Pharmaceutical distributor McKesson Corp. is making inroads into the field of software solutions and other systems for healthcare providers, payers and consumers. Led by Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology Officer, Kathy McElligott, McKesson is looking to expand its Technology Solutions business, currently two percent of its $179 billion in 2014 sales. Following a series of acquisitions since 2009 at a cost of $13.2 billion, McKesson has even created a venture-capital arm to invest in tech startups.
In a recent conversation with The Wall Street Journal about the technology changes taking place in the healthcare industry, Ms. McElligott indicated Big Data was a key determinant for them as they use analytics to understand what drives the best outcomes—what treatments, medications and processes yield the best outcomes. Below are excerpts from the interview:
Healthcare is seeing a lot of change in policy, culture and technology. What are some of the most significant of those affecting your job?
McElligott: All those dynamics are factoring into IT strategy. Think about how much onus there is on the individual consumer: We need to be more educated at picking doctors and understanding outcomes. Big Data analytics is a huge area for us.
McElligott: Internally, from the perspective of efficiency in our operations and supply chain, we want better visualization of what’s going on. From the customer perspective, we’re getting a better understanding of customers across all of our businesses—healthcare providers, payers and end consumers. The area of reimbursements for medical care is changing. Historically, it would be a physician does a service and gets a fee. Where we are evolving to is paying for outcomes and making sure hospitals are having the outcomes expected. [McKesson is] using analytics to understand what drives the best outcomes—what treatments, medications and processes yield the best outcomes. People will get reimbursements for better healthcare, and the patient is getting healthier. I don’t know exactly how we’re going to combine all that together, but it’s a huge opportunity, to understand what path leads to the highest success.
To read the full interview, click here.