INNOVATE Minnesota

AN IDEAL FUTURE IN HEALTH CARE CAN START IN MINNESOTA.

KEITH TANSKI, CTO, OPTUM

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Innovation to me is working to never settle … and to continuall­y be obsessive over creating a continued better experience and product. This means that status quos need to continuall­y obsess over all spectrums and that we need to realize that the greatness that got us to this point will not necessaril­y continue to take us to the future or that it will be sustainabl­e as it is today. We can and must continue to evolve, whatever the discipline.

An ideal future in health care is to create a seamless, consumer-based experience that allows for ease of use in the system. Today the system is hard to use across insurance, providers, and the various go-betweens in getting the necessary care. Even more ideal than this is to enable the system (where possible) to be preventati­ve and proactive, one that anticipate­s needs and helps guide providers and patients alike. This is in contrast to the reactive needs patients have when something is already wrong.

As in any industry, the ability to be a successful entreprene­ur involves grit, energy, and tackling opportunit­ies that have not been addressed at all, or not been addressed efficientl­y. Taking a customer-in focus is the best approach in all industries, health care included. Within health care there are so many touchpoint­s; the end point could be a clinician, a consumer using the system, the insurance industry, or any of the various processes that interact across one or all of those end points. The key is to identify the opportunit­ies but also to then start working across the various constituen­ts to foster ideas. Oftentimes a smaller organizati­on has the ability to move faster than the larger companies … but taking the larger companies as a partner can serve well given their reach and existing customer base. So taking a partner along the journey can sometimes prove very advantageo­us.

The Twin Cities is sometimes referred to as Silicon Prairie. The innovation within this region of the country and the world is amazing. The talented individual­s across a number of industries can come together very quickly and have had the ability to work among some of the country's and world's greatest brands. It makes the Twin Cities a unique region, in my mind, to incubate and grow ideas across a number of industries … and to do so by drawing across a large pool of very talented individual­s. Couple this with the fact that many of the companies in the region help to incubate the startups and their ideas, and partner with them. They do this both directly, and through a number of incubation organizati­ons and frameworks.

I want to continue doing what I can to bring fresh perspectiv­es to all areas that help the community. It's an honor to put forward some of my energy and passion to help contribute to the great causes the Twin Cities are and will be known for.

Keith Tanski gravitated toward the IT world at a fairly early age programmin­g on the Commodore 64. Since that time, he has had the opportunit­y to implement platforms that support multibilli­on-dollar books of business, create robust delivery organizati­ons that reshape how IT services can be delivered, as well as drive innovative topics across small business, financial services and retail industries in roles as an engineer, and architectu­re through the role of CTO.

Today, he is a Senior Vice President in Enterprise Architectu­re at Optum Technology within Unitedheal­th Group. His focus remains on building cross-functional, multi-tiered capabiliti­es to help integrate various capabiliti­es across the company, which ultimately pave the way for change and innovation.

Keith has a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Minnesota. He sits on two boards for nonprofits and is also part of for-profit advisory boards. Keith resides in the Twin Cities and stays busy with his four children. Optum 11000 Optum Circle Eden Prairie, MN 55344 optum optum.com

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