The West Wireless Health Institute (WWHI) has launched an ambitious new initiative, the West Wireless Health Council (WWHC), with the objective of creating an open framework to accelerate wireless technology in health care under the direction of an elite team of CIOs and health system executives from across the country.
Put simply, the WWHC hopes to transform wireless services into a utility just like water, electricity, water and air conditioning for hospitals and health systems by creating a medical grade reference architecture and making it freely available to all health care facilities across the country.
When I interviewed Council member Eric Yablonka, CIO of University of Chicago Health System, prior to the mHealth Summit last December he told me, “Wired to wireless we want to leverage a common infrastructure because its more cost effective, it will lower the cost of delivering care–not increase the cost, and then you want to get a leveraging piece over on the infrastructure and the deployment, which is what we did at our Children’s hospital six or seven years ago.”
Beyond creating and expanding the adoption of this reference architecture, the Council will focus on four additional aspects of wireless health including:
- regulatory improvement and leadership
- medical device interoperability and data analytics
- medical device assurance
- hospital infrastructure implementation.
These principles are certainly consistent with the Institute’s primary guiding vision of truly “infrastructure independent care”, a phrase used with great effect by WWHI CEO Don Casey, during a separate interview with me in the run up to the mHealth Summit, when he outlined how the West Wireless team views their mission.
“From the perspective of health care delivery, we were able to design an innovative solution based on the needs of health care, rather than what’s currently available in the marketplace,” said Marty Miller, CIO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and a member of the West Wireless Health Council Executive Committee.
“We want to see health care benefit from the same economies of scale that have really reduced costs in the consumer electronics space — hospitals are a key driver to make that a reality,” said Don Casey, CEO, West Wireless Health Institute. “Hospitals and health care systems have been dependent on expensive solutions that in many cases are proprietary and lead to unneeded costs and the Council’s reference architecture reduces that dependency.”
This initiative comes hot on the heals of numerous major announcements from the increasingly emboldened San Diego-based non-profit founder by billionaire entrepreneurs Gary and Mary West.
Members of the West Wireless Health Council’s Executive Committee include:
- Harold Dupper, Vice President/Finance, Platte Valley Medical Center, (Brighton, CO).
- Marty Miller, Chief Information Officer, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, CA.
- Bruce Rainey, Corporate Vice President, Facilities Design and Construction, Scripps Health, San Diego, CA.
- Chris Riha, Clinical Systems Engineering Technology Services Group, Carillion Health System, Roanoke, VA.
- Greg Walton, Chief Information Officer, El Camino Hospital, Mountain View, CA.
Also represented on the Council are the following:
- Margaret Campbell, R.N., Associate Chief Information Officer, HealthAlliance Hospital, a member of UMass Memorial Health Care, Leominster, MA.
- Dave Duncan, Corporate Vice President, Facilities and Support Services, HealthAlliance Hospital, a member of UMass Memorial Health Care, Leominster, MA.
- Steve Garske, Chief Information Officer, Kootenai Medical Center, Coeur d’ Alene, ID.
- John D. Hixson, M.D., Associate Deputy for Clinical Informatics, San Francisco VA Medical Center, San Francisco, CA.
- Greg Johnson, Chief Technology Officer, Director of IT Technology and Engineering Services, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA.
- Ed Lowell, Director of Infrastructure, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford, Palo Alto, CA.
- Richard Mohnk, Associate Chief Information Officer, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Worcester, MA.
- Rick Pollack, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System, Richmond, VA.
- Michael L. Sorensen, Executive Director and Chief Technology Officer, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences, Chicago, IL.
- Bill Spooner, Senior Vice President/CIO, Sharp HealthCare, San Diego, CA.
- Patric R. Thomas, Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Scripps Health Information Services, San Diego, CA.
- Mark S. Wiesenberg, Chief Technology Officer, Scripps Health, San Diego, CA.
- Marcia Wylie, Director Biomedical Engineering, Scripps Health, San Diego, CA.
- Eric Yablonka, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Chicago Medicine and Biological Sciences, Chicago, IL.
- Michael Zachary, Director of Enterprise Architecture, Cook Children’s Health Care System, Fort Worth, TX.