by Nashville Health Care Council | Nov 15, 2011

The Nashville Health Care Council and Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce recently traveled to Seattle to capitalize on opportunities for learning and partnerships within Seattle and Nashville’s health care and technology industries.

Bringing together talent from the two cities is an opportunity to expand on the improvements available through health care information technology (HIT), according to Mark Ganz, president and CEO of BlueCross BlueShield northwest affiliate The Regence Group: “Nashville is extremely strong in health care … Seattle is very strong on technology … They are complementary communities because they are hot beds of innovation.”

A panel hosted by the Council and Chamber, “Technology-Enabled Health Care: The Future of Health Care Services,” gathered nearly 100 health care and technology leaders on November 2, where Ganz joined David Kosloff, principal of Seattle venture capital firm Frazier Healthcare, Dennis Schmuland, M.D., chief health strategy officer of Microsoft Corporation, and Dan Slipkovich, co-founder, chairman and CEO of Nashville-based Capella Healthcare, to discuss emerging trends in health care delivery. Michael Burcham, president and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, moderated the panel. View panel members insights below.

Overwhelmingly, panel members expressed confidence that partnering to develop and utilize better integration of health care and technology would be productive and beneficial to the industry on a national level, underscoring the ability of these enhanced solutions to positively impact a myriad of health care issues, including management and prevention of chronic disease, cost and waste reduction and generally increased efficiency.

Slipkovich was encouraged about HIT’s increasing role as a top priority in health care systems. “As a longtime industry veteran, I’ve seen that health care has really lagged from the inefficient use of health information technology, but with the current momentum and national agenda of integrating health IT into health care … there’s a world of opportunity.”

“Technology is critical to reform the health care system,” according to Kosloff, who also stressed these solutions as a priority area of investment at his firm.

Looking forward, Schmuland sees enhanced HIT usage as a key tactic in improving the country’s overall health. “Over the next five years, we’re seeing the emergence and convergence of transformational trends that will make a huge different in conquering the most difficult problems … unchecked growth of chronic disease, obesity and waste.”

In addition to the panel session, Nashville travelers visited the headquarters of technology juggernaut Microsoft in Redmond, where they got an inside look at HIT accomplishments and the pipeline of improvements under development.

About the Nashville Health Care Council
The Nashville Health Care Council is an association of health care industry leaders working together to further establish Nashville’s position as the nation’s health care industry capital. Learn more at www.healthcarecouncil.com.

About the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce is Middle Tennessee’s largest business federation, representing more than 2,000 member companies. More information is available at www.nashvillechamber.com.

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