Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Dispatch from Scotland

I was in Scotland over the weekend, helping a multi-disciplinary group of academic and government leaders with strategic IT planning.

Scotland, like New Zealand, is a remarkable learning laboratory.  With a population of 5.5 million, a supportive government, and talented informatics professionals, it�s the perfect storm for innovation.

Scotland is driven by 3 urgencies - an aging population, increasing budget pressure, and an imperative to maintain high quality.  All stakeholders in Scotland agree that IT is an enabler to maximize value.

Scotland has a number of infrastructure components currently missing in the US.  It has a lifetime national healthcare identifier.   It has a national image repository.  It has a national emergency medical record.  It has a single team for nationwide healthcare analytics.    It has a single set of privacy laws.   In my recent advice to the Trump administration, I recommended similar foundational work for the US.

In September, the Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, released the Wachter Review, a set of recommendations for NHS England that a small team of US and UK experts produced collaboratively.

A few of us are likely to help Scotland with a similar report.

I served the Bush administration for 4 years and the Obama administration for 6 years.   Over the next 4 years, I�m likely to serve administrations in New Zealand, Canada, Scotland, China, and Nordic countries.   There is remarkable power in 5 million person pilots to show the world what is possible when technology, policy, and bottom up stakeholder demand align.

There will be many lessons learned from international collaborators.   I view my role as helping governments avoid the pitfalls I�ve witnessed over my career and engaging appropriate experts to facilitate change.

Scotland and New Zealand are my favored learning laboratories.   Maybe we can create a friendly competition between the two.   A World Cup for healthcare IT awaits.
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