Thursday, March 19, 2009

Preparing for the Work Ahead

As we all prepare for the 5 year sprint to implement electronic health records for every clinician in America, I am preparing my life and my schedule for the work ahead in Massachusetts. Here are a few changes I'm making:

1. I'm reviewing my commitments to Boards and advisory groups. Although my commitment to these organizations individually does not amount to much time, the collective time spent can be substantial, especially if travel is involved. Over the next 60 days, I will substantially reduce these responsibilities.

2. I'm refining my avocations. Over the next 60 days, I will reduce my musical instrument lessons/practice to exclusively the Japanese flute, giving up the Turkish Ney and the Native American flute. I will eliminate rock and ice climbing trips, limiting my outdoor activities to local kayaking on the Charles and hiking with my family.

3. I will reduce my travel as much as possible. The notion of traveling for 24 hours for a 1 hour lecture no longer makes sense - the cost of the time is too great. Of course, Washington travel related to Healthcare IT does make sense and meetings I can join by video teleconferencing, webex and conference call are fine.

4. I will reserve time for Washington activities. I hope to serve on the new HIT Standards Committee as well as continue my HITSP service until I reach my term limit.

5. I will work to consolidate the Massachusetts organizations I serve. In discussions with the Boards of NEHEN and MA-Share, we hope to merge the two organizations. This will establish a unified health information exchange organization for Massachusetts (to be called the New England Health Exchange Network - NEHEN) that meets the criteria for HIE stimulus while reducing the number of meetings we all need to attend.

Thus, my streamlined life for the stimulus work ahead will be

*BIDMC CIO overseeing the application of stimulus funds for the hospital and 1533 affiliated clinicians - 1177 who have an EHR and 356 who do not

*Harvard Medical School CIO overseeing many stimulus related projects in research, high performance computing, education, and collaboration.

*NEHEN Chair overseeing many stimulus related healthcare information exchange projects.

*Very limited Board and advisory group service, focusing on activities that are complementary to my other stimulus related projects.

*Husband, father and son, limiting my avocation time to activities I can do with my wife, daughter, and parents.

*Limited travel, honoring my existing commitments in April and May but thereafter limiting my travel to Washington trips directly related to Healthcare IT activities (and HIMSS)

My life as a CIO must remain in balance, even as the challenges ahead increase. I look forward to the challenges and making Massachusetts a showplace of EHRs and interoperability for the country.


Ahier said...

The members have been named today for the Federal Coordinating Council for Comparative Effectiveness Research

JoeBee said...

What's been your experience with video conferencing?

Unknown said...

John your ability to both lead Partners while at the same time devoting so much of your time to community service is an example to us all. I also value your openness, honesty, creativity and inclusiveness.

These are the very same values that disruptive ehealth consumers and consultants like myself hope to see embodied in the new NHIN and national HIT efforts.

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us via this blog, HISTalk and your leadership as we stood up the NeHN (as well as all of the other boards and committees you are on).

As one of the designated consumer advocate (who actually implements EMR's at GHC, Sutter, Stanford in my spare time) who served on the governance committee for the AHIC Successor I always knew that our voices were valued across the board.

I am excited to see that you are committed to working even closer with DC and I hope your collaborative, creative style will infuse them with practical real life experience.

Thank you again for all you have done and do for the industry, providers and consumers and I hope your family gets to see you before the next exciting project arrives at your doorstep.

Sherry Reynolds

Anthony Guerra said...

John -- I really thought this post was fantastic. Joe Bormel blogged about it on the HCI site and I commented.

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