Over the past decade, the healthcare sector has gone through significant changes, and with the growing importance of technology in healthcare, the change has been substantial. The healthcare sector has not only embraced tech innovations such as telehealth, remote monitoring, and unified communications, but it is also developing new ways to implement these innovations, from creating better treatment procedures to positively impacting the overall healthcare system. As such, the role of hospital CIOs has transformed drastically.
A recent article in MedcityNews.com provides a view into the moving landscape of the Healthcare CIO as a major influencer and decision maker. Comparing the current state of a hospital CIO to that of an “embattled soldier”, the article cites the views of Jim Turnbull, CIO for University Utah Healthcare. He has started describing his job as VUCA, a military acronym for volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.
This isn’t so strange considering that today’s healthcare market is more dynamic than ever before. Over the past three years, as most healthcare IT departments have been busy implementing the EHR technology, “When they lifted up their heads, they realized the world had changed dramatically,” said Turnbull at CHIME14 in San Antonio, calling the state of healthcare IT “intense.” Down the road, hospitals will face a growing need to consider wearable technology, the concept of accountable care, more robust security for its tech spaces, and varying reimbursement models, among many other concerns. Their ability to grasp needs and evolve accordingly will determine how well they can use technology to combat health issues and give patients a better experience, every time.
Rick Schooler, Vice President and CIO for Orlando Health, however, feels “intense” is too mild a term to describe the tumultuous state of today’s healthcare industry. “There really is too much going on at once,” he says. “What’s going on in our organizations is really nuts. Our people are getting jerked around almost endlessly.”
According to Turnbull, given the current state of healthcare, CIOs must emphasize collaboration and partnership as the key to maintain the fine balance. And, patients, of course, should be prioritized. This is how present-day CIOs need to deal with the dynamically shifting landscape of healthcare tech. It will be interesting to watch how the industry adapts under this constant state of change.
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About Joel Harris
Joel Harris brings invaluable insight to the Avidex team in his role as CEO, with years of experience leading national technology, healthcare and business organizations. You can reach Joel at firstname.lastname@example.org