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Custom Content Augments Technology's Value

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, March 5, 2013

Listening to the opening keynote at Monday's HIMSS conference, I was struck by a question posed to the speaker, Warner Thomas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ochsner Health System: What was Ochsner doing to engage patients?

Now in fairness, what Ochsner has achieved in the six-plus years since Hurricane Katrina is nothing less than breathtaking. For example, the health system has invested in an electronic health record-driven initiative to serve the resurgent city of New Orleans.

But in the best "what-have-you-done-for-us-lately" spirit of HIMSS, the question posed was one Thomas tried to address, but it's clearly among Ochsner's next set of challenges. Thomas emphasized Ochsner's efforts to engage via increasing patient surveys. All good. But to see where the cutting edge of patient engagement is really underway, you need to hop a plane and head over to Alabama.

At Cullman Regional Medical Center, a Tier 1 heart and stroke center, they're engaging with patients using a just-enough-technology approach that points the way to further cost-effective innovation on the patient engagement front.

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