Two weeks ago, the CMS launched an unprecedented advertising campaign in more than 50 U.S. newspapers advising patients to comparison shop using three dozen quality measures posted on a federal Web site (May 26, p. 8). The campaign and its message underscores the increasing financial and public pressure on healthcare providers to reduce costly, harmful inefficiency and errors.
With the mounting pressure for quality, patient safety and cost reduction facing the entire industry, information technology, now more than ever, is recognized as a necessary and viable solution. One of this years winners, James Mongan, president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare System in Boston, put it this way: What defined the healthcare system 50 years ago was a building; now its clear that information technology linkages are the backbone of the healthcare system.
There is no room for technophobes in healthcare anymore. Only the strong and tech- savvy will survive. However, technology doesnt matter unless the organization, and the people within that organization, change first. This important and necessary cultural shift must be led by passionate and courageous leaders.