IT Strategic Planning Needs To Be Fully Integrated

Brett Mello, AVP & CIO, Cayuga Medical Center
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Brett Mello, AVP & CIO, Cayuga Medical Center

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

As health care organizations (HCOs) work feverishly to adopt a comprehensive Electronic Medical Record (EMR) in order to meet regulatory requirements and avoid further loss of reimbursement funding, we are faced with two underlying technology challenges that will allow us to truly realize the benefit of these investments:

Interoperability: Work continues industry wide to effectively exchange data between disparate systems so that patient information can flow seamlessly across the continuum of care.
Data Analytics: We are still ramping up the tools and skills to move beyond understanding what has happened in our organizations to predicting what might happen and what we should do about it.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Tools to effectively support clinically integrated networks and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). We need better ways to aggregate and share data between HCOs.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen
 
This goes back to my comment on Data Analytics and our ability to do predictive analysis. Frankly, I think we are still learning what we need and developing the tools, architecture, and discipline to facilitate real business intelligence across our industry.
 
Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization- wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the Healthcare sector
 
IT strategic planning needs to be fully integrated into the organization’s overall strategic planning effort and directly aligned to the organization’s goals. One plan, one direction. Once in place, every project we consider is first assessed for its strategic alignment and overall value to the organization whether it be to improve quality and patient safety or control costs.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
 
I believe the cloud model (virtualization) will allow for rapid provisioning and scalability, simplified access, and increased availability of our system and data. Private and public cloud solutions have matured significantly over the past five years and are only accelerating. Right now, there are a myriad of proven, reliable solutions to enable this approach in every size organization. I also believe we will see many amazing developments in the area of mobile computing over the next two years which will include the tools needed to secure and manage mobile devices.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO
 
We are rapidly moving away from being considered just the “IT guys.” We have become peer executives in our institutions and support initiatives beyond the implementation of technology. This is a tough job. We have to be experts in every single aspect of our business. This knowledge and experience gives us a unique viewpoint from which to help support the organization in its growth and development.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

Keeping everyone abreast of what is happening in IT and what changes are coming, are crucial not only for the successful adoption of technology but for the organizations understanding of you and your departments value. Develop a communications and marketing plan for your department as you would your own business. This will pay off both in good will and the support needed to transform your organization through the innovative use of technology

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