Scott Holbrook, MS, FHIMSS, Executive Vice President of Medicity, HIMSS board vice chair, is a new mentor for HIMSS’ eExecutive Mentoring Program.
The eMentoring program was recently created to strengthen HIMSS members’ abilities to connect with industry leaders focusing on health IT and management systems for all of the various levels of members and in the various stages of their health IT careers. The program gives members the opportunity to become connected via social media to nationally recognized leaders in health IT.
At Medicity, Holbrook is responsible for all customer experiences in a company that provides healthcare web products to RHIOs, IDNS, large laboratories, payers, hospitals and clinics. He has nearly 40 years’ experience in health IT, with both vendor and healthcare provider organizations.
- built a multiple hospital system at Intermountain Health Care called MedSeries4;
- was the thought leader and a key executive at Sunquest Information Systems during the 1990’s, including the customer support model;
- one of the founders and owners of KLAS ; and
- founded a consulting and web services/integration firm.
HIMSS: How did you become involved with HIMSS?
Holbrook: I first became involved with HIMSS as a provider. I attended the HIMSS Annual Conference meetings in the 1980s and felt value in the education. As I moved to the vendor side, HIMSS became a critical part of my overall marketing strategy. As the leader of several different businesses, I felt HIMSS gave us greater exposure, a forum to talk with our clients, and potentially, reach the people we were hoping to convert to clients. I participated in local HIMSS chapters and encourage our staff to attend the meetings in order to build relationships. I became involved on the national level, when I was invited to participate on the HIMSS Analytics board. I was also given the opportunity to serve on the HIMSS Integration Committee. I eventually decided to run for the HIMSS board, and have had a marvelous experience as a member.
HIMSS: What has been the most rewarding aspect of your involvement with HIMSS?
Holbrook: The most rewarding aspect of my involvement is definitely the association with wonderful people that are all committed to health IT. I have built relationships that will last a lifetime. We are bonded together with common interests, but really share love for building a better and stronger way to improve our industry.
HIMSS: Please describe some of the milestone events in your career.
Holbrook: When Intermountain Health Care (IHC) was formed in the mid-1970s, they were looking for someone to run information systems. At IHC, I had the opportunity to manage the IT operations at 26 hospitals and build a commercial product. I held this role for over 11 years. The product, (Medseries4), is currently owned and maintained by Siemens.
I was the executive VP of Sunquest Information Systems and managed the laboratory division. We focused on service for over six years. We were able to set a high service standard and listen to our clients, as we built a product. I had the great privilege to be involved as Sunquest became a public company.
Some of my friends and I built an industry flag-ship company called KLAS. The initials are the first letters of the founders first names: Kent Gale; Leonard Black, Adam Gale and Scott Holbrook. It is a company that allows CIOs, IT professionals and power-users a voice-in product quality and service. Due to great tenacity, KLAS has become a voice of strength in the health IT marketplace.
Terry Pitts and I were funded by a venture capital group that did consulting and health IT clinical portals, called Park City Solutions. We were a pioneer with clinical portals and helped explore the value of integrated clinical data from disparity systems.
I was invited to be part of the “HIE World” by Medicity with a heavy focus on service to our clients. It has been exciting to see the growth of clinical information beyond the walls of an enterprise.
HIMSS: How have you demonstrated leadership in the field of health IT?
Holbrook: I have had the opportunity to build companies in emerging markets. I have had the pleasure of raising up companies and helping them grow. I learned long ago to surround myself with people much smarter and talented than me. I have learned to lead by following.
When I came my turn to lead, then I applied all the lessons learned. As a member of the HIMSS Board, I learn in each committee meeting, conference call and board meeting from great, successful people. I try to share the wisdom of my experiences. Overtime, I have learned that no job is too small for a leader.
HIMSS: What do you hope to accomplish as the board vice chair in the coming year?
Holbrook: First, I will support Willa Fields, DNSc, RN, FHIMSS, in her role as chair. Her focus is related to the role of health IT in the continuum of care. This includes all clinical aspects and the total patient experience.
I have been a proponent of HIMSS continued diversification and growth. We have seen HIMSS substantially grow in diversity and revenue over the past 4 years. One major objective was to reduce the HIMSS annual conference to only 35-37% of total revenues. We are getting closer to this goal, even though the annual conference is growing in revenue.
The continued push for emphasis on clinical informatics is important to HIMSS. We have worked hard to elevate the EMRAM concept around the globe and to push the Davies Awards as the benchmark symbol of success in the field of healthcare IT. HIMSS recently developed an EMRAM for the ambulatory market, and marketing this model is part of my personal mission.
The HIMSS Board of Directors will make a significant effort to support the vision of HIMSS as a global organization, and welcome and assist the new HIMSS advisory boards from Europe and the Pacific Rim.
HIMSS: What do you hope to accomplish as an eExecutive mentor?
Holbrook: The health IT industry has given me a great deal, and I would like to give back. The eExecutive mentor program is one way to share my experiences and help others benefit from my knowledge. I love meeting people and learning from them. Our growth is only limited by our desires to learn. To me, every person has something he/she can teach me. I look forward to sharing “my lessons learned” over the course of 40 years in this industry.
HIMSS: What are the most notable changes you've seen in the field of health IT over the course of your career?
Holbrook: My career has spanned over 40 years in health IT. I have seen many new horizons including:
- Moving from mainframe to mini-computers.
- Building many clinical stand alone systems.
- Migrating service applications from in-house processing to the Cloud.
- Shifting the emphasis on finance systems to clinical departmental systems.
- Moving from integrated inpatient systems to robust combined inpatient and outpatient systems; and now to an HIE.
- Increasing from a few vendors to thousands of vendors.
- Transitioning users from financial to clinical users; partially the physician.
- Observing the rapid growth of imaging technology.
- Including the patient as the owner and participate in their own healthcare.
HIMSS: What advice would you give professionals just entering the healthcare or IT field?
Holbrook: This is the greatest industry in the world. People who enter healthcare and make it a living are compassionate, giving, caring and understanding people. Those of us in the field of IT have the opportunity to rub shoulders with these great people. We provide systems that improve the continuum of care and help ease pain and suffering. As we build and maintain systems, we give caregivers more time to spend with their patients, provide information to improve decision-making and access information more rapidly, in order to save lives.
Healthcare represents nearly 20 percent of the GNP, allowing for considerable diversity and a never-ending list of challenges and opportunities. It is fun and exciting. Frankly, I love it and the challenge!