A Q&A with Richard Cramer, Chief Healthcare Strategist
With HiMSS17 only a few short days away, PAN is busy working with clients to help get them ready for the show and ensure they can break through the clutter and clearly articulate their stories for maximum awareness, engagement and impact.
One of those clients is Informatica, the world’s No. 1 provider of data management solutions. Before he heads down to sunny Orlando to launch the company’s new healthcare data lake, our team caught up with Richard Cramer, Informatica’s Chief Healthcare Strategist, to hear from him what trends he feels will be pervasive at this year’s show and what he is looking forward to learning more about.
1.What issues/trends do you expect will be the most prevalent at HiMSS?
A: This HiMSS is going to be all about data. Specifically, population health is going to be a big topic, as well as electronic health records (EHRs) and predictive and risk modeling. As EHRs mature, we’re moving away from implementation to determining how we actually get value from them. Data is how we get that value. We saw this happen in spades in Y2K when everyone replaced their ERP systems. Five years after Y2K, there was a renaissance in supply chain analytics because organizations had large amounts of rich data. I predict we’re going to see that same scenario happen with EHRs.
Now that EHRs are becoming well-established, the logical next step is analytics. This theory has been validated by our own clients because, as they are on the tail side of their EHR implementations, they are starting to wonder how they actually get value from it. One of the ways to get value from data is with population health, as it is a data intensive activity. Predictive and perspective algorithms that can identify high-risk patients and tell you what to do, to get them healthy, is invaluable. However, analytics and healthcare is not a single-application problem. So, the question is: Is there any single EHR vendor or organization that can handle all of these enterprise data needs?
2. Which trends are you looking forward to learning more about?
A: Cloud is a huge trend across every other industry, and while we see cloud getting traction in healthcare, it tends to be related to supply chain and HR. I’m really interested to see how the industry represents itself around cloud as I believe healthcare is poised for cloud adoption, even among clinical domains, because the economics and business advantages are self-evident.
3. What are you most excited about at the show?
A: I’m curious about the evolution of prescriptive analytics and how that’s going to be infused to patient-facing applications. When we talk about analytics, there’s a sea of change underway. With old-fashioned prescriptive analytics, we looked at what happened in the past to predict the future. A couple years ago, predictive analytics was the hot thing as we could say “A + B” probably equals “C.” Now with machine learning and the processing power available, we’ve moved into the world of prescriptive analytics. It isn’t if A and B is true, C is also true, but rather what is true for this individual right now and do these three things to make them better.
4. What do companies need in order to unlock the power of analytics in healthcare?
A: Healthcare organizations need to embrace next-generation analytics architecture. We’ve spent more than a decade with a small subset of the data that we really need to care about. That data represents less than 10 percent than we need to do for population health or to truly understand the customer experience. All of these things we want to do require that we behave differently. There’s no way with the complexity of data, pace of change, and urgency to get value from data that we can do it the old-fashioned way – it just won’t work. We as a healthcare industry need to cast off our reluctance to innovate and embrace next-generation data architectures wholeheartedly or we have no hope.
Be sure to follow the ongoing HiMSS17 conversation via PAN’s Twitter handle (@PANcomm) and check back on our blog, as we’ll be keeping you abreast on all of the key trends emerging, recaps of keynotes and sessions and major news round-ups.