In the Future of Healthcare, High Tech Meets High Touch

Sacred Heart Hospital's "Inventing the Future" summit explored healthcare in the digital universe

Aug 31, 2010, 15:14 ET from Sacred Heart Hospital

EAU CLAIRE, Wis., Aug. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, people tend to live in two worlds – a digital and a physical universe – but in the near future, these two universes will merge. This concept was one of many explored last week at Sacred Heart Hospital's "Inventing the Future" summit. Healthcare, industry and academic leaders discussed the role of technology and innovation in the future of healthcare.

(Photo: )

(Photo: )

"The digital universe continues to become more of our everyday culture within the healthcare industry," said Kamal Thapar, MD, PhD, FRCS(C), Marshfield Clinic neurosurgeon and director of the Brain & Spine Institute at Sacred Heart Hospital. "I recently diagnosed a patient's condition through comments she posted on her Facebook page. At the time, she was unable to tell me her previous hospital treatments, but after reading her entries on Facebook, I was able to treat her properly."

Throughout the day, leading healthcare organizations addressed the role of technology within healthcare, including electronic medical records (EMRs). Hoda Sayed-Friel, VP marketing, MEDITECH, discussed how physicians and medical staff should not worry so much about where medical data is stored. All medical files need to be digitized and centralized.

"Patients already believe doctors share medical information," said Sayed-Friel. "Physicians and hospital organizations need to be able to provide care without walls blocking them. Engage their patients and provide them with the best care possible.  It's all about reinventing the patient experience."

Sacred Heart Hospital will launch their EMR system in early September and continue to reinvent the patient experience within their organization. "Sacred Heart Hospital continues to invest in the latest technology for our patients and community," said Steve Ronstrom, CEO of Sacred Heart Hospital and President, Western Wisconsin Division, Hospital Sisters Health System. "The summit was an opportunity for community members and healthcare leaders to immerse themselves into the future of healthcare technology."

"Sacred Heart Hospital also is looking into the future to create the ultimate in healthcare for our patients," said Ronstrom. "We're implementing an Imagining the Future 2016 program to solicit community input to look beyond the norms of healthcare and discuss the role it will play in our community and everyday lives."

Other summit participants include the Center for Health Transformation, Siemens Medical Solutions USA, BrainLAB, Cray Inc., and Hospital Sisters Health System.

To learn more about what was discussed during the "Inventing the Future" summit, watch the webcast videos posted online.

About Sacred Heart Hospital

Sacred Heart Hospital strives to provide patients the best, most specialized treatment available by blending advanced technology with the Franciscan tradition to improve health by treating the whole person – body, mind and spirit. As an affiliate of the Hospital Sisters Health System, the hospital has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin, since 1889, with the latest medical innovations and technology. For additional information about Sacred Heart Hospital, visit


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SOURCE Sacred Heart Hospital