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Just Enough Technology Should Be Your Goal

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, March 6, 2012

Last week in this space, Ed Prewitt talked about the need for innovation in HIT. I'm here to echo Ed's thoughts, but also to remind you of The Innovator's Dilemma. Simply stated, disruptive technology outpaces established technology. Let's go back to our cloud backup example. If backup to the cloud is simpler and cheaper than local backup, why not put all of IT in the cloud?

Obviously there are tradeoffs. Cloud services are less reliable; a recent Windows Azure outage illustrates that point. But over time, these services will become more reliable. Already, there are totally cloud-based EHRs on the market. In time, they may seriously disrupt healthcare, by making smaller hospitals more nimble at adjusting their tech than larger institutions weighed down by years of previous deployments.

One thing you've told HealthLeaders Media, in our just-released 2012 Industry Survey, is that technology vendors alone won't save the healthcare industry. That's right: vendors rank dead last, behind hospitals, government, physicians, patients, technology, health plans, or the 31% marked "other." Vendors got 0 percent of the votes. Writing a check is necessary but not sufficient for hospitals to accomplish their healthcare IT mission. Vendors reading this, you should be ranking better than that!

I have a lot more to say about health and technology, and I will. But I want this space to be a conversation between us. If I've said something to inspire or outrage you, let me know in the comments here, or follow me on Twitter at @scottmace. I look forward to the dialogue.


Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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1 comments on "Just Enough Technology Should Be Your Goal"


Leigh Anne Varney (3/6/2012 at 3:46 PM)
This is an EXCELLENT article, Scott. Thanks for being there!