Taking an inside look at the United States healthcare systems can reveal key insights for chief information officers (CIOs) as the industry goes through epic transformations. Today’s healthcare CIO can come from a myriad of backgrounds since IT is no longer a prerequisite for the position. Rather than a technical nature, a business-oriented mindset is crucial in order for healthcare CIOs to be strategic and manage the system’s financial metrics. With the healthcare industry shifting gears and the CIOs no longer narrowly focusing on the technology, what is included in the scope of work for the modern healthcare CIO?
Population Health Management
Forward-thinking healthcare leaders have been actively pursuing population health management objectives. These objectives pertain to some of the most challenging cohorts that the twenty-first-century CIO has fully embraced. Proven solutions show that data analytics play a vital role in providing insight into individuals and populations, assuring that standardized, actionable, and substantial healthcare delivery information is received. The CIO of healthcare systems has the power to leverage influence to shift the quality of human health across entire segments of the population. The key challenges faced involve data: patient ascertainment, stratification, and analytics for exertions or interventions.
A lot of buzz around interoperability has been happening since 2013 and for justifiable cause. Interoperability addresses some of healthcare’s most pressing plights so the demand for achieving interoperability is only on the rise. Despite this severe imposition, most healthcare organizations have only begun their journey to achieving interoperability.
Integration engines are what most healthcare organizations currently use to enable simplistic messaging between systems. This fits the homogenous nature of the HL7v2 standard. Having your integration capabilities entirely behind the hospital’s firewall is no longer enough as interoperability requires a more strategic stance. These organizations need an interoperability solution that can facilitate strategic growth plans through acquisitions and mergers. Interoperability not only has become an industry-level issue but is also a prerequisite for success in other healthcare initiatives such as coordinated care, patient engagement, and enterprise innovation.
Big Data Analytics
In the CIO’s domain, an ever-growing scope of data is overseen, distributed among multiple divergent systems, both in structured and unstructured configurations. Never seen before, content from social media and text messages can be found in a patient’s health record, contributing to the volume, momentum, and diversity of data. With all of the latest technologies in mobile devices, physician dashboards, telehealth, etc., CIOs are faced with one of the greatest HIT challenges of aggregating, normalizing, and integrating all of that Big Data down to the actionable direction at the time of care. CIOs are being looked upon to make this data interoperable, support engagement, and coerce the proper exploits by understanding the data from a technical and cultural framework.