A call for healthcare IT to establish a culture of community

Contrary to popular opinion, healthcare is not the only industry that took the misguided “ready, fire, aim” approach to incorporating technology into their workflows and business processes.

It was not long ago when finance, utilities, retail, and education were extremely awkward (to put it nicely) in their utilization of emerging IT. It took years of missteps and countless conversations amongst a host of stakeholders before leaders could get their bearings and create the technology-integration strategies that are now second nature within their given fields. Without openly sharing their successes and mistakes, and actively gathering as many perspectives as possible, our banks, stores, and schools would still be marred within the “paralysis by analysis” phase of adoption where many feel healthcare is still trapped.

I’ve spent the past several months covering a variety of healthcare conferences and executive forums where I have heard many IT integration discussions that are similar in nature to those previously conducted in other industries. These presentations and meetings examined a wide range of historically persistent concerns, but I left each event feeling a new sense of optimism that I see growing within our industry as a whole.

At the heart of this positive change is a renewed emphasis on collaboration within our field. When healthcare providers are able to leverage more technology within their workflows, they share their positive results with their colleagues. When vendors are able to develop new equipment and applications, they influence the marketplace’s direction as well as future iterations of today’s solutions. This constant exchange of ideas is vital for the development of new healthcare IT practices. Without it, we cannot see beyond our own foxhole and effectively attack industry-wide issues.

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