Hospital CIOs must show HIT wins to earn support

To win support for IT initiatives from c-suite executive counterparts, hospital CIOs would be wise to show how health technology can impact a facility's bottom line, according to Miami Children's Hospital CIO Edward Martinez.

In an interview with CIO published this week, Martinez shared his approach to earning such buy-in, which, he said, involved forming an IT governance committee in order to highlight his team's successes.

"For them," he said, "it was [important] to understand that using technology the way we're using it only makes it better for the patient."

Martinez's program, as he told FierceHealthIT in an interview earlier this year, involves the use of telehealth and mobile technology to boost patient engagement efforts. Such tools, Martinez told CIO, are helping to fundamentally transform care delivery.

"It's taking the level of care to a whole new perspective," he said.

Texas Health Resources CIO Edward Marx spoke earlier this month at the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives' annual fall forum in Scottsdale, Ariz., about how his organization took a similar approach to winning support for technology endeavors.

"We coined a new phrase called 'evidence-based budgeting,'" Marx said. "We're taking the same capabilities of analytics and focusing on IT. And as a result, we've been able to identify … what our actual expenses are."

Marx, who said his entire budget is broken down by products, said he could provide exact dollar amounts for all tactical, operational and strategic operations.

"I can ask [my peers] 'which products are you willing to go without?'" Marx said.

In a tongue-in-cheek blog post published earlier this year, Kirk Kirksey, vice president and CIO at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said that bending the truth was key to securing necessary resources from c-suite counterparts for IT projects, particularly at smaller or rural hospitals.

For the second year in a row, staffing was identified as the most significant barrier to IT implementation by health IT professionals responding to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's annual leadership survey published in March.

To learn more:
- read the full CIO story

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