Healthcare Executive Forum Hits the Road

Next week, I'll be hitting the road again for our annual Healthcare Executive Forum events. This year we'll be visiting Philadelphia, New York City, Minneapolis, Seattle (Bellevue), Los Angeles, Dallas, and Houston. Additional events are being planned for Chicago, Boston, and Detroit. It will be my pleasure to share the podium with healthcare futurist Ian Morrison and Dr. Steven Hester, Chief Medical Information Officer for Norton Healthcare.

Our Executive Forum events give us an opportunity to share some of the latest advancements in healthcare information technology with our customers, and to participate in a lively discussion about present and future opportunities to improve care quality, safety and satisfaction.

On Monday, November 7th, Microsoft launched the first wave of an entirely new generation of innovative products and solutions. The first volley includes SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005 and BizTalk Server 2006. As I watched the demonstration of SQL Reporting Service feeding real-time data into our Office applications, I was struck by the implications this has for better insight not only to line-of-business applications in healthcare, but also care management. Imagine if you could monitor every patient in your organization with real-time data displayed in a digital dashboard of clinical quality indicators. Think about what it would mean if you could receive community data feeds from every patient you had ever seen; patients with diabetes, hypertension, asthma, high cholesterol, obesity or heart failure and be instantaneously alerted to sudden shifts in individual or population health status. Think also about the implications this has for surveillance of infectious diseases outbreaks or bioterrorism.

As payors move to reimbursement incentives that are better aligned to keeping people well instead of just patching them up, these tools will take on new meaning. Suddenly, horizontal solutions used by other industries such as Customer Relationship Management will become much more relevant and useful to healthcare organizations on the cutting edge of care. The trend is already taking hold among our most innovative and progressive healthcare customers. In the very near future, such practices will become commonplace in hospitals and clinical practices everywhere.

What do you think? Let us know.

Bill Crounse, MD, Global Healthcare Industry Manager, Microsoft Healthcare and Life Sciences