I am honored to have the privilege to speak at the HIMSS event in Las Vegas this year. The conference will be bigger than ever, so I know I better go in with a game plan.
My schedule will start off with the CHIME/HIMSS CIO Forum. This is a great opportunity to catch up with peers and learn from each other. The knowledge transfer and professional development that occurs during this one day is invaluable before the “HIMSSanity” begins.
As I prepare for this upcoming conference, there are three key focus areas on my radar. Specifically:
- Consumerism In Healthcare
If I had to break down the role of the CIO into four quadrants, one is driving innovation into the organization. The term “innovation” can be a broad term and it may or may not include technology.
At HIMSS, my goal would be to explore new products (hardware/software) or new workflows and process that will be innovative for an organization. There are so many things to focus on for innovation that I will move away from the wearable and telemedicine products so that I can focus on some of the hot startups coming to HIMSS. I am intrigued to see how the startup world views healthcare. Their ideas are often times quite ambitious, but what I usually come across is the solution does not integrate with the existing healthcare application or workflows, which then becomes a challenge.
One of the sessions that I will try to attend is “Establishing a Health IT Innovation Program: Early Successes,” featuring leaders from Children’s National Health System. There are so many innovation centers attached to a healthcare organization now that it would be interesting to see what differentiates each of the centers.
The healthcare industry has to start treating patients like consumers. The patient-consumers of today have grown increasingly resourceful and will research their own symptoms and treatment plan before visiting a clinical professional. It is important to establish creative solutions to increase engagement between the patient-consumer and the medical provider. I hope to see creative solutions that will do more than just provide a mobile platform that simply allows the patients and the caregivers to cover the basic grounds of coordinating appointments and asking and answering routine questions. We have to shift our mentality to be similar to the retail sector and understand that patient-consumers value convenience and efficiency.
One example of this would be the patient-consumers’ need for instant gratification by way of obtaining an answer to their problem or feedback to their comments in a prompt manner. I am curious to see what type of solutions to address these on-demand needs of a patient will be discussed at HIMSS.
Analytics has been the hot buzzword for the last 2 to 3 years, and it is the top priority for any CIO, according to Gartner. We have more data than ever, and it is astounding to know that 90 percent of the world’s data were created within the last two years. Every healthcare organization strives to be a data-driven organization, meaning they want to make decisions (operational, clinical, and financial) based on data.
Analytics will solve questions such as:
- Why is our surgery implant cost so high for a specific procedure?
- Why is our staffing ratio not aligned to our census?
- Why is this particular patient with this diagnosis coming back to our ER every 22 days?
- What is our impacted financial outlook if our insurance carriers negotiated a 4 percent discount from the previous contract?
In this respect, what I am looking for from HIMSS is a better understanding of an organization’s journey and transformation into a data organization. The governing role for managing data is crucial especially if you are in an academic medicine environment. My main goal would be to get the best approach on the models that worked well for various organizations — I am less concerned about which application vendor was selected as the solution.
The value of HIMSS is in the education sessions, but what I get most out of the week-long event is the networking and interactions with my peers and thought-leaders in the industry. Make sure you attend the social events, because it is at these functions where you will not only experience real industry insight without any propaganda from vendors, but you can also engage with existing customers to capture their experience with a solution.
What are your goals for this year’s HIMSS?