Editor’s Note: In May 2014, Erkan Akyuz joined McKesson Technology Solutions as president of Imaging and Workflow Solutions (IWS). In his role as president, Akyuz interacts with customers on a daily basis and provides new opportunities for customers to learn about enterprise medical imaging technologies and achieve their healthcare IT objectives.
This article was originally published by Claudette Lew on Health IT Executive Forum and is republished here with permission.
- You began your journey in health IT at Mitra in Waterloo, Canada. How will your technical and engineering background influence your leadership of McKesson’s Imaging & Workflow Solutions?
As a software engineering graduate, I believed that healthcare IT was on the leading edge of research and development and it remains an exciting field. Starting as a developer then moving into the business side provides me with good visibility and understanding of technical, clinical and business side of the industry. My varied experiences will help us to continue advance our customers’ strategic initiatives, as we continue to advance this successful business.
As president of the business group, I will continue to support McKesson’s already strong commitment to our customers and reinforcing that we must continue to be committed to them and their success. My role is to continue to support our teams and our customers in their initiatives and reinforce the longstanding customer commitment.
- What do you see as the major challenges facing hospitals and health systems today regarding imaging technology solutions?
I remember when simply windowing/leveling and arranging CT images on the monitor was considered “value-add” to the radiologist, or when the physician was happy to have a dictated report one week later and when radiologists had sole purchasing decisions.
But that is not our world today. Today, there are more challenges than ever facing our customers and I feel that my time in the industry will help me to guide IWS to continue to develop solutions and services that not only add value to our customers’ bottom line but help them as they transition to value-added care.
Radiologists face key challenges and opportunities related to the evolution to value-based care, and must respond to reimbursement pressures with enterprise solutions that help enable interoperability and data consolidation. It is no longer enough to deliver siloed radiology or cardiology solutions.
- Which of these issues represents the best opportunity for new technology solutions to influence change?
By providing the interoperability required to drive down cost and realize the true value of enterprise imaging and delivering flexible, interoperable products and services that meet those needs, we will help our customers to deliver better patient care. Professional services will provide the peace of mind and expertise to help customers mitigate uncertainty.
- What are the immediate opportunities and challenges for developers of best-of-breed imaging technology in the healthcare enterprise?
Improving the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery by consolidating information and breaking down data silos helps to bring users the right images and the relevant data when they need it and where they need it. We can help by empowering the providers with information, analytics and services to quantify their contribution to the value chain.
- Healthcare IT functionality lags the performance of technology in consumer marketplaces. How do you envision McKesson closing that gap in medical imaging?
Our IT and workflow solutions provide the interoperability and flexibility required to drive down cost and realize the true value of enterprise imaging, in part by taking advantage of technology lessons learned in parallel markets.
Helping to connect imaging into the healthcare ecosystem ‑ through integrations and data standards ‑ is key to taking imaging from the dark reading rooms to the referring physicians’ offices, to the bedside during rounds, to the emergency rooms, to the operating rooms, and finally to the homes of the patients.
- Where is healthcare headed over the next five years and how have you aligned your goals to help providers get there?
We know that healthcare will continue to evolve and value-based care will presents both challenges and opportunities for our customers. McKesson will continue to deliver flexible, interoperable products and services that meet those needs and work with our customers to deliver better patient care.
Our goals are twofold: To build profitable partnerships with our customers with solutions and services that help them manage change rapidly and effectively, and guide them through consolidation; and to develop IT and workflow solutions that provide the interoperability and flexibility required to drive down cost and realize the true value of enterprise imaging.
We know that it is now more important than ever that the radiology community prepares to actively guide the transition from volume to value-based imaging. As a vendor, we must support this transition by providing solutions and services that not only lower the total cost of ownership but help our customers adapt to the pressures they experience as they adopt new technologies, workflows and processes that allow them to add value in new payment models and delivery systems.
Read more blog posts by Erkan Akyuz on the challenges and trends facing today’s healthcare professionals.