Report from the CHIEF Fall Symposium 2017

Enabling innovation partnerships: CHIEF Symposium Fall 2017

Public and private sector leaders from across Canada convened in Toronto on September 29 + 30 for the CHIEF Symposium Fall 2017. Members of CHIEF: Canada’s Health Informatics Executive Forum meet twice annually to connect with other healthcare leaders, build and deepen relationships, and address system challenges. Attendees at the latest Symposium dove into a dialogue on digital health leadership priorities; participated in a working session on next-generation healthcare funding models; learned more about blockchain technology and its use in Canadian healthcare; and discussed how partnerships are driving innovation in jurisdictions across Canada.

“The CHIEF Symposium acts as a collaborative space for digital health executives from public and private sector to explore new ideas or gain a different perspective on an existing challenge,” said Mark Casselman, CEO, Digital Health Canada: Canada’s Health Informatics Association (CHIEF is a Digital Health Canada initiative). “CHIEF Members make connections and learn from one another, either through the formal presentations, breakout sessions, or the casual networking that happens over dinner.”

Two days of deep learning

Keynote David Chou, Chief Information & Digital Officer, Children’s Mercy Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri Area, outlined his vision of “A New Breed of CIO”, sharing insights and tactics to strengthen leadership and influence on digital initiatives. He presented four archetypes of CIO leadership, and discussed the evolution of the CIO role as Chief “Influence” Officer within the context of digital transformation. Dr. Ed Brown, CEO, Ontario Telemedicine Network, initiated the first of a two-part discussion on “Enabling Innovation Partnerships (Part One).” The discussion focused on the necessity of partnerships to fast-track patient-centred care innovations and enable the healthcare system to take advantage of solutions and ideas that align with health system strategies.

Part One focused on Ontario Telemedicine Network’s launch of the Virtual Healthcare Marketplace Program, put in place to help healthcare organizations more aggressively implement digital health care solutions and help the best solutions scale across the health system.

“Enabling Innovation Partnership (Part Two)” featured Panelists Peter Bascom, Chief Architect, eHealth Ontario and Dr. Victoria Lee, Chief Medical Health Officer and Vice-President, Population Health, Fraser Health sharing their experiences and lessons learned connecting innovators with traditional health care delivery system partners. Peter Bascom shared insights behind the implementation of an online, open provincial EHR platform that allows solutions to be tested in a virtual EHR environment and to prototype new ideas. Dr. Lee discussed partnerships and technology innovation powered by out-of-the-box thinking and solutions to improve quality of patient and population health within the BC Health System.

Advancing health innovation in Canada

Advancing the health innovation agenda in Canada requires connections between many elements, including: clinical innovation and new models for care delivery, access to meaningful data via effective technology, and modernized funding models. “Health Service Funding Modernization: Innovation, Outcomes, Impact” looked at the current state of healthcare funding in jurisdictions across Canada, as well as points of view on future models that will provide the foundation for innovative and effective care delivery in Canada. Melissa Farrell, Assistant Deputy Minister, Health System Quality and Funding, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and Alexis Wise, Senior Manager, Health Systems Innovation and The Centre for Impact Investing, MaRS Discovery District presented. CHIEF breakout groups developed project proposals that leverage innovative funding and risk sharing models.

CHIEF Members were introduced to blockchain in healthcare use cases such as patient-centric health records and health claims management by Tyrone Austen, Director, Business Intelligence, Gevity. First leveraged through the financial domain vertical (i.e. Bitcoin), blockchain will have potentially far-reaching applications in healthcare. This session provided background on how blockchain technology can help leaders address challenges and opportunities that require an accessible, decentralized, yet highly secure record of data.

Setting priorities, sparking ideas

CHIEF Fall Symposium presentations were interspersed with networking opportunities, brainstorming sessions, and breakout discussions with valuable outcomes. One exercise asked CHIEF Members to identify their most important priority for the coming year via keyword responses – and CHIEFs highlighted themes that included interoperability, clinical, innovation, scaling, patients, and strategy. Breakout groups considered healthcare challenges and developed specific blockchain in healthcare use cases. Another participant-driven session allowed for peer-to-peer dialogue, creativity, and collaboration to generate a framework for mapping the Canadian Digital Health ecosystem.

“The value of the CHIEF Symposium lies in the opportunity it gives digital health leaders to connect with each other and connect with new ideas,” said Mark Casselman. “I am always inspired by these leaders and the great ideas that are generated at the CHIEF Symposium.”

Post-Symposium, CHIEF Members keep the digital health conversation alive through collaborative working groups, transforming new ideas into advocacy efforts and thought leadership materials and tools.

The next CHIEF Symposium will take place on May 25 & 26 in conjunction with the e-Health Conference and Tradeshow 2018, May 27 – 30 in Vancouver. Read more about CHIEF: Canada’s Health Informatics Executive Forum here.