Geisinger Health System, which I consider to be one of the most innovative and progressive health systems in the country, is planning a national health care symposium next month. The invitation-only event will be held Nov. 8, 9 and 10 on the Danville, Pennsylvania, campus of Geisinger Medical Center (see: “From Crisis to Cure” to be held in November on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center). I have posted a number of notes about Geisinger's innovation efforts in the past (see, for example: Geisinger Develops Its Own EHR Interconnectivity Software Solution; Should Hospitals Recruit Patients for Drug Company Research Projects?; Geisinger Health System Serves as a Supplier of Fresh Food to Some of Its Diabetic Patients).
Hillary Clinton is scheduled as the keynote speaker at the event. In addition to her, other participants include Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Dr. Howard Dean, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Thomas H. Lee, and Judy Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic (see: Geisinger Authority member disagrees with speaker choices). I am generally opposed to inviting politicians with their large speaking fees to medical conferences such as this one. Clinton's speaking fee has been quoted in the past as about $200,000 per event (see: Here's Who Paid Hillary Clinton $22 Million in Speaking Fees). I don't know what Howard Dean charges for an appearance but I suspect that it's at least in the high five figures (see: Howard Dean). I would humbly suggest that the money being used to support these two speakers could be spent in a better way.
I must admit, however, that what interested me most about the symposium was the fact that one of the speakers was Judy Faulker. This is really unusual. So unusual, in fact, that a Geisinger spokesperson, Kevin Brennan, Geisinger's chief financial officer, said the following about her participation: [Brennan] added that Faulkner doesn't normally speak in public. He said Geisinger officials were "thrilled" she was speaking at the symposium (see: “From Crisis to Cure” to be held in November on the campus of Geisinger Medical Center). Because Faulkner rarely speaks at conferences, one needs to ask why does she now make an appearance at Geisinger?
First the question needs to be asked, what is the current Geisinger EHR profile. Here's a quote from 2015 (see: Geisinger making Epic, Cerner work together for population health):
Geisinger Health System, an Epic shop, has chosen to integrate Cerner's HealtheIntent platform. In particular, the Pennsylvania vertically integrated care delivery system, often compared to Kaiser Permanante, uses the Data Syndication, HealtheEDW, HealtheRecord, and HealthRegistries products from the platform. The platform is billed by Cerner as a cloud-based programmable population analytics toolset and is designed for scale to operate in semi-real time....According to...[Geisinger's chiefs data officer], the institutional challenges the Cerner system met to beat out the competition revolved around how the tools and partnerships fit into the analytics environment more than any explicit functional gaps with other products the company looked at.
Faulkner definitely has some purpose behind her trip to Danville. If I were a betting person, I would suggest that the visit has some connection to "population health" (see: Epic, Cerner Get Middling Marks on Population Health Management). We will see what happens in November.
Additional resource posted on 11/3/2017: Geisinger ready for national guests (Hillary Clinton will be speaking at symposium for free)