Barry Chaiken, MD, is someone I want you to know.
In my more than 30 years in healthcare, I’ve had the good fortune to work with many smart, articulate and committed physicians. I started my career in a doctor’s office, working as a file clerk in high school, and decided to stay in healthcare because of the mission-driven nature of the work and the complexity of the industry’s challenges.
That’s meant I’ve worked with numerous physicians through the years, witnessing firsthand how many have struggled with the business and administrative side of medicine, especially the electronic health record (EHR) and subsequently suffered from physician burnout. At the same time, I am inspired by the physicians who remain optimistic and committed to improving medicine for their physician peers and patients.
Take David B. Nash, MD, MBA, for example.
Dr. Nash is one of our nation’s most influential thought leaders within the population health movement. As I wrote in a blog last year, Dr. Nash, “cares deeply – about public accountability for outcomes, physician leadership development, quality of care improvement, and more recently about how patients physicians and the healthcare system recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. He’s the kind of person who encourages others to care as deeply as he does.”
Dr. Nash also is one of 18 physician leaders and healthcare experts featured in Navigating the Code: How Revolutionary Technology Transforms the Patient-Physician Journey, a new book written by Barry Chaiken, MD, MPH. Dr. Chaiken brings more than 25 years of experience in medical research, epidemiology, clinical information technology and analytics to his roadmap for leveraging health IT to improve the physician and patient experience. He also serves as the clinical lead at Tableau/Salesforce and is board-certified in general preventive medicine and public health.
Over the course of this year, I’ve had many opportunities to collaborate with Dr. Chaiken. Like Dr. Nash, he’s a hopeful and engaging problem-solver who is generous with his time and spirit. That’s why I was so eager to read his book and to share his refreshing perspective with Geneia podcast listeners.
Some of my favorite Dr. Chaiken quotes from the podcast are:
“Whether people realize it or not, they have seen a miracle in the last year, a real, true medical miracle. Before the pandemic, we did not create, test and administer a vaccine to millions and millions of people in less than four years. We did this [with the COVID-19 vaccine] in less than a year.”
“We have learned so much about healthcare in the last year….It was the first time in human history researchers from all around the world putaside their competitive juices and joined together to fight the pandemic….We've developed so much great basic science and basic science is the foundation for great medical breakthroughs.”
“You can look at the logs [of how physicians have worked with the EHR], analyze them and realize the way you have implemented the EHR may not be the best way, makes your physicians inefficient and makes them spend more time in the electronic health record and less time with the patient, and therefore causes their burnout.”
“If you're a practicing primary care physician or a specialist, it's important to embrace analytics. You have the background to be able to understand it and use your expertise and experience to figure out how to best leverage analytics. What type of request can I make to my analytics department that can help the way I provide care and that will be very beneficial to improving how that physician does their work and the outcomes for their patients.”
Listen now to Geneia Conversations: Redefining Healthcare to hear Dr. Barry Chaiken discuss his new book, the role of data, health information technology and analytics, and the medical miracle of the COVID-19 pandemic.