Dealing With Interoperability
The lack of interoperability is the biggest challenge that we face. Many of the IT systems that we use don’t talk to each other. The interfaces don’t match and have to be mapped so that they can exchange information, and if mapping problems occur then patient records will get into error queues. Consequently, the solution I most look forward to is standardized nomenclature and messages so that IT systems can talk to each other seamlessly.
Interoperability is one of the most important solutions that I wish was available. The other solution that I would like to see consists of better ways to protect patient information when it has to be exchanged between healthcare providers within the continuum of care. As we strive to improve patient care, we need to be able to send patient information seamlessly between healthcare providers as appropriate, and we need more security to help us do that efficiently.
Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment
One of the trends with greatest impact is the use and optimization of our electronic medical record system. We have already seen decrease in mortality, length of stay and patient harm and increase in patient satisfaction.
Population health management is another trend. We are exploring population health management and using IT tools to give clinicians the data they need to improve the health of our communities.
Over the past several years, I have assumed responsibility for system-wide functions and initiatives that are not part of IT. These include the functions of Supply Chain and Accounts Payable, as well as a major initiative to increase the efficiency with which we use some of our most expensive clinical supplies. Essentially, my role has expanded to encompass using data and strategies to change key components of theenvironment.
Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs
What I’ve learned is that successfully managing an IT organization and successfully addressing the IT needs is never really about technology. The technology provides a means of accomplishing those goals, but interacting effectively with other leaders and collaborating with them to develop workable strategies is paramount.
My advice to fellow CIOs is to listen to business leaders and to be open to their needs. Be apart of the strategy, not just the infrastructure.
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