It was rainy and grey in Pittsburgh today but the mood was anything but damp inside the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the site of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Technology Summit. Most of UPMC’s 1800 employees who make up the organization's Information Services Department attended the event in two shifts. So if the computers were running a bit slow today on the wards, I wouldn’t be surprised.
It was my privilege to be one of three keynote presenters at the Technology Summit. I was joined at the podium by Dr. Steven Shapiro, Senior Vice President, Chief Medical and Scientific Officer and Dan Drawbaugh, UPMC Senior VP and CIO. Dr. Shapiro gave an excellent “state of the healthcare nation” report while Mr. Drawbaugh and I discussed the many ways information communications technology is shaping the future course of medicine. During Dan’s presentation, Dr. Rasu Shrestha, Vice President for Medical Information Technology gave a great demo showing how Xbox 360 Kinect is being used to help surgeons and other clinicians access medical images and health information using gestures interpreted by Kinect.
UPMC has a long history of innovation. The organization consists of 55,000 employees and 5000 doctors of which 3800 are also employees. In addition, the organization has its own health plan serving more than 1.8 million people in the region. With more than 20 hospitals and the strength of a world renowned academic medical center and university, it is no wonder that UPMC is in a great position to help transform an industry as complex as healthcare.
The theme of UPMC’s summit was simply stated as “Innovate. Elevate”. Going by the enthusiasm of the crowd, I have no doubt that mission is being accomplished. As I’ve stated here on HealthBlog many times before, when I look for eHealth leadership in America I typically find it among healthcare organizations that are tightly integrated with a payor organization or health plan. This sets up the perfect business model to meet a consumer’s need for healthcare services using the most rational and efficient means possible. Or, as UPMC says,”to deliver the right care to the right patient, at the right time — every time”.
UPMC proudly partners with many of America’s leading companies. I must say that I was honored to have been asked to keynote at this year’s Technology Summit. I fully expect some of the most revolutionary new concepts in healthcare delivery, today and well into the future, will be coming from UPMC.
After an overnight in Pittsburgh I’ll be flying back to the West Coast to speak at an event being hosted by another one of our good Microsoft partners, Medseek. I suspect the weather might be a bit nicer tomorrow in Laguna Beach, California.
Bill Crounse, MD Senior Director, Worldwide Health Microsoft