By Joseph R. Impicciche, JD, MHA
President and Chief Executive Officer, Ascension
At Ascension, our Mission compels us to provide compassionate, personalized care for all. That is the commitment we make to our patients and the driving force behind all decisions. Our Mission also challenges and inspires us to find new and innovative ways to transform the clinician experience and to improve the patient experience for those we serve.
As any patient or caregiver will tell you, communication is at the heart of good care. That is true within the doctor-patient relationship, and it is true with the technology that supports those relationships.
The past several decades have seen enormous effort and resources directed to the implementation of technology in healthcare. Today, however, clinical information is buried in siloed, cumbersome systems that are scattered across hospitals, clinics, urgent care centers, pharmacies, physician offices and labs. Physicians spend hours trying to piece together the information they need to treat patients, and patients and consumers struggle to understand their health information across a maze of disconnected “portals.” At the end of the day, these technology “advances” have made the delivery of care even more burdensome for providers, while for consumers and patients, confusion and frustration are the rule rather than the exception.
So how can we address this challenge? We do not believe that applying more of what got us here will work. We need innovation that leverages new technologies – some of which will come from other industries – in order to realize a new future.
At Ascension, we have embarked on collaboration with Google Health to map, harmonize and consolidate the data from all of Ascension’s disparate information sources into a single, cloud-based, integrated and searchable health record for each patient.
In our secure, private cloud we are working in collaboration with leading technology companies, including Google Health, to develop a new suite of digital tools that will effectively organize data, seamlessly present data on demand to end users, and integrate advanced analytics at the point of care.
This innovative solution has the potential to dramatically improve the physician experience, the patient experience and the overall delivery of healthcare – all supported by a robust chain of custody that protects our patients’ data.
What does all this mean for patients? Patients will have more face time with their caregivers. They will also have the assurance that their physician has a complete picture of their history and background – information that will deliver personalized, quality care specifically tailored to them.
Finally, the overall delivery of healthcare across the continuum of care will be dramatically improved. If you move, switch doctors, begin taking a new medication, or are simply traveling away from home when a health event occurs, your Ascension health record will be complete and easily shared with any Ascension physician who needs it.
We are still at the beginning, but we believe these capabilities will greatly advance the quality and safety of the care we provide and transform the experience of both providers and patients. Most importantly, we believe this work will further our Mission and empower us to truly deliver compassionate, personalized care for all.