Instrumented Interconnecteds Intelligent
December, 10th 2012

Dan Pelino, General Manager, Global Healthcare & Life Sciences, IBM

By Dan Pelino

Last week, I had the opportunity to join leaders from all aspects of the healthcare ecosystem at the Forbes Healthcare Summit in New York City. We have all attended conferences like this in the past. We have heard ideas that are aspiring and some of these ideas inspire us to take an action.

What I found different and energizing about this event was the acceleration of the dialogue in creating value beyond the traditional barriers of health and healthcare. No one at the event was satisfied with status quo. The data is overwhelming and we all agree that new business models need to emerge. 

We heard examples of leadership, collaboration and governance that have had a profound impact on populations. We heard the rallying cry that we cannot leave the challenge of healthcare at the doorstep of hospital emergency rooms. We heard that this is a journey – not a one and done appointment.

Symbolic of their off-stage collaboration, the University of Rochester Medical Center and Excellus BlueCross BlueShield came together at the event to discuss the pivotal role that healthcare has played in the city of Rochester’s revitalization. Seven large employers joined forces in an effort to make Rochester one of the healthiest communities in the U.S.

As a result of this collaboration and the commitment to health as a pillar of its economic development, the city now has some of the lowest healthcare and health insurance costs in the country.

It has also become a center of innovation in healthcare and life sciences. The University of Rochester Health Sciences Center for Computational Innovation (HSCCI) is home to IBM’s next generation supercomputer – the Blue Gene/Q. The Center for Governmental Research estimates that the project could create 900 jobs in the community and generate $205 million in new research funding over the next 10 years.

These leaders, from industries ranging from academia to healthcare, have demonstrated the powerful impact that a common vision can have on a city and the quality of services that they are able to deliver to their citizens.

This work requires a level of discipline and collaboration to be called out, encouraged and rewarded. We can all learn from Rochester. We must go beyond traditional barriers and relationships that have restricted our ability to deliver outcomes that matter.

We are all in this together and this event reminded me again – leadership matters. We are on the cusp of a tremendous opportunity to completely modernize the face of healthcare as we know it. This move requires leaders that are willing to take action to turn vision into reality. The time is now.

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