented niche care to a cross-continuum care system and reward for volume to reward for quality, efficiency and safety. The center of the health care universe, Glaser said, is no longer the physician – it’s the consumer.
“Disruption is a virtue,” Glaser added before introducing Mike Walsh, a futurist and the CEO of Tomorrow, a global consulting firm.
“I always dread having to tell people what I do,” Walsh said, “because when I tell them I'm a futurist, somehow they seem to hear ‘psychic,’ and the palms come out.”
Then he unpacked what being a futurist is really about: keeping a few steps ahead of trends, understanding the implications of innovative technology and – perhaps most crucially – encouraging leaders and companies around the world to do the same. On Day 2 of CHC, Walsh zeroed in on digital disruption.
“Who owns this story of 21st century digital disruption?” Walsh asked attendees. “What if it was not for startups, but for all of us? It's easy to forget that this is really about people.”
More so than the people filling the Sprint Center today, Walsh said, digital disruption is about who will be in those seats in the next 10-15 years.
“The average leader of a significant organization today bought their first iPhone at 50 [years old],” Walsh said. “Your kid is playing with it at 2. Your kids will be the first post-screen, post-typing generation – they're going to talk to everything.”
Today, parents are more apt to pacify their children with iPhones, iPads and other technology than with toys or candy. When a 5-year-old has hundreds of questions about the world, Walsh said, it’s not the parents who are answering them – it’s Siri and Alexa.
“Essentially, we have a generation being raised by AI,” he continued. “When these kids grow up and become doctors, they're not going to want to take notes – they're going to want their notes recorded for them.”
Walsh encouraged attendees to think like an 8-year-old, whose education and perception are being shaped and defined by intuitive technology and AI. Other industries, like retail, are already picking up on this and are crafting experiences with the consumer at the center. He pointed to Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods and the newly launched Amazon Go stores, featuring a cash-less, cashier-less experience.
“Technology, when it succeeds, doesn’t become faster or smaller,” Walsh said. “It becomes invisible and more embedded in the fabric of our lives. The next generation will grow up surrounded by artificial intelligence, and they're going to be faster, smarter and more demanding of authentic, data-driven health care experiences. This is a wake-up call for everyone in the health care ecosystem to reinvent and redesign.”
On the Cerner LIVE! stage, Cerner’s Vice President of User Experience Paul Weaver presented on the concept of emotional design. He gave a glimpse through his career history – from his work in video games and product development at Visual Concepts, Disney, Rosetta Stone and more – to demonstrate the evolution of his design thinking and introduce his audience to the concept of emotionally centered design. Emotionally centered design, he said, is about more than just a focus on the consumer – it’s about considering the whole experience the end user has with the product. Designing for HIT needs to empower physicians and patients alike.
“Whatever you're looking at, ask yourself: ‘Does it make sense to [me]?’” Weaver asked the crowd. “Because if not, it won't make sense to your audience, either.”
In a power session, a panel of leadership from CHIME, Community Health Systems, Ascension and Augusta University Cyber Institute explored the importance of developing aligned cybersecurity communities to facilitate information sharing, especially as threats grow across the health care industry
The panel discussed the importance of leveraging information across trusted partners to quickly identify and protect an organization against new threats as well as how to respond effectively to active threats in an organization's environment to mitigate impact. Leadership also discussed the need to break away from traditional client and vendor roles to advance the security posture of the health care industry.
"This is not an IT problem,” said Gerry Lewis, senior vice president and CIO at Ascension. "This is an enterprise risk problem, and we are all responsible for it."
Joanne Sexton, director of the Augusta University Cyber Institute, agreed: "It's all about sharing information. It is critical that we do this."
Scott Breece, vice president of security and chief information security officer for Community Health Systems, discussed the need to take a different approach to training for IT security. He's had success using group-based trainings and noted that hiring outside the IT security industry – including civil engineers, for example – has worked well.
We heard how open standards are changing health care from Grahame Grieve, the inventor of Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources (FHIR), and Josh Mandel, the lead architect on the SMART Health IT platform.
Grieve and Mandel discussed the evolution of open standards like SMART Health IT and HL7 FHIR. The genesis of FHIR came from the want of flexible APIs that show workflows, pragmatic standards based on technology, open community and open standards and continuity with existing standards. An open community with open standards, Grieve explained, makes it easier to exchange healthcare information. Standards are like plumbing, he explained: They work in the background.
"Things that were impossible become feasible," Grieve said, "and that is when you get innovation."
The CHC17 Executive Program brought together a room of Cerner executives, clients and industry thought leaders to discuss the role of IT in the future of health care. The day started off with a surprise, as Deborah Bowen, president and CEO of ACHE, awarded 11 Cerner executives with their ACHE Fellows certificates.
After Bowen opened the program, Jim Austin, a former senior executive at Baxter Healthcare and a current ACHE faculty member, identified barriers to market uncertainties. In the interactive session, executives broke out and discussed their experiences to identify successful pathways to strategic execution, noting challenges around organizational and cultural changes.
Cerner President Zane Burke took the stage to deliver the State of Cerner presentation. Burke shared that Cerner’s success is directly tied to the success of its clients and outlined the company's position in the marketplace, noting Cerner’s growing global footprint and the continued deployment of the Department of Defense’s MHS-GENESIS EHR.
Burke also reiterated Cerner’s commitment to interoperability and the CommonWell Health Alliance. “There are 60 million individual patients and 6,000 sites through CommonWell," he said. "That’s not enough, but it’s a significant step in the right direction for interoperability.”
Russ Branzell, president and CEO of CHIME, discussed emerging cyber threats and strategies for mitigation in health IT. From personal iPhones to some of the world’s largest health care networks, Branzell presented personal and industry examples of cybersecurity challenges that health care organizations face.
Mark Dubow, Pacific region director of Veralon, closed out the afternoon with a discussion around the future of hospitals and health systems. He explored regional drivers of change and spoke about opportunities to innovate in established health care markets.
Photos and updates from Day 3:#CHC17 - Day 2