Healthcare Hasn’t Seen Disruption Yet

Healthcare Hasn’t Seen Disruption Yet

By Gina Sanvik, MS, RHIA, CSS, CCS-P


Quickly changing technology has brought game-changing disruption to several modern industries. Healthcare seems to have remained relatively untouched by this trend, but there is no doubt that disruption is on the horizon. That was the message Dipak Patel of himagine solutions, Inc. had for attendees of his presentation in the Innovation Theater on Monday, “The Future of HIM: Lessons Learned from Uber, YouTube, AirBnB, and Others.”

Patel asked the audience to consider some  questions to shift their mindset toward the future and trying to predict when change will occur:

  • When do you expect to see self-driving cars?
  • When will computer-assisted coding technology code 70 percent of all charts?
  • When do you expect to go to a restaurant where the chefs are robots?
  • When will we see machines write stories or news articles?
  • Have you tried virtual reality?

Change is happening quickly—more quickly than we think, according to Patel. “We need to drive people to be the change,” he said, and “not react to the change.”

Factors in healthcare that Patel expects to impact disruption include:

  • Increased healthcare spending
  • Increasing amount of investment in
  • New healthcare entrants
  • Compressed provider margins, such as reimbursement changes, aging population, and increasing drug costs

Disruption will continue and new technologies are accelerating the pace of change.

Patel noted that the health information management (HIM) profession is changing significantly, and HIM professionals need to be more proactive and less reactive, and use the skills they have as well as expand their skillset in order to best position themselves to seize opportunities within their organization. Patel encouraged attendees to consider what the profession will look like five years from today.

Because change is occurring faster than we think, he stressed that HIM professionals should not wait, but embrace the change now. “We should drive the change,” he said. “Don’t let it drive us.”

Patel’s presentation was part of the Innovation Educational Track, new this year at AHIMA19: Health Data and Information Conference, featuring condensed 45-minute sessions on forward-thinking topics.

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