RamaOnHealthcare April 28, 2023
An Innovation Platform with Intelligence
Introduction: Today, RamaOnHealthcare talks with Travis Dalton. He is general manager of Oracle Health’s Global Industry Unit and pairs Cerner’s healthcare product portfolio with Oracle’s technologies to better outcomes for patients and providers, while reducing administrative workload and healthcare costs.
RamaOnHealthcare (ROH): Tell us about yourself and why healthcare is important to you.
Travis Dalton (TD): Healthcare is personal, and we all participate in it as patients, guardians, or caregivers. I’ve spent over two decades working in healthcare in various roles – from implementation and delivery of software, sales, and client relationships, to being a part of the Cerner leadership at the helm during the Oracle acquisition. I have also seen first-hand the challenges of our industry through a family member’s health journey. His care was disparate, with missed or lost diagnoses, poor connectivity between care settings, and an inability to really understand what treatment was needed. Being at Oracle Health allows me the opportunity to help address those problems.
ROH: Oracle acquired Cerner in June of 2022. What impact do you see this merger having on healthcare?
TD: I’d like to start by saying I’m more excited now than I’ve been in my career because I believe we can finish what we started. At Cerner, we spent decades helping to digitize healthcare, developing deep healthcare relationships, expertise, and capabilities. Oracle has world-class technologies, product capabilities, engineering, and a track record of transforming industries.
At Oracle Health, we will move beyond the EHR and connect the healthcare ecosystem with business systems through world-class technology at a hyper-scale. As a result, we will help our clients drive down operating expenses while optimizing and capturing more value with their data. We also have hybrid cloud capacity in global regions that we could never reach solely as Cerner. This effort, along with the important work we are doing with the US federal government, will positively impact healthcare technology’s evolution from an EHR to an innovation platform with intelligence.
…positively impact healthcare technology’s evolution from an EHR to an innovation platform with intelligence
ROH: What are some of healthcare’s needs? Explain some of the challenges facing the industry and how Oracle can help solve those.
TD: We’re at an interesting time in healthcare. I’d call it an inflection point. Consumer demands for care and data are at an all-time high. They have different expectations than pre-COVID, wanting more convenience and transparency. Meanwhile, healthcare organizations are facing immense cost pressures with a need to be profitable while running on very thin margins. They have growing workforce shortages and need the flexibility to generate revenue outside the four walls and traditional care settings. Then, of course, there are always regulatory pressures.
Consumer demands for care and data are at an all-time high.
Oracle Health has many of the pieces to help our clients realize operating cost efficiencies, including cloud-based products and a move toward standardization across systems. We have the workforce and asset management capabilities and support clients with virtual care team options. In addition, we’re developing new, differentiating consumer experiences. At the same time, we’re using technology to enable clinicians to practice at the top of their licenses, spending less time on data entry and more time with their patients.
…a move toward standardization across systems.
ROH: Let’s talk about the electronic health record or EHR. We’ve heard about the promise of healthcare technology, but many times the EHR is seen as a cause for clinician burnout, and complete information sharing isn’t a reality. We’ve also seen a seismic shift in leveraging digital health technologies, but many consumers find it hard to engage in their health or talk to their doctors. What is Oracle’s perspective?
TD: Yes, we have largely digitized healthcare in places like North America, but there is still much work to do globally. In the US, there is also work to do to complete the digitization of behavioral and mental health facilities that did not fully benefit from the “Meaningful Use” era. I believe healthcare is a fundamental human right and many parts of the world are vastly underserved…we can do something about that.
Yet, one of the biggest challenges with healthcare technology today is how fragmented our systems and data have become. As healthcare has become more complex, this siloed approach has made things more difficult for clinicians, back-office staff, and consumers.
…one of the biggest challenges with healthcare technology today is how fragmented our systems and data have become.
Our team at Oracle Health is working to unify data and connect the full ecosystem. We aim to create an open, intelligent, cloud-based healthcare platform that allows healthcare organizations to bring in data from anywhere, including social determinants of health, community risk and claims data, clinical trials, and research. In addition, this platform becomes a force multiplier so other innovators, including clients and third parties, can develop from and connect through standards-based interfaces.
This platform will enable more organizational efficiencies and help drive more coordinated care across the continuum. In addition, modern technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning can then be embedded into systems and accelerate healthcare just as it has done for other industries. I do not see anyone besides Oracle with the vision or talent to do this.
ROH: What do you see as Oracle’s differentiator? What will determine success?
TD: Until Oracle acquired Cerner, it was very challenging, near impossible, for big technology companies to get to the “last mile” in healthcare at scale. That means putting insights into the clinician’s workflow at the decision-making point. We can do that. Additionally, Oracle Health is looking at solving the industry’s challenges holistically – across the business and healthcare ecosystem. We have leaders who are passionate about this, and we are fully committed to the work that needs to be done.
…putting insights into the clinician’s workflow at the decision-making point.
Data will be key to transforming healthcare and having better experiences for patients, caregivers, and front- or back-office staff. Connecting systems to unlock the power of data through informed, meaningful insights is critical. I see Oracle Health being well-positioned to drive value for our clients. Now is the time for technology to be a cost curve bender…to enable better experiences and, ultimately, better health and care outcomes.
Connecting systems to unlock the power of data through informed, meaningful insights is critical.
About Mr. Dalton: He is married and has three children and enjoys sports, especially the Cleveland Browns and Ohio State. He also serves on the Elizabeth Dole Foundation Board and was named Healthcare Executive of the Year in 2019 by the Washington Executive.