July 20, 2020
OnTrak News Flash No.5: The Fight Against COVID-19
From the Desk of Dimitri Fane, Director of Product Management, InterSystems TrakCare®
The last introduction I wrote for this newsletter started as so many other articles do these days, with “As I sit at my desk at home…” This was not so long ago, yet working remotely was enough of a novelty that it warranted a mention. Not quite 8 weeks later, it feels the whole world has changed, and I’m ready to say (with apologies to Doc Brown from the classic 80’s film Back To The Future): “Desks? Where we’re going we don’t need desks.”
While international work travel remains in the more distant future, we are in fact slowly returning to newly reconfigured offices. What does seem clear is that the world we’re going back to will be different; many of the workarounds we have put in place urgently will become commonplace. Virtual healthcare is here to stay, mobile lab testing will continue to grow, healthcare will be changed in ways we couldn’t imagine just a few months ago, and technology will continue to enable this transformation. Our teams and our clients have become used to meeting virtually, and this will allow us to speak more often and spend more time working collaboratively.
For example, I’m finding it more natural and easier to set up video meeting with clients, which means we can speak more often and not wait until I am able to travel to their region. While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lead to tragic loss and pain, we’re also witnessing innovation and transformation in response at a pace we’ve never seen. Large organizations are delivering digital transformation projects at a speed that would be unheard of before. It would be inappropriate to suggest that there’s a silver lining to the pandemic, but I do hope that we learn as an industry that it’s possible to deliver value in short bursts and incrementally, and that some of the lessons learned will lead to benefits in the future. Speeding up time to value, working iteratively, and becoming more agile and creative in response to clinical and business challenges will lead to a better future for all of us.
This issue covers some of the ways our clients are adjusting to the new normal. We’ve had our first major virtual go-live. This was a resounding success; there are lessons learned for us and our clients, to be sure – but we have proven it’s possible. Virtual go-lives show a lot of promise: not only could they lower costs, but they may also enable us to leverage a broader range of experienced people who wouldn’t necessarily be able to travel to every go-live.
We’ll also highlight how some of our clinical staff have temporarily returned to the front lines in order to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries. We are all extremely proud of our clinical staff who are taking time out to work on the front lines, and I’m pleased we can highlight some of their stories.
Speaking of change, it is my great honor to introduce a very special video interview. Christine Chapman, Vice President of TrakCare, decided to retire after a long and distinguished career in healthcare technology concluding with nearly two decades at InterSystems. In this interview, my colleague Joan Ostergaard speaks to Chris about her career and her thoughts on where we’ve been and the future of healthcare technology. Many of you have been lucky enough to meet and spend time with Chris, or to hear her speak at one of the many customer symposiums she has addressed over the years. All of us at InterSystems have been profoundly lucky to work with her and learn from her as she helped to shape TrakCare, InterSystems, and the global healthcare IT industry. She has been recognized outside of InterSystems as one of the most influential women in healthcare technology and has had a positive impact on the people around her, our products and our business. We will all miss working with Chris on a day-to-day basis but wish her well on the next steps in her journey and look forward to hearing where the road takes her.
Please enjoy this issue. As always, I invite you to get in touch if you have any questions or comments about topics covered in this issue of OnTrak.