Fewer physicians, more patients: How health IT can help

HIMSS 2017
HIMSS' new CEO Harold "Hal" Wolf III says the healthcare industry will face enormous financial pressure in the next five to 10 years.

In a wide-ranging interview with FierceHealthcare, HIMSS CEO Harold "Hal" Wolf III talked about how health technology can help ease financial pressures on the healthcare system driven in part by an aging population, including artificial intelligence.

The relationship between physicians and AI is symbiotic, he said, and there will always be a need for human touch in patient care. Robots and AI are merely tools.

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"Let’s go back to the math: There are going to be more people and we’re not going to be producing enough physicians, or nurses or clinicians to take care of everybody who is outside of the hospital," Wolf said. "So we’re going to need all of these tool sets."

All healthcare leaders are going to have to learn how to manage change in the next five to 10 years.

"Healthcare recognizes it is in the midst of a very large change management effort. Change management is leadership and management understanding that the world they are in right now is shifting and they’ve got to prepare their workforce."

READ THE FULL Q&A: HIMSS CEO Hal Wolf says digital tools will help providers navigate the next decade of economic turmoil