I am deeply excited about the future of health care, as UC Davis Health is absolutely focused on what we want to accomplish, which is to deliver equitable health care for every single person — whether they are our patients or not.

The possibilities are limitless — if we get it right. Earlier this year, I spoke at a TEDxFolsom conference about reimagining health care, and why it matters so much to patients, communities, and health professionals everywhere. You can watch it online at ucdavis.health/tedx.

In that talk, I mentioned health care is increasingly becoming more personalized through artificial (“augmented”) intelligence, an “inside out” approach (tailored at the patient’s cellular or genetic level), and being “always on,” that is, integrated into peoples’ daily life by the Internet of Things. Patients today expect a partner to help them with their health, when and how it’s most convenient for them. This includes virtual care, at-home prescription delivery, remote monitoring, digital diagnostics and decision support, and self-service applications.

After all, if I can use my phone to custom order dinner and it arrives at my door in half an hour, why can’t medical care be this convenient too? We’ll realize enormous benefits once we can achieve this — integrating the vast data across multiple siloed systems to improve efficiencies and the care experience for both patients and providers. We know that:

  • More than two-thirds of patients want their care teams to ask about their own collected data and include this in decision-making while evaluating the patient’s health.
  • Hospital-at-home programs have proven effective in reducing complications, while cutting the cost of care by 30 percent or more.
  • Automation can reduce health care operational costs by up to 30 percent.

While health care is the most change-adverse industry in the country, technological change happens, no matter how hard you fight it or how little you want it.

UC Davis Health’s amazing work these past couple of years in the digital transformation along with our strides in patient and employee equity, hospital sustainability, employee engagement programs, regional partnerships, nation-leading growth and building has resulted in personal recognition more indicative of the work of thousands than of one. Reflecting this, I was honored and humbled to be named among the “100 Most Influential People” in health care by Modern Healthcare, and “CEO of the Year” by Press Ganey. Press Ganey works with more than 41,000 health care facilities in its mission to improve the overall safety, quality, and experience of care.

It’s no small wonder that UC Davis has joined an exclusive group of fewer than 20 public universities in the nation surpassing $1 billion in research funding. On top of this, U.S. News & World Report annually ranks UC Davis Medical Center as Sacramento’s No. 1 hospital, and the publication ranks us among nine adult specialties and five pediatric specialties nationally. We serve more than 1.5 million patients annually as the only academic medical center between San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, and the Pacific Ocean and Salt Lake City, Utah. Over our past 152 years, from our origins as a county hospital at Stockton Boulevard and X Street to our world-class health system, people have come to understand that UC Davis Health’s relationships and partnerships are firmly grounded in trust.

As Stephen M.R. Covey once said, “Trust is the new currency of our interdependent, collaborative world.”

Trust is earned each day, every day, and there is still much work to be done to build the trust it will take to successfully reimagine health care. As you’ll see in this fascinating issue, UC Davis Health has many groundbreaking innovations underway to move this forward, including our new psychedelics and neurotherapeutics institute, ways we’re further increasing medical school diversity, an expanded robotic neurosurgery program, and our WellCent initiative to advance digital medicine. Please enjoy the good news!