The healthcare technology times, they are a-changing: FierceHealthIT gets a new focus

Tech Spotlight
Times are changing for healthcare technologies, healthcare CIOs and FierceHealthIT. (iStock/Jirsak)
Gienna Shaw

Starting this week, you’re going to see a change in your FierceHealthIT newsletter. You’ll get the same focused, relevant and “fierce” industry coverage, but it will also be just a little less frequent.

Publishing twice a week (on Mondays and Wednesdays) will not only allow us to dig deeper into the most important issues that CIOs and other healthcare technology leaders face, but will also give your inbox a little breathing room—and who doesn't want that?

We’ll be publishing more stories in each issue, including interviews with health IT leaders at cutting-edge organizations, advice and real-world strategies you can implement at your own organization and the latest regulatory and government news, of course.

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You’ll also start to see regular first-person columns with expert analysis from your peers, in a feature we call “Industry Voices.”

RELATED: Industry Voices—What the Super Bowl taught me about balancing in-person care with digital tools

Admit that the waters around you have grown

When I first started covering healthcare technology, the most pressing issue facing CIOs was purchasing and implementing EHR systems. I wrote about the pros and cons of “big bang” rollouts, how to get physicians to use electronic records, how to avoid alert fatigue, how to assess vendor contracts and other meat and potatoes stories about moving from paper to electronic records.

Some of the more futuristic stories were about these new things called patient portals and mobile access to clinical data. At the time, mobile still meant large, heavy laptops in germ-resistant cases. In some organization, mobile meant computers on wheels, affectionately known as COWs.

RELATED: Mayo Clinic study shows patient portals have no impact on hospital readmissions or mortality

Now that most healthcare hospitals, health systems and physician practices have the medical records technology, the focus is not on how to use it, but how to use it well. The promise of data that could be used to standardize care, improve record-keeping, measure quality, improve outcomes and conduct research has come to fruition.

Sort of. We might not be writing about COWs anymore and of course we’ve moved from laptops to tablets to phones, but we’re still writing an awful lot of stories about systems interoperability—or lack thereof. Still, healthcare technology has come a long way—at least patients are no longer hand-carrying floppy discs with their radiology images to their appointments, on the off-chance they’d be compatible with the office’s computers.

You better start swimming, or you'll sink like a stone

My point is that the role of healthcare technology is always evolving and expanding, powering everything from clinical decision-making, patient engagement, quality reporting, patient flow, bed management, supply chain, workplace efficiency, financial systems and more.

We don’t cover healthcare technology only in our healthcare technology newsletter—those stories are important to physicians, leaders at hospitals and health systems and health insurance company executives alike.

RELATED: Lack of interoperability a major barrier to value-based care transformation, hospital finance executives say

Conversely, health IT leaders can’t afford to only pay attention to information technology and medical records systems anymore, either. You have to pay attention to everything technology touches in your organization. Which is, by the way, everything in your organization.

(I've been writing about the changing role of the CIO for a long time, too.)

So we’ll continue to publish healthcare technology stories on FierceHealthcare.com; be sure to visit us there between issues and join the conversation with us and your other health IT peers (in departments across the delivery and payment systems) on Twitter and through our LinkedIn and Health IT FaceBook groups.  Gienna (@gienna)

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