Crushing Complexity from Healthcare

Early in my career at Microsoft, I traveled around the United States giving keynotes at healthcare executive events organized by our company.  For some of those events I was joined on the photopodium by health industry author, lecturer, executive, physician and surgeon, Dr. John Kenagy. I always enjoyed working with John.  These days, Dr. Kenagy is very focused on applying adaptive design methodology to the management of healthcare organizations.  He and I share a passion about driving out complexity in healthcare which is admittedly a complex business.  Dr. Kenagy writes about how all of this complexity is affecting nurses in a recent thoughtful blog post that can be found on Advance for Nurses.

Adaptive design is but one way to reduce complexity and improve quality.  I also admire organizations that have reached out to other industries in their quest to solve some of the most vexing issues facing hospitals and clinics.  Executives who have done this often find that the answers they’ve been seeking lie beyond the walls of their organization or even their industry.  They’ve picked up tips on materials management and workflow from FedEx.  They’ve learned service from Ritz Carlton.  They’ve discovered more efficient ways to run IT from Microsoft., and so on. 

One of the health systems that has benefitted from this approach is the largest public health system in Colorado, Denver Health.  Denver’s CEO, Dr. Patricia Gabow, credits this “thinking outside the box” for literally turning her organization around from a slowly sinking ship to one that is admired across the country for its service, quality, safety, and stability. 

Dr. Gabow and Denver Health are featured this month in a segment for our Health Tech Today video series.  Click below to see an excerpt from my interview with Dr. Gabow.  You can see the full interview by visiting our Health Tech Today landing page.

Yes, healthcare is a complex business.  Frankly, it has become so complex (I believe unnecessarily so) that many doctors and nurses are leaving the profession.  At Microsoft we are committed to working with our partners to drive out of healthcare as much complexity as possible, not only for healthcare managers and providers but also for all of us who care about our own health and that of our loved ones.  Solutions like HealthVault, Amalga, HealthVault Community Connect, Unified Communications, Microsoft CUI, Microsoft Connected Health Industry Framework, Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management, Business Intelligence and other flexible and highly intuitive solutions are coming to the aid of healthcare workers and ordinary citizens who want to pull healthcare from the jaws of ever increasing complexity.

Bill Crounse, MD  Senior Director, Worldwide Health   Microsoft

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