Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dispatch from Scotland

I was in Scotland over the weekend, helping a multi-disciplinary group of academic and government leaders with strategic IT planning.

Scotland, like New Zealand, is a remarkable learning laboratory.  With a population of 5.5 million, a supportive government, and talented informatics professionals, it’s the perfect storm for innovation.

Scotland is driven by 3 urgencies - an aging population, increasing budget pressure, and an imperative to maintain high quality.  All stakeholders in Scotland agree that IT is an enabler to maximize value.

Scotland has a number of infrastructure components currently missing in the US.  It has a lifetime national healthcare identifier.   It has a national image repository.  It has a national emergency medical record.  It has a single team for nationwide healthcare analytics.    It has a single set of privacy laws.   In my recent advice to the Trump administration, I recommended similar foundational work for the US.

In September, the Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, released the Wachter Review, a set of recommendations for NHS England that a small team of US and UK experts produced collaboratively.

A few of us are likely to help Scotland with a similar report.

I served the Bush administration for 4 years and the Obama administration for 6 years.   Over the next 4 years, I’m likely to serve administrations in New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, China, and Nordic countries.   There is remarkable power in 5 million person pilots to show the world what is possible when technology, policy, and bottom up stakeholder demand align.

There will be many lessons learned from international collaborators.   I view my role as helping governments avoid the pitfalls I’ve witnessed over my career and engaging appropriate experts to facilitate change.

Scotland and New Zealand are my favored learning laboratories.   Maybe we can create a friendly competition between the two.   A World Cup for healthcare IT awaits.

No comments: