CONNECTED HEALTH CONFERENCE • Boston, MA • October 25-27, 2017

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2017 Connected Health Conference

October 25-27, 2017 | Boston, MA

True connections: How physicians can shape digital medicine’s new era

By Michael L Hodgkins, MD, MPH | Chief Medical Information Officer | American Medical Association


The U.S. health care system is a $3 trillion-a-year enterprise that generates more data than ever before. And yet some of the most meaningful data about patient health is inaccessible to physicians or incomplete—a shortcoming that is frustrating physicians and making the delivery of care less effective and efficient.

It is difficult to achieve the aim of truly connected health when so much disconnection abounds. Where to begin? First, there is the lack of interoperability across systems so that patients’ data do not follow them as they move through the continuum of care. Second, is the problem of not always having the right data to share when assessing outcomes, such as the patient’s own assessment based on their goals during treatment (for example, a patient’s functional recovery after knee-replacement surgery will be viewed differently by a former athlete vs. a more sedentary individual).

Last but not least is the disconnect between patients and physicians created by the electronic health record system (EHR). The EHR was supposed to liberate physicians from cumbersome, immobile, insecure paper charts. Instead, it has shackled too many to their keyboards, clicking their way through late nights and early mornings completing the many user-hostile tasks these systems require.

This “pajama time” with the EHR, as one leading physician researcher recently put it, gobbles up nearly 90 minutes nightly from America’s primary care doctors. All told, EHR time takes up more than half of the family physician’s workday. Today’s suboptimal EHRs also make it harder for patients and physicians to develop the critical rapport they need in the exam room to genuinely share in the medical decision-making process.

Physicians deserve to have a voice and contribute to innovations in health care, and the AMA is striving to connect doctors with the people building new technology so that they can work together to make revolutionary products that revolve around what matters: helping physicians improve the nation’s health.

We are also working to help physicians streamline administrative operations, help patients achieve dramatically better health outcomes, and help stakeholders gain greater results with lower overhead. We aim to help make health care data more informative, more interoperable, more adaptive and easier to capture.

By recognizing the key challenges physicians face when implementing health IT and the increase of direct-to-consumer digital health apps, the AMA aims to help physicians navigate and maximize technology for improved patient care and professional satisfaction. The AMA is focused on influencing health IT with the goal of enhancing patient-centered care, improving health outcomes and accelerating progress in health care.

Find out more about our efforts at the meeting, where several AMA thought leaders will address vital topics such as how to break down barriers to physician uptake of connected health and why physician insights are critical to the new era of digital medicine.

Of particular note, AMA President David O. Barbe, MD, MHA, will help map out the digital trends in health care in a session Thursday, Oct. 26, 11 a.m.–12:15 p.m. EDT in the Flagship Room at the Seaport Hotel. He will take part in a lively open forum for health care stakeholders seeking to envision new ways to improve the health of our nation through collaboration and technology.

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