Understanding Technology’s Impact on Students, Programs, and Healthcare

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE

It’s hard to imagine healthcare without technology. From the first X-ray machines that made medical imaging possible just over one hundred years, virtually every facet of healthcare today has been improved by technologies that diagnose, treat, and manage disease and injury. And the same is true for modern healthcare management: it simply would not be possible without a wide range of technological advances such as data management and digital communications.

Nor has healthcare management education been immune from technology’s impact. As just one example, online instruction has ballooned in recent years and CAHME has established accreditation standards and criteria to ensure that this “virtual” educational experience is as rigorous and effective as traditional face-to-face learning. Additionally, the next generation of healthcare leaders—now in undergraduate or graduate training, or in the early stages of their careers—have a very different relationship with technology than Gen X or Baby Boomer leaders. These latter two demographic groups had to “adopt” technologies that Millennials and younger have grown up with. That has important implications for the work force. For example, some experts have suggested the younger generation is more comfortable interacting online rather than in person. What does that mean for your next planning retreat?

These are the sorts of issues addressed in the latest CAHME video in our Getting to 100 series. Episode Six focuses on the impact of technology, and features the insights of Karen Wager, DBA, professor and associate dean for Student Affairs at the Medical University of South Carolina, and Carla Smith, FHIMSS, who recently retired from her role as executive vice president for the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.  Leading programs will need to adapt to this changing technological environment and its impact on student expectations and behaviors. Recently, the US Department of Education has started revising standards to encourage accreditors and universities to be more innovative and responsive to a technologically changing workforce.

CAHME is watching these developments closely and will work with academia and leading practitioners to refine our standards and practices to ensure, just as we have for more than 50 years, that we continue to advance the quality of healthcare management education.

Anthony Stanowski, DHA, FACHE
President & CEO