Erkan Akyuz

Q&A with McKesson's Erkan Akyuz

June 27, 2014
by Loren Bonner, DOTmed News Online Editor
In May, McKesson Technology Solutions announced that Erkan Akyuz was named the new president of Imaging and Workflow Solutions. DOTmed News caught up with Akyuz to get some insight into his background, an understanding of what he'll bring to the role, his plans for the department and his take on the current health care climate in general.

DMN: How would you describe your new job?
Erkan Akyuz:
This is a strong business unit and strong team and I am proud to be part of an organization that is dynamic and forward-thinking.

Part of my responsibilities will be to reinforce McKesson's already strong commitment to our customers by supporting the day-to-day interactions with our customer. McKesson has a long history with strong customer relationships that goes beyond the product and solutions to the service and support, we must continue to remain committed to them and their success and my role is to continue to support our teams and our customers in their initiatives and reinforce the longstanding customer commitment.

We all know that health care is changing from a volume-based to value-base model and understanding not only what the means to our business and, products, (and most importantly) what that means to our customers is key. I feel that as president, my role is to open doors and provide new opportunities that will help our customers meet their goals and continue to be successful.

DMN: How did you get started in the industry?
When I graduated from university as a software engineer, I was looking for a position in an industry that really was on the leading edge of research and development. Then, as it is now, the most exciting field was health care IT.

I believed that health care IT was an industry that would, not only allow me to be challenged in software development, but would also allow me to contribute to it in a positive way.

DMN: How does your background play a direct role in what you bring to this new position?
I have been in health care IT since 2001. Starting as a developer then moving into the business side. The rounded background provides me with good visibility and understanding of the technical, clinical and business side of the industry.

I remember when simply windowing/leveling and arranging CT images on the monitor was considered "value-add" to the radiologist, or when the physician was happy to have a dictated report one week later and when radiologists had sole purchasing decisions. But that is not our world today. Today, there are more challenges than ever facing our customers and I feel that my time in the industry will help me to guide IWS to continue to develop solutions and services that not only add value to our customers bottom line but help them as they transition to value-added care

McKesson's history and my background, is for me and I believe for the company and our customers, an exciting combination. My varied experiences and track record will help us to continue to advance our customers' strategic initiatives as we continue to build upon this successful business.

DMN: What are your goals in your new position?
I have always been strong a supporter of standards based open solutions, but historically felt that the adoption of industry standards has been slow and has lagged behind the demands of our customers and health care providers. I feel, as does McKesson IWS, that in today's health care IT environment, we must speed the creation and adoption of emerging, standard-based initiatives that improve interoperability and workflow for the next generation of enterprise medical imaging solutions.

Therefore my goals are aligned with the goals of McKesson. I will work on developing IT and workflow solutions to provide the interoperability and flexibility required to drive down cost and realize the true value of enterprise imaging. I will also be helping to build a profitable partnership with our customers with solutions and services to help them manage change rapidly and effectively and guide them through consolidation. And finally, will take steps to empower the providers with information, analytics and services to help quantify their contribution to value-based care.

DMN: In what ways would you like to see the enterprise medical imaging business at McKesson grow?
We know that health care will continue to evolve and value-based care will presents both challenges and opportunities for our customers. McKesson will continue to deliver flexible, interoperable products and services that meet those needs and work with our customers to deliver better patient care.

And we know that it is no longer enough to deliver siloed radiology or cardiology solutions, we are now set to lead the industry in the paradigm shift towards response to reimbursement pressures with enterprise solutions that help enable interoperability and data consolidation.

DMN: What excites you most about the imaging industry these days?
We know that it is now more important than ever that the radiology community prepares to actively guide the transition from volume to value-based imaging. As a vendor, we must support this transition by providing solutions and services that not only lower the total cost of ownership, but help our customers adapt to the pressures they experience as they continue adopting new technologies, workflows and processes that allow them to add value in new payment models and delivery systems.

At McKesson we are committed to improving the quality and cost effectiveness of care delivery by consolidating information and breaking down data silos. Our enterprise medical imaging and workflow solutions provide the interoperability required to drive down cost and realize the true value of enterprise imaging. Meanwhile, our professional services provide the peace of mind and expertise to help them mitigate uncertainty.