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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Those who remember the past are condemned to watch others repeat it.

This tweet (and also the title of this post) from a college buddy had me rolling on the floor laughing this morning.

Now that we are past the elections, I suppose it's time that I jump on the post-election post bandwagon.  Having worked on Healthcare IT through several administrations, I find myself somewhat amused by all the pre-election discussion of what would happen to Healthcare IT depending on who gets elected.

What is clear in the Health IT space is that there will be change. The change I see in the Health IT space is a shift towards business intelligence, mobile technology and patient engagement.  Organizations which adopt patient enabling technology, or more cost-effective mobile computing technology or which are more aware of what their information systems know and can tell them will continue to advance.  Those that don't will eventually find themselves in decline.  The changes are driven by consumers, shaped by experts and championed by politicians.

Yes, a change in leadership will have an impact, and it's not irrelevant.  A new leader can advance or slow a trend, but will hardly ever reverse it.  Once the boulder is rolling downhill, the only successful strategy for a leader is to get behind it.  If you are left in front of it trying to hold it back, your choices are to be run over, or to dodge.

One way to understand where we are going is to understand where we have been.  There are good and very obvious reasons for doing that, but with respect to changing administrations, one reason is a bit more subtle.  Every administration will inevitably revisit some decisions of the previous one, retracing many of the steps.  What I'm very glad for right now is that we have a few more years before we have to rethink what we thought through before only to come to largely the same conclusions.


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