Author: Peyman Zand, Partner
Pivot Point Consulting, a Vaco Company was proud to be a sponsor of the CHIME17 Fall CIO Forum, which attracted more than 600 CIOs from a variety of organizations across the globe. The topics discussed ranged from interoperability to telemedicine and digital transformation, but a few key themes emerged that will shape conversations and activities in 2018 and beyond.
There were several sessions dedicated to digital transformation. These ranged from advice on appropriate investments in digital technologies, to strategies for navigating digital transformation across business operations, leadership and patient engagement. Notably (and not surprisingly), consumer engagement and data analytics have bubbled to the top of recent activities in this digital transformation. We’ll continue to see the healthcare industry shift to more prediction and prevention, and not just provisioning of health.
Clinical Integrated Networks
Presentations on clinical integrated networks (CINs), value-based care and population health addressed the question of how organizations can coordinate care and operate in a more collaborative manner. CINs really draw together effective use of information technology, such as interoperability and analytics as well as process change, to allow organizations to communicate more effectively as they engage with physicians and patients.
With the majority of healthcare organizations on modern EHR systems, attention has now shifted to getting the most out of these investments. In general, the larger hospitals are doing better but there’s concern about outreach to the smaller clinics and the physicians / clinicians in these smaller and, at times, more rural areas. One of the takeaways was that EHR teams needed to insert themselves in the workflow and truly understand their pain points. To be successful, resources need to be dedicated to this task.
There seemed to be a renewed interest in the discipline of clinical informatics, in part due to the necessity of getting the most out of systems in which we have invested so heavily. Clinical informatics are perhaps core to several key elements, including physician satisfaction and patient engagement. Improvement in these two areas leads to improved care delivery and ultimately improving the health of the population. Presenters reinforced—and we agree—that clinical informatics is not an IT strategy: it is an alignment between the systems and the clinical work teams to enhance care delivery.
The Ever-Changing Role of the CIO
With rapid advancements in the digital world, CIOs are at risk of being perceived as “utility providers” instead of strategic partners. CIOs must intimately understand the effects of consumer technologies and how they will impact their organizations. That extends to the expectations of their employees, many of whom want to work for progressive organizations that stay abreast of and adopt new technology, both enterprise and consumer. Additionally, new roles are being created, such as Chief Innovation Officer, Chief [Digital] Transformation Officer and similar titles, and the responsibilities attached have traditionally fallen under the umbrella of the CIO.
Of course, these are far from the only topics people discussed at CHIME. Discussions around the move to value-based care, interoperability and data analytics have been and will continue to be front of mind for most people in this industry, but we will begin to see these topics appear more and more within our conversations and consciousness.