Upskill, future proof and accept the inevitable was the message to healthcare providers who gathered in Sydney to hear about the digital revolution, with one global expert warning of changes that will be dramatic and swift.

Buckle up, the ride is about to speed up, according to Russell Branzell, head of the US College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), who said radical change is a matter of time.

“Where it may have taken centuries or even decades to get [existing healthcare] process in place, some of it will change so dramatically so quickly that it will be very disruptive to our industry. It’s inevitable, so the best thing to do is to start leading the change,” he said.

To do otherwise will lead to failure, Branzell said today at the HIMSS Australia eHealth Summit 2017, with clinical relevance, skill set application and business success all depending on a healthcare provider’s ability to adapt.

“It sounds callous to say it this way but either you’re going to be changing or you’re going to be dying. It’s really one or the other. You can’t just say, ‘I’m going to be doing what I’m doing today,’ and think it’s going to generally be successful," he said.

"You might make it through the short term if you’re a few years from retirement, but the reality is that the healthcare system of 10 years from now will look radically different.”

To embark on this futuristic journey, healthcare providers and IT specialists need to be visionary.

“We’ve been so busy putting technology in to build that foundation; well, now we’ve built the foundation what do we want to build on top of it? That’s where the artistry of what we’re going to do in change management and change leadership is really going to happen because we could go in many different directions,” Branzell said.

“But what we do know is the computing capability that is out in front of us is so radically different than maybe most of thought and it’s also going to create this change chasm so quickly for us that it will be disruptive to say the least.”



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