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Health IT's Promise to Humanize Healthcare | #NHITweek

Make this article social: @RasuShrestha | #NHITweek | #IHeartHIT | #HITsm

There is no greater pursuit in life than that of making healthcare better for all. Ever since I can recall, I'd wanted to become a doctor. And that desire was driven by a need, a calling, to make a difference in the life of the patients we see. The spirit of that vulnerable, hopeful, yet determined patient-- embodied by a growing number of outstanding patient-advocates--now, that's inspiring!

My inspirations have come from many directions. Early imprints came from my mom, and her unwavering need to serve those around her and to leave things better than when you first found them. Her unapologetic dedication to anything she'd put her heart to, and her relentless energy and focus to do good by this world - - that's the sort of inspiration only the lucky few get to experience.

Early imprints came from my mom, and her unwavering need to serve those around her and to leave things better than when you first found them.

Hardships and challenges never slow down the dedicated and determined - they inspire them to roar louder. I used to volunteer at a Seventh Day Adventist hospital in a town just outside of Kathmandu, Nepal whenever I'd get the chance to go and visit my birthplace during breaks through college and medical school. Most inspiring for me were the tireless internists and surgeons who had left the comforts of their practices in the United States and Argentina to serve in rural Nepal. They even took the time to learn the local language (and put me to shame with their chops!) and the nuances of the culture. They taught me the value of empathy. Caring, connecting, listening, learning, and, yes, healing were skills that no textbook could teach.

Leadership comes from the heart, and that was an attribute instilled in me by Dr. Jim Halls, who's now 86 years young, retired, and still as brilliantly inspiring! Jim was chairman of the department of radiology at USC for over 20 years. What left the deepest imprint on me is his approach to life: challenging the status quo, understanding the importance of culture, and embracing the human aspects of all things technology.

IT done right can truly help catapult us to a future that's less about "doing digital" and more about "being digital."

Information technology, in many ways, has magnified by 10x every aspect of what it means to "make healthcare better." IT in many ways is both the problem and the solution. The reality of course is that done right, information technology can be a real enabler of better care, not an impediment. IT is the 'secret weapon' that healthcare has to learn to use, so we can humanize healthcare. As we face the toughest of challenges in healthcare today, from escalating costs and complexity, to uncertainty in reimbursement models and care paradigms, IT done right can truly help catapult us to a future that's less about "doing digital" and more about "being digital." This future of healthcare should be one where we design for empowerment, for simplicity and for bringing out everything that it means to be human, to live and to thrive. 

Share in the health IT's collective exploration of today's trends, innovations, opportunities and inspiring stories during a special National Health IT Week #HITsm Twitter Chat, Friday, Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. CT.

Questions:

  1. T1: What/who inspires your work in health IT? #IHeartHIT #HITsm

  2. T2: In the past year, what health IT trends have emerged as the most promising for care outcome progress? #HITsm

  3. T3: How can policymakers realistically and effectively support progress in health IT and healthcare delivery? #HITsm

  4. T4: In your day-to-day work, what is the top challenge you face in relation to health IT? #HITsm

  5. T5: [CHALLENGE] State your best health IT value proposition for consumers/patients in 140 characters or less. #HITsm

 

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