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Robin Shah: Choosing the Right Technology for Community Oncologists

Technology is becoming more prevalent in practice, so it's crucial that practices choose the right technology to deliver care, said Robin Shah, vice president of Provider Marketing and Strategy at Flatiron Health.


Technology is becoming more prevalent in practice, so it's crucial that practices choose the right technology to deliver care, said Robin Shah, vice president of Provider Marketing and Strategy at Flatiron Health.

Transcript

How much do community oncologists rely on new technology not only to deliver better care to patients, but also to keep their business competitive?

It’s becoming more and more prevalent in practice today. So, I would say 5 years ago, technology was an afterthought. It was something that people did during the launch of the Affordable Care Act when meaningful use came out saying that you must have an EHR [electronic health record]. And people sort of did that as a check the box: I am going to implement this because the government says I have to by 2009, I believe, or 2010. So people used it but they didn’t actually use the technology. They actually just used it as a storage system.

I think in the last 18 months, practices have realized that technology is going to be be crucial for their success. Now, and in the future. It is probably one of the fastest-growing investments that community oncology practices are making in their businesses today. But I think the problem is they’re not sure of which investments to make. Because the cost is high for new systems, new technology, and right now you’re not getting paid for implementing these things. When you make a large investment, typically in a business, you hope that that investment will pay a return investment.

Right now, because the payment models aren’t changing fast enough, but you’re expected to be there at some point without the infrastructure to build towards it, practices are making investments hoping that it’ll get paid for in the future. And making the right investment is the important thing. So you make the wrong one, you’ll have this massive investment in the wrong technology that then won’t allow you to be successful in the future.

 
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