Tech advice to weather 'perfect storm' of health IT changes

What guidance would executives give chief information officers of healthcare provider organizations to navigate a "perfect storm" of technological, regulatory and cultural changes?  A post in Forbes outlines a few:

  • Proactive is the new normal: ACOs will have a huge advantage going forward because they screen their population and focus on preventative treatment, so CIOs should be thinking the same way. CIOs can help these organizations take a more proactive role in patients' health.
  • Use technology to fill gaps: Karen Thomas, vice president and CIO of Philadelphia-area Main Line Health, said CIOs must use technology to "fill in the gaps" between doctor's visits. "For example, a doctor with a diabetic patient will only be able to provide the highest quality of care if they can--at any point in tim--view his or her most recent insulin intake.  The next step would be to track data, such as glucose levels, and flag abnormalities.
  • Stay a step ahead of the game: The recent proliferation of health and wellness apps on the market, said Bert Robles, senior VP and corporate CIO of New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation, means focusing on privacy and compliance is more important than ever. "CIOs need to be vigilant and proactively investigating in order to build an environment that's responsive to change," Robles said.

The advice all has a common thread: Put patients first.

Speaking to FierceHealthIT in an exclusive interview at HIMSS 2014, Bill Spooner, former CIO at San Diego-based Sharp HealthCare, offered up his own advice for CIOs.

"My experience has been that the successful initiatives are those with user champions. It's a balancing act," Spooner said. "So many times, I can see a project with what I would consider a less capable system more successful because passionate users wanted it. The willingness to partner with the user community is big time. I just can't imagine that changing."

Top priorities for healthcare CIOs in 2013 included network security and infrastructure upgrades, according to an independent study published last February by Level 3 Communications.

To learn more:
- read the post at Forbes

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