InCharge HEALTHCARE 2020 dren. The capabilities of our physicians, nurses and other health professionals has come so far that children who might never have survived their illnesses a decade ago are now getting to go home. For example, today almost 90% of children born prematurely with extremely low birth weight (< 1.5Kg) will survive. That was certainly not the case a decade ago. The technology and knowledge that we have acquired in the last 10 years is truly amazing.” Looking Ahead: “Related to pediatrics, I believe transitions of care will become a more significant issue in the future. Because of continued medical advances, more children will survive into adulthood with pediatric illnesses; illnesses that adult physicians are unaccustomed to managing. Where will the medical home be for adults with childhood illnesses? What a wonderful issue to solve! “I also have a hope for the future, that our nation will make larger investments in maintaining health. I hope that the economic incentives for health care providers will be more aligned with helping people maintain their health, rather than simply treating their illnesses.” Henry Sullivant Reflections: “For the practitioner, the influence of the electronic health record (EHR) and its challenge to the flow of patient care has been remarkable. The electronic record changed office practice efficiencies significantly. Only recently have practitioners been able to use the tool for effective communication with their panel of patients. But, as they become comfortable with its ability to quickly communicate results with patients and move information to and from care delivery sites, the costs of the electronic record begins to make operational sense.
6 Memphis Medical News
Patient movement within the office setting was at first disrupted by the EHR, but most patients find that the hassle of repetitive ‘filling out forms’ has been removed by the EHR. Clinicians find rewarding the doctor-patient relationship and do not like viewing the patient across a monitor. Ongoing is the challenge the electronic record puts on safety systems that healthcare has developed more than 100 years to minimize harm to patients. The electronic record serves as a defined augmentation to the timeproved failsafe systems, but the integration needs to be carefully governed. “For a health care system, the electronic health record integration has been equally influential. For clinicians who provide inpatient care at the hospital as well as in their offices, health systems ask them to learn our system as well as theirs. This can be a barrier to our alignment to deliver care. Often, the practice system does not directly integrate with the hospital system, so efficiencies are not achieved. On the contrary, business office expenses remain steep for both the system and the practice. “For health care in general,
the explosion in the knowledge of the human genome is rapidly changing both the understanding of the physiology of disease, but also the opportunity to specifically tailor treatment to the individual. Historically, successful treatment has been challenged by the side effects of that same treatment. The more specific the treatment, the less the lateral effect…all permitted by the benefit of our understanding of the genetic composition of the individual and the disease. “In addition, the vast majority of care can now be rendered as an outpatient. Joint replacement and many other surgical procedures are now exclusively accomplished without patients having to be admitted to the hospital. “Other technological advancements have markedly improved patients’ care and shortened their time to full recovery. As most care is rendered in the office or in other outpatient settings, fragmentation of care and its threat to collegial interaction among health care professionals is a concern. In the past, these professionals ‘walked the halls’ together. Now, most never come to the hospital. Most clinical updates can be captured from your smart phone. The need to attend conferences or share clinical experiences in the hospital dining room is gone. The risk is the loss of those relationships that have been equated with continuity of care.”
Henry Sullivant, MD Title: Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Baptist Memorial 2017-Present Birthplace: Kosciusko, Mississippi Experience: Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Baptist Memorial 2017-Present; Obstetrician/Gynecologist, Ruch Clinic, Memphis, 1989-2017 l Assistant Professor, Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics, UTHSC, 1989-2017
Looking Ahead: “As health care becomes more portable and the interoperability of electronic records becomes seamless, then patients can have their care when they want it, and have it meet their needs to a successful outcome. Continuous monitoring of patient data as captured by mobile devices will facilitate
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