Q&A with Scott MacLean

by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor | February 13, 2014
From the January/February 2014 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine

HIMSS is growing year by year and is turning out to be one of the go-to shows for the industry. DOTmed HealthCare Business News sat down with Scott MacLean, chair for the HIMSS North America Board of Directors, to discuss the evolution of the society, his direct role and what attendees should be paying attention to at this year’s show, which takes place Feb. 23-27 in Orlando, Florida.

HCBN: What is your favorite thing about HIMSS?
SM: HIMSS is the premier organization dedicated to improving health using IT. We are non-partisan and driven by the passion that we can improve quality and reduce cost using IT. HIMSS members are smart, hardworking and fun. The HIMSS staff is outstanding – they do so much with so few resources.

HCBN: How long have you been involved with HIMSS and how have you seen it evolve?
SM: I joined as a grad student in 1998. While HIMSS has always done a great job serving management engineers and hospital IT professionals, the evolution on revenue diversification from the annual conference has allowed us to serve so many more stakeholders in the health IT community. Also, our move to invest in analytics and the international markets have informed our work here in the U.S. and provided growth opportunities for the future.

HCBN: What initiatives will you be promoting as chair?
SM: Several years ago, the HIMSS Board decided to move toward a governance model that would include appropriate leadership from our global and strategic business units. We are in the process of adapting to that new governance model, and I’m working hard to make sure there is communication and understanding amongst all parties. In addition, I’m working on growth in our business units, as we believe that size and strength allows us to have more influence for our mission both here in the U.S. and in international markets.

HCBN: How does your position as director of IS Operations at Partners Healthcare in Boston influence your role as chair?
SM: I love Partners, and it’s an amazing place. I was in a meeting today where we were reviewing results from our employee engagement survey. The survey administrator discussed how we are benchmarked against other similar organizations. Our CFO concurred, but also said that there aren’t too many places that have two major Academic Medical Centers with hundreds of years of history. My role is influenced by having two major teaching and research institutions, community and critical access hospitals, a non-acute and rehab network and specialty hospitals. Partners is a microcosm of all the different facets of the health care system. We are even using telemedicine for our more rural and remote facilities.

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