1876 – “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo.
1943 – “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM.
1957 – “I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won’t last out the year.” — The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall.
1977 – “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp.
Keeping up with technology is never easy. Just when my VHS collection is complete, it’s time to switch to DVD’s. Then I master my palm pilot and the smart phone hits the market. And OMG, I won’t even start in on the teens and their texting! And now there’s Facebook, Skype, Foursquare, Twitter and even Google+ to add to the mix.
When I first started working at Inova, there was no email. Can you imagine? For me, one of the first noticeable benefits of email was easy access to phone numbers. Before email, phone directories were printed, distributed in a small 3 ring binder and were constantly in need of being updated. A person could easily spend 15 minutes tracking down a phone number for a director in IMC. Imagine if Inova had been too afraid to make the leap and accept email as the new way to conduct business. Maybe we were too afraid of change or didn’t think the added cost would be fiscally prudent. Is this a hospital you would want treating you – a hospital without the foresight to invest in email?
One of the problems we have in marketing ourselves is being able to differentiate what it is that sets us apart from our competition. Everyone claims to have the latest and greatest in technology. We have the daVinci robot, the hybrid operating room and the Nanoknife. And now we are getting ready to launch EpicCare, our new electronic medical record system to integrate Inova system wide to improve the overall quality, safety and efficiency of the health delivery system. One of the most strategic investments is in information technology because it will improve patient safety and lead us into the future of healthcare. So, what is it that sets us apart from the competition?
It’s that we strive to be the leaders. We don’t want to be the “me too’s.” We aim to be in the front setting the standards by which others follow. But we are only able to do this with support. Support from the community, our donors, politicians, but most importantly, in my mind, support from our staff. We have pulled some of our best and brightest from across the system to help in customizing and bringing EpicCare on board. A few of these folks have used EpicCare at other facilities but most are learning as we go. We are receiving valuable input and suggestions and are working hard to customize this new software program to fit our specific Inova needs to a tea. I am so grateful for these folks that have stepped up to the plate, for it is this type of dedication and commitment that sets us apart.
I’ll close with another quote, this one by Bill Gates: “If I’d had some set idea of a finish line, don’t you think I would have crossed it years ago?”
Onward, upward and happy tweeting.