Saturday, January 11, 2014

Ten Years from Notes to Reality

What notes are we scribbling down today that will come true in ten years?

I was cleaning out my old files this morning-- New Year ritual-- and came across a folder labeled "Career Chapter 4: HDWA Conference, Baylor".  HDWA stands for the Healthcare Data Warehousing Association ( and the same LinkedIn Group).  In 2004, Baylor hosted our second annual conference, after Presbyterian Health hosted the first in 2003.  The 'Career Chapter 4' was referring to the steps in my career up to that point: (1) Air Force; (2) TRW; (3) Start up of Information Technology International; and (4) Healthcare.

In 2004, I was winding down my role at Intermountain Healthcare as the Chief Architect for the Enterprise Data Warehouse and Regional Director of Medical Informatics at LDS Hospital; and preparing for the transition to Northwestern University as one of two CIOs-- partnered with Tim Zoph-- at the medical center.

Inside the folder was the agenda for that HDWA conference and these handwritten notes in the images below.  I remember sitting alone at breakfast in the hotel, preparing my comments for the conference, scribbling these notes down with a sense of internal urgency-- "We can't keep reinventing the healthcare analytics wheel."

A note of thanks goes to my friends, Jim McPhail at Baylor, for hosting the conference that year; and Susan McFarland for doing all the work to organize and keep HDWA running for these many years.  Susan worked for me at Intermountain.

With the formation and momentum of Health Catalyst, ( we are making these scribbled notes come true.  It's a stark reminder to me that the evolution of dreams and aspirations can wander for many years before they emerge as reality. Patience, preparation, steady persistence and luck play major roles.

Let's scribble down some more notes, shall we?

In gratitude,

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