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Atul Gawande to keynote HIMSS19

The CEO of Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase joint venture will speak at HIMSS19 in February.

Susan Morse, Senior Editor

HIMSS announced Thursday that Dr. Atul Gawande will be the opening keynote speaker at the HIMSS19 Global Conference in February.

Gawande will discuss his "bold vision for a better world," during the keynote, according to HIMSS.

Gawande leads the closely-watched healthcare venture that was launched in January as a nonprofit to provide high-quality and transparent care at a reasonable cost by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JP Morgan Chase. The three corporate behemoths have the financial, analytical and technological clout to change how healthcare is delivered, at the very least, for their one million-plus combined employees.

CEOs Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett and Jamie Dimon have said little about what they want for the new company, other than it will be an independent entity, free from profit-making incentives and restraints, and based in Boston.

Gawande founded Ariadne Labs to deliver better care by improving the performance of health systems through design, system engineering and implementation science. Ariadne Labs is a joint center for innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1998 and has written four best-sellers around the practice of medicine.

Gawande has thus far revealed little about plans for the new healthcare company. By statement he has discussed building scalable solutions for better healthcare delivery, eliminating wasteful spending, reducing suffering, and having the backing of the three organizations to create an impact for their employees and to "incubate better models of care for all."

The question being asked is whether healthcare can deliver innovative, scalable, global solutions that will result in improved patient outcomes, improved patient satisfaction and improved cost efficiency.

Although few details are currently available, save for the revelation of Gawande hiring Jack Stoddard as COO of the venture, there is considerable expectation that the company will be as innovative as Gawande's model for better end-of-life care put forward in his best-selling book, Being Mortal.

"Dr. Gawande has focused his career on the complexities of our healthcare system to deliver practical solutions that better serve the needs of people and the values that make for a healthier society," HIMSS said by statement. "In delivering better care, we face significant challenges – grand societal issues, how health consumerization is changing the way patients and clinicians interact, the impact of the Silver Tsunami on healthy aging and more. These challenges are driving the need for innovation in order to achieve the improvements in patient outcomes, patient satisfaction and cost efficiencies we all desire."

Gawande is scheduled to speak at the HIMSS19 Global Conference in Orlando, Florida at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 12.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse
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