Monday, July 8, 2013

Turn the page

After eleven years working at Mid-Columbia Medical Center (MCMC) in The Dalles, Oregon, I have decided to take advantage of some new opportunities and move on from the organization. This was a very difficult decision to make because I truly love MCMC. In 1992 MCMC was the first hospital in the world to implement the Planetree concept of patient-centered care facility wide, and in 2007 MCMC was recognized as a "Designated Patient-Centered Hospital", only one of five such hospitals in the country.

I've written about Planetree before and have always been incredibly impressed with the organization. It is with great gratitude that I leave both MCMC and Planetree since my life life has been dramatically changed by being a part of these fine institutions, but I am sure that at some point in the future we will cross paths again. The heart of the organization is patient-centered and I will always support these principles.

I am leaving MCMC, but fortunately I don't have to leave The Dalles, and will continue work both locally, statewide, and nationally on healthcare transformation. I live in one of the most beautiful places in the country: the gorgeous Columbia River Gorge! I am very grateful that my new opportunities are not requiring me to relocate.

I am also very grateful to people at MCMC who have been instrumental in my success. Of course some of the most important are: my boss, the CIO Erick Larson, the Medical Director Judy Richardson, and also the CFO Don Arbon, as well as the CEO Duane Francis (who actually invented the position Health IT Evangelist and the article in Government Health IT magazine was subsequently cited on the ONC website Health IT Journey's page... it makes for an interesting read :). But most of all I am in debt to Elise Bailey, one of the many unsung heroes of our healthcare system, for her faith in me and her unwavering faith in the power of Jesus Christ to transform lives. She gave me the chance I needed and believed in me eleven years ago when few others would. I will always be very grateful.

But like all great chapters in life, it is time to turn the page and move into the next phase of the journey. I have created Advanced Health Information Exchange Resources (AHIER) and will be working on Outreach and Business Development for DirectTrust (among other things) under a cooperative agreement with the ONC to participate in the Exemplar HIE Governance Program. DirectTrust is partnering with ONC and other participants to develop and adopt policies, interoperability requirements and business practices that align with national priorities. The goal is to overcome some of the EHR interoperability challenges, reduce implementation costs, and assure the privacy and security of health information exchange. Much of this effort has sprung from the Scalable Trust Forum.

I also have some other consulting engagements lined up, and I will continue to tweet, blog, and write about health IT and the technology infrastructure that supports new payment and care delivery models. One of the first things I am going to do is slowly transform this blog into more of hybrid blog/website. I will continue with somewhat of a focus and EHR and HIE, but also begin moving into the area of analytics. I once said "Big data is the next big thing in health IT," and now that we have begun aggregating this massive data set, the next wave beginning to crest is analytics. So watch for some posts focused on business intelligence and analytics capabilities, as I continue to cover the digitization of healthcare.