Reinventing our health future – Allscripts Client Experience 2017

In just a few short weeks I’m excited to be speaking on digital transformation at the Allscripts Client Experience 2017, Aug 8-10. Part of the anticipation is to be back in Chicago, with its vibrant community and colorful history. But more significant is the commonality between the reinvention of our two companies, and the challenge that now sits before us in the health industry. Perhaps I should explain.

Change is never easy, but the best time to change is when you get to do it on your own terms. When it seems like you are ahead. When you potentially have the most to lose. This was the dilemma facing Microsoft when I joined in 2010, when the world had just started to pivot on the convergence of a few technologies. For the first time Microsoft wasn’t in the driving seat, and the pace of change was too fast to play catch-up. Mobile, social, and cloud. They seemed to come out of nowhere, thundering into mainstream adoption, breaking all the rules of how technology diffuses in our society. It was the start of what Klaus Schwab dubbed “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” and as it has accelerated through recent years a few things are clear – this change is here to stay, there is no going back, and the potential for growth and impact is huge. But only for the visionaries, the nimble, the bold.

In a silent reinvention, Microsoft made an existential bet on cloud, and has been retooling products and services since before 2010 to participate in this new economy. And I recognize a kindred spirit in Allscripts. Similarly, Allscripts healthcare solutions are an incumbent leader in health technology and Allscripts has taken bold steps to place big bets on the future. While still in the same industry, personal health record tools like Allscripts FollowMyHealth® and precision medicine platform, 2bPrecise® are far away from hospital enterprise IT. In an industry hamstrung by fragmentation and data siloes, Allscripts has stepped up to take a leading role in opening their systems up through intelligent APIs and creating vehicles like Allscripts dbMotion™ that enable interoperability. That’s why Allscripts is the 2017 Microsoft US Health Partner of the Year.

Which brings me to the dilemma facing health today. We know that our model of care is obsolete. We are treating the world as if the challenge is infectious disease, caring for patients in the most expensive setting when their disease process is most acute. We know that the enemy is now chronic disease and lifestyle risk, and addressing this challenge requires a workforce with new skills and new technology, yet the enormity and risk of reinventing the whole health system seems overwhelming. So we defer the decision, and the problem compounds. Just like the dilemma that faced Microsoft and Allscripts. Healthcare organizations around the world need brave leaders to make hard decisions to reinvent how healthcare is delivered and reimbursed. This reinvented health system will need progressive solution providers making full use of the potential afforded by technologies like cloud, artificial intelligence, and smart connected devices. This is how we will create the future we all want and deserve, the future the next generation will inherit.

The Allscripts Client Experience draws thousands of health IT industry leaders. I’m humbled to share my thoughts on digital transformation with these Health IT professionals, and in turn I’m keen to learn strategies from these leaders to reinvent our health system.

Learn more about how Microsoft is enabling digital transformation in health.