Paul Grundy Commentary to IOM Series: Bringing Knowledge Home

Dr. Grundy is the Global Director of Healthcare Transformation at IBM and President of the PCPCC.

In the next 10 years, data and the ability to analyze them will do for doctors’ minds what X-ray and medical imaging have done for their vision. How? By turning data into actionable information. Take, for instance, IBM’s intelligent supercomputer, Watson. Watson can analyze the meaning and con-text of human language and quickly process vast amounts of information. With this information, it can suggest options targeted to a patient’s specific circumstances. This technology can help physicians and nurses identify the most effective courses of treatment for their patients, and it is an almost immediate process. In less than 3 seconds, Watson can sift through the equivalent of about 200 million pages, evaluate the information, and provide precise responses. With medical information doubling every 5 years, advanced health analytic systems technologies like this can help improve patient care through the delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based health care.But merely having the right information will not assure delivery of the right care. If physicians still are paid per minute of time and per episode of care, and are not held accountable for the care they deliver, using this data will be of little value. So, how to make sure this actionable information flows and is held accountable at the level of a healing relationship?

Note: The views expressed in commentaries are those of the authors and not necessarily of the authors’ organizations or of the IOM. Commentaries are intended to help inform and stimulate discussion. They have not been subjected to the review procedures of the IOM and are not reports of the IOM or of the National Research Counci

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