In today's fast-paced world, where technology evolves by the day, IT decision-makers are always on the lookout for new trends and innovations to improve the way a product is made or service is rendered.
In a recent roundtable hosted by consultancy Impact Advisors for healthcare CIOs, these things emerged as the key priorities of the nearly two dozen tech-decision makers in attendance. Finding ways to improve digital health and optimise the patient experience was the top to-do for the vast majority of CIOs (17 out of 22). The participants come from leading U.S. health systems including Advocate Aurora Health, Henry Ford Health System, UCLA Health and the University of Chicago Medicine.
Other high priorities: seeking better strategies for IT cost containment and value realisation, and initiating new efforts to drive innovation.
1. Patient engagement and experience
Whether on the patient side (inpatient patient experience technology, wearable biosensors, care-management apps for population health) or the provider side (care coordination tools, next-gen decision support), emerging digital health tools are of keen interest for CIOs looking to make investments. More than 80 percent of them cited patient engagement and experience a chief goal, according to Impact Advisors – the most frequently mentioned priority by a big margin.
"The focus by participating CIOs on digital health, virtual care and the overall patient experience is also notable because health-delivery organisations are no longer just competing with other hospitals, health systems and physician practices," they noted. "New, non-traditional players have also emerged, such as retail clinics from major pharmacy chains and onsite workplace clinics increasingly being offered by large employers."
2. Making the most of IT investments
CIOs are also looking to gain efficiency and top performance from the IT infrastructure they already have in place. More than 60 percent of those at the roundtable cited containing costs or improving IT value as a top priority.
Impact Advisors said today's financial challenges are forcing CIOs to stretch the technology dollar more than ever. "At the same time though, there is also now significant pressure internally to demonstrate tangible value from existing IT investments — particularly the enterprise EHR," the consultancy explained.
3. Another "I" word comes to the fore
In the post-EHR era, innovation is the ultimate goal – nearly two-thirds of CIOs said that imperative, which admittedly means different things to different tech decision-makers, was a key priority for their hospitals and health systems.
"Although approaches to innovation range widely, one consistent theme in the discussion was the importance of putting more structure and governance behind innovation to ensure efforts are better aligned with the organisation’s overall strategic goals," Impact Advisors said.
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