Healthcare IT Leadership Requires a Thick Skin

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media , September 25, 2012

I'm not completely down on technology. Last week did see its fair share of technical progress. The iPhone 5 made its bow and Apple sold an astonishing 2 million of them in the first 24 hours. But as healthcare professionals, it is our duty to educate our patients, payers, shareholders, lawmakers and the public at large.

Bright shiny objects by themselves may offer instant gratification to the masses, but it does not necessarily follow that the technology transition now underway in healthcare is all that bright, or shiny. Sometimes it's like mountain climbing. Other times, it's more like that gauntlet.

One piece of advice: Think hard about whether this is really the time to build that bright, shiny new hospital structure you've been thinking about. You're going to need plenty of cash on hand to deal with the IT-related challenges I've just described.

I understand the temptation to build tangible things with healthcare dollars. As I left the HFMA meeting, across the street the new San Francisco 49ers stadium is rising from the earth. Healthcare wants its own tangible monuments. But it may have to postpone some of them for now.

Scott Mace is senior technology editor at HealthLeaders Media.
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