Why can’t healthcare work like an ATM machine?
This week I attended the Ingram Micro SMB Alliance conference in Las Vegas. The event was well run and features a tonne of cloud and SMB content for the channel along with several interesting speakers such as Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger of Notre Dame and movie fame. His speech was outstanding, but little known Michael Humke, senior director of healthcare and vertical markets for Ingram Micro made a better, more impactful presentation.
I'm not trying to compare Humke with Rudy because they were different. Humke was about information, while Rudy's talk was more inspirational. I got an opportunity afterward to talk to Humke and Rudy for that matter, but more on him later. I found Humke to be incredibly passionate about fixing healthcare. Healthcare in the U.S. is a disaster. Some of my American friends in the industry have to pay $300, $500, and $800 or more a month for healthcare insurance. It's not that much better in Canada. Sure our healthcare is free but there is a tonne of inefficiencies in our system that can be improved with technology.
Humke gave a great example from NoMoreClipboard.com. They are testing a solution whereby a patient swipes his driver's license or in Canada the healthcard when he or she drives into the parking lot and by the time that person gets to reception all of the paperwork is filled in, his wristband is ready and he has a room assigned to him or her.
Wow! That is a five minute procedure that would get rid of a lot of wait times at Canadian hospitals.
Humke asked me: “Why can't healthcare work like an ATM machine?” It's a good question. If you go to an ATM machine it will know a lot of your banking history and you can update it and it will keep track of your changes. This does not occur in healthcare where patients are ask to fill out forms, answer questions from nurses and doctors that can be easily recalled through a smart device.
What gets Humke is that most of the healthcare workers whether they are nurses or doctors spend more time doing paperwork than looking after patients who need their help.
“I've been going to the same doctor for 100 years and each time I have to fill out a form and answers questions about my general health,” he said. Humke's viewpoint is why can't that information be stored somewhere either on-premise or in the cloud and retrieved before he walks into the doctor's office?
“We don't do healthcare online, but we can fix cars online, PCs, order plane tickets, but no healthcare.”
Also the information that hospitals have isn't used appropriately. He tells the story of an 87-year old woman who was choking from food at a restaurant. An ambulance is called and by the time it arrives the women has dislodged the food and is ok. Just for precautions she is admitted to the hospital. She fills in forms and waits for a doctor. The doctor checks her out and then officially releases her. At that moment, a nurse arrives to administer a blood test for $500. Humke said why wasn't the information of her release passed on? Then after that another nurse arrives to administer an EKG for another $500.
Humke hopes, through his role at Ingram, to motivate the channel community to look at this new solutions to improve efficiencies in healthcare. And to create a new environment he called “Predictive Healthcare.” Predictive Healthcare enables hospital workers to use data to examine similar cases with similar age people – basically data mining. Predictive Healthcare can eliminate a lot of drug trials and it will enable doctors, nurses, hosiptals and clinics to collaborate with each other. It can save thousands of hours and astronomical amounts of money, while offering better care and better use of drugs. He said that one in every seven dollars spent in the U.S. is for healthcare. “The only thing that is going to fix healthcare is IT.”
I agree and I think as an industry we should support Humke as much as possible.
Good luck Mike.
One quick hit before I go. Brian Stevenson, president ofLaserNetworks has resigned. He dropped me a note saying: “I wrapped up my Lasernetworks career this past Friday. It has been a great experience & I’ve enjoyed leading the company through such rapid growth over the past several years, but now will begin to look forward to the next opportunity.
“I’d like to sincerely thank you & your entire team for the critical support along the way. From naming Lasernetworks the Top Managed Services provider in Canada a couple of years ago to one of the Top Green IT providers each year (for the past several), CDN has played a very important part in the accelerated growth of Lasernetworks since I've been President. You have also supported my introduction to key channel partners & players…something that has been very meaningful to me & my development as a member of the IT space in Canada. It has been much appreciated…and if there is anything I can do to 'pay back' for all of the support, please don't hesitate to ask.”
Brian has been a long time friend of CDN and I want to wish he the very best. He is an asset to the Canadian channel.

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