To further the transformation of healthcare, HIMSS recently became a member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). Inspired by CGI, we are implementing the “Commitment to Action” model in the Healthcare Transformation Project, giving senior healthcare executives the opportunity to commit to taking actionable, measurable steps in their organizations that will make a real difference in the lives of the people they serve in their communities.
Recently, I attended one of the most inspirational events I’ve ever experienced, CGI’s 2012 meeting led by President Bill Clinton. This experience gave me a new perspective on the meaning of “Commitment to Action.” I attended sessions where I watched … no, I sat side-by-side with … global leaders of nations and companies brainstorming on how to solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges in eight focus areas including global health and technology.
I was blown away in one particular design lab in which I participated with the Surgeon General of the United States Regina Benjamin, MD, MBA; Jillian Michaels; and many other leaders from around the world sitting at small round tables working together to figure out how we could design healthier urban environments that help prevent chronic diseases. Each table spent time answering specific questions in sequence, then, formulated a consensus around a final idea. At my table, we came up with the idea to revitalize public spaces by creating ‘micro-villages’ that feature public markets, micro-businesses (including healthcare businesses), and communal exercise areas.
Another session I attended was a small group discussion on safe and sustainable transportation led by the U. S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, accompanied by well-known actress Michelle Yeoh who is the Global Ambassador for the Make Roads Safe campaign. In this session, we explored mobility solutions in infrastructure design, new and alternative vehicles, road safety, and accessibility. I was intrigued with the discussion around the range of electric vehicles someday reaching over 700 kilometers…apparently, the capability is within reach.
So, what does this have to do with the meaning of “Commitment to Action”?
Commitment to Action is a component of membership in the CGI. The other CGI members I met have committed to take action to resolve the world’s most pressing challenges. They have documented their commitments by specifying actionable, measurable steps they will take to make a transformative difference in people’s lives. They are committing resources, forging new partnerships, and measuring the progress and impact of their initiatives.
As a member of CGI, our commitment to action is the Healthcare Transformation Project. It is said that all healthcare occurs in the local community. I say healthcare transformation begins in the local community.
For example, I had the privilege of speaking with Dr. Amy Lehman, President and Executive Director of the Lake Tanganyika Floating Health Clinic about her commitment to action. She is committed to expanding a communications network around Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The residents living in the Lake Tanganyika basin are not receiving adequate healthcare, because they are cut off from the health centers intended to serve them.
Amy’s organization will install a communications network with laptop computers that will allow for the collection and sharing of data, as well as the creation of an electronic medical records system. This commitment presents an opportunity for a quantum leap forward for healthcare data collection in the basin, leading to better treatments, preventative practices, and healthcare outcomes for patients. She made a commitment, and she’s following through. That is only one example of the many I learned about during this event.
I urge you and your senior executives to join us in this cause to transform healthcare through the best use of information technology. I am committed to doing everything I can to help, but I can’t do it alone. Whether you commit to achieving Stage 7 of the EMR Adoption Model, or you commit to using information technology to extend your services to one of those visionary micro-villages in revitalized public spaces, real transformation will not occur without real commitments to action.
Our commitment to action is the Healthcare Transformation Project…
…What will be your commitment to action?
Join us at the Healthcare Transportation Project event in Florida to explore your commitment to action opportunities. Contact me directly at email@example.com for an invitation and registration information.