An Interview with Retiring BITS GROUP CMIO, Dr. Jack Taylor

By Eric J. Klos, Managing Principal, HealthTechture, LLC

Dr. Jack Taylor, MD announced he will retire on July 1st after dedicating over 40 years to Military and Veteran Medicine. Jack will be staying engaged with BITS as a Physician Informaticist with a focus on Operational Medicine, where he has the most passion, being a Corpsman for the Marines in Vietnam. Additionally, he will stay engaged with OSHERA where he has been the BITS Group corporate representative and active with the Architecture Working Group.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jack about his 40 years involved in military and veterans medicine.

QUESTION: Jack, you’ve seen the inception and ongoing improvement of health information systems at the Military Health System and the VA for over three plus decades. How would you characterize the good and bad of those efforts and where we stand now following the MHS GENESIS selection earlier this year?

ANSWER: I have focused on the care delivery and information capture from the moment of injury/event in theater settings, and have trusted the DoD and DHA to do what has been Proven to be effective. Since 2008, this has been accomplished by a combination of clinical skills and technology enhancements from Level 1 through Level 3 care, informatics, and longitudinal records, imaging and force risk assessments. I have participated in “boots on the ground” evaluations of what we, the industry, have provided. From their perspective, we still have a long way to go, but I do believe it is achievable. MHS GENESIS will be challenged to meet all the Operational perspectives, not in transmission or access to information, but primarily in providing a useable solution to forward forces in data capture, and to continue simplicity in functions and technology to the field.


QUESTION: In your career, what program or project involvement are you most proud of with respect to its impact on a client and why?

ANSWER: A long time ago, Patient Safety was (and remains) a watchword to the conduct of clinical care. Captain Ben Long, USN tasked me with direction of the project on short notice, which I welcomed.  We thought we knew the business, but we quickly realized we didn’t have a clue. We assembled over 40 experts from the DoD into what would now be called Requirements Development but what became a genuine insight into Patient Safety within the clinical workflow. Many leaders were both stunned and impressed with the analysis of what they thought, versus what they actually wanted. I have focused on clinical workflow and collaboration with the functional community ever since that time.


QUESTION: Your retirement announcement indicated that you would continue be engaged as a Physician Informaticist with a focus on Operational Medicine. What do you perceive is needed in the JOMIS program to meet the Operational Medicine needs of the future?

ANSWER: I will never lose the memories of combat medicine in Vietnam and through Desert Storm.  I was honored to contribute, and still serve the programs within JOMIS including TMIP-J. I continue to remember what I couldn’t do in combat, and that hasn’t changed to this day. You can’t look at your iPhone because you will be lit up as a preferred target by the opponent. You need a resource to continue to learn, access, and record your care to the troops in garrison settings. Everyone is a first responder in combat – so their equipment needs to be secure, compact, have long battery life, and to RECORD the care, regardless of the caregiver.


QUESTION: Any words of wisdom to folks continuing to bring solutions to the Military Health System and the VA?

ANSWER:  I have been consistently focused on what I call the “three As” of information technology. Those are, from my perspective, Achievability (can it be done to positive effect), Acceptability (will it be useable during and surrounding the care event) and Affordability (this is a two edged sword since we function among Government Budgets, corporate profits, and the dreamers who continue to ask, “Why Not”).

 

Eric Klos is the Managing Principal of HealthTechture, a business consulting firm providing strategic planning, marketing development, and competitive intelligence. Eric is also a Health IT SME and Advisor to G2Xchange. Eric applies vast knowledge of the Federal Health IT market in specific analysis around solution offerings, agencies, and competition. He thrives on positioning companies to seize new business in Federal Health IT. 

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