Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
CEO Minute: Are We Ready for the Boomers?

CEO Minute: Are We Ready for the Boomers?

You have probably heard many speakers talking about age groups.  I am a baby boomer--one of the 80 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964.  We represent 30 percent of the population.  Who cares about my personal group?  I understand.  But, I bring it up because it is boomers who are starting to experience acute episodes of what will become chronic illnesses.  This is nothing to be proud of. It is just a fact that boomers will make unprecedented demands on the health care profession.  And, as we move through the system, it will be the proverbial “pig in the python.”  How will this work and can it work in new and different ways?  Maybe.

Here is one way it might be different. Boomers are not shy about using the Internet to find information on their illnesses, but also to find the best doctors and hospitals to treat their illnesses. However, will we use it to actually receive health care?  Perhaps.  I read about something called e-visits offered online for quick and efficient care. One group that offers e-visits is HealthPartners in Minneapolis.

They call their service Virtuwell, a 24/7 online portal that provides easy access for patients to receive a diagnosis and treatment service with a nurse practitioner.  The patient initiates the encounter, which sends an email notification to the care team. On the receiving end, a medical office assistant reviews the request and forwards it to the appropriate caregiver. HealthPartners says it works well. If you are interested, go to this site and watch their video. Is Texas Tech Physicians ready for this?  Should we be?

On another topic, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to announce its ruling this month on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Proponents and opponents both predict dire consequences. This is one of those landmark decision that only comes along every twenty years or so.


Yesterday, June 6, was the 68th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy during World War II. John McCullough of the information application services department presented a lecture on D-Day at the Silent Wings Museum. The Museum’s commemoration events continue through Saturday, and include living history groups, a showing of the documentary “D-Day Remembered,” and a fly-in of a C-47 aircraft. If you see John, thank him for his service to our country and community and for helping to persevere our history.