Thursday, October 10, 2013

Dispatch from China

This week I'm in Asia providing advice to government, academic and industry leaders about leveraging IT investments to accelerate quality, safety and efficiency policy goals.

I flew from Boston to Beijing on Monday to Tuesday and met a team of Chinese industry leaders on Tuesday evening to discuss their plans for smart cities, home care, and wired hospitals.

On Wednesday, I joined several colleagues to celebrate the opening of a new state of the art ambulatory care facility for women and children.  They are implementing EHR products to automate clinical and administrative workflows including provider order entry.   Mitch Rabkin and I keynoted a conference describing the US experience with healthcare reform and healthcare IT reform.

On Thursday (I'm a day ahead because of the 12 hour time change), we met with central government officials including the health minister of China.   We discussed a collaboration that would enable US and Massachusetts experiences to inform Chinese healthcare policymaking.  Of particular interest to them is our HIT Standards and Certification program to enhance care coordination, patient/family engagement, and population health.   As I wrote about yesterday in my post offering advice to the new national coordinator, I look forward to considering the revisions needed in our regulations to highlight the good and minimize the burdensome.   We have a great opportunity to apply our revised regulations to 1.3 billion people in China!

On Friday, we'll run a symposium on healthcare IT and care management in Hangzhou.   On Saturday we'll have meetings with government leaders in Shanghai.

Then on Sunday, I head alone to Japan for the next phase of my trip, serving as guest professor in Kyushu, the southern part of Japan and keynoting in Taiwan before returning to Boston.

One of the great aspects of working in Asia is that the 12-13 hour time change enables me to have a full day with colleagues in China/Japan/Taiwan then have a full day with colleagues in Boston.   Keeping a 24 hour a day schedule for two weeks will require a bit of recharging, so while in Japan I am taking a day to climb 6000 foot volcanos and hike the wilderness of Yakushima island, one of the great ancient forests in the world.   As I dash from Asian city to Asian city, my carry-on baggage contains my full body Gore-tex, enabling me to tackle the 10 meters of annual rainfall in the wettest location of Japan.   Probably the only downside to the remarkable beauty is the predominance of giant leeches.    You only live once.   I'll post pictures.

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