Dr Harlan Krumholz: How Healthcare Can Better Implement New Technologies

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We need to collaborate and test these innovations in controlled circumstances so that we can evaluate their effect and understand what needs to be iterated to continue to improve them, explained Harlan Krumholz, MD, SM, the Harold H. Hines Jr professor, Medicine and Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale School of Medicine, and director, Center for Outcomes Research and Evaluation, Yale-New Haven Hospital.


It seems like technology is improving at a faster pace than healthcare can keep up; how can we bridge that gap, so healthcare can better implement new technologies? 
Corporations are the key for us to be able to adopt technology at a rapid pace and appropriately. The idea is that we have to all be holding hands collaborating and creating areas in places to test innovation and putting it in controlled circumstances so that we can evaluate their effect and understand what needs to be iterated and continue to improve them. If we don’t work together and create it within safe environments where we’re hyper measuring and understanding their impact, and then being able to scale out when appropriate, we’ll never really make progress because then we’ll just have different vendors and different companies trying to push different solutions and particularly on decision support, all of this needs to be evaluated thoroughly.

But, the problem is that we don’t really have places that are easy for that to be evaluated. We need to create test beds, places these can be tried, but tried in ways that are safe for patients, but still studied intensely so that we can learn from them. Otherwise, there’s a sense that healthcare is resistant to technology. I don’t think that is necessarily the case, I just think we don’t know exactly how to bring it forward. We know how to do that with drugs, we’re doing that with devices, and we could always use more data in those areas. But with regard to technology, we’re just feeling our way about, so when new technology comes out, how should we think about it? Do we think about it like drugs and devices, and if we do, how do we evaluate them quickly in appropriate places so that we can make progress?
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