I was recently at breakfast with one of the healthcare IT leaders in our Cincinnati community. Over omelets and orange juice, we discussed the challenges of healthcare as well as the opportunities that we have ahead of us as well. Topmost was the need for well qualified resources to implement the initiatives that have been set out by Meaningful Use.
Also, being able to bridge the gap between IT and Clinical Operations. For instance, in the past, if you had not been in IT previously and took over as a CIO of an organization, you were able to rely on just your management skills. These days, just being able to know when and how to negotiate with your software and professional services vendors and your knowledge and capabilities on initiatives such as ICD-10, Cloud, Big Data and Mobile applications requires a high level understanding of the implementation needs for those projects as well as the business case. Being able to practically implement the HIPAA Omnibus rule will require understanding of the technology environment more than ever before.
While these new challenges affect all Healthcare IT leadership, the Healthcare CIO of today will be one of those that takes this as par for the course. No more can you say “well, we did this decades ago and it didn’t work”, the circumstances and the external environment back before the Affordable Care Act was passed was different. Whatever your political stance is, being able to upgrade our ‘n’er to change’ healthcare technology was step towards re-invigorating our national pride and innovation.