Interview with Lyle Berkowitz, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Innovation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Interview with Lyle Berkowitz, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Innovation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital

In advance of the iHT2 Health IT Summit in Austin, Lyle Berkotitz, MD, Associate Chief Medical Officer of Innovation, Northwestern Memorial Hospital joined the iHT2 Education Department to discuss health care intelligence, convergence of data, and his new book, Innovation with Information Technologies in Healthcare (2012).

With the significant focus on health IT over the past several years, how has your organization evolved during that time?

We were relatively early on the bandwagon with a lot of IT – live with an EMR in 2002, and a patient portal in 2006.  So now our focus is on (1) Measuring and optimizing the use of these systems, and (2) Thinking about how we can innovatively use our systems to improve the value we deliver (e.g. improve quality, decrease cost).

What are the two most pressing challenges facing Northwestern Memorial Hospital and how are you working to overcome these hurdles?

Our biggest issues involve decreasing reimbursements, and the specter of new organizational changes via the ACA.  My focus is on finding, creating, piloting and spreading innovative technologies, processes and business models that increase value (quality/cost) for our organization.  This will involve changing culture, working on specific projects, and figuring out partnerships which make sense for us.

In addition to your work as a primary care physician, and your work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, you also are the founder and leader of the Szollosi Healthcare Innovation Program. Can you share with our audience what this is and your current initiatives at the program?

In addition to your work as a primary care physician, and your work at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, you also are the founder and leader of the Szollosi Healthcare Innovation Program. Can you share with our audience what this is and your current initiatives at the program?

The Szollosi Healthcare Innovation Program is a charitable endeavor with a mission to use creative thinking and diverse technologies to produce a better healthcare experience for patients, physicians and others associated with their care.   In the past, our work on care coordination has been highlighted in the Harvard Business Review and by the Hope Street Group and our work on “information visualization” won a competition sponsored by the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Innovation.   Over the past year, much of my SHIP sponsored time has been spent on editing a book detailing how other innovators have improve the quality and cost of care using HIT at their organizations.  A new project we are working on is called “Extreme Diabetic

It involves the use of video ethnography to study very poorly controlled diabetics to help determine how we can improve our system to help manage them better.  In other words, we will video tape interviews with patients in their homes, distill and summarize 5-10 different interviews, and then review the summary in an expert brainstorming group to come up with ideas we can move to pilots.

You will be delivering the Day 2 keynote presentation at the upcoming iHT2 Health IT Summit in Austin. What can attendees of the program expect to take away from your participation? 

The keynote focus on the intersection of innovation and healthcare IT… I will explain the science of innovation, and review 15 case studies from my newly published book detailing innovative uses of HIT:  What they did, why they did it, how they succeeded, lessons learned, and next steps.   It’s like a big cookbook of recipes about how to innovate, with sections on EMR Innovation, Telehealth Innovation, and Advanced Technology Innovation (e.g. analytics, portals, mobile and gaming).

Of note, the book is available now on Amazon: Click here to learn more!

 

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