Forget New Year’s resolutions. The individuals and organizations that are affecting change in healthcare aren’t doing so by merely pledging to do better. They’re taking steps to improve processes, standardize workflows, enhance security, and nurture talent.
As pressure mounts to comply with regulations, engage more effectively with patients, and remain competitive, healthcare IT leaders will have to continue to raise the bar. But it isn’t going to be easy. According to Lee Milligan, MD, CIO and CMIO at Asante, “the one sane way to achieve more with the same is to create efficiencies within our current ITS workflows.
Recently, healthsystemCIO asked Milligan, as well as several other influential leaders, how they plan to steer their organizations — and themselves — in the right direction in 2020.
Below are some of the responses we received:
Our focus in 2020 will include adding more security measures, improving integration and optimization with both existing and new ancillary systems, and preparing for upcoming regulatory changes, such as “Acceptable Use Criteria” and Price Transparency requirements. Whenever we have the opportunity, we will continue with our “cloud first” strategy. As always, these goals may shift as the year unfolds, but these items are our primary focus currently.
Kate Pierce, Executive Director of IT/Informatics at North Country Hospital and Health System
My most important goal for 2020 is to continue to develop our team’s capabilities and ensure that they have the knowledge they need to better serve the organization and demonstrate commitment to our mission and values. We place significant emphasis on this as part of our customer engagement strategy.
Mitch Parker, Executive Director of Information Security & Compliance, Indiana University Health
Going into 2020, our main focus will continue to be consolidation and doing more with less. Reducing the redundant applications and/or services is a high priority from the end user perspective; this exercise has yielded great savings as well. Simplifying our portfolio will inherently allow us to standardize systems and workflows across the board. Another area we will dive into more is mobility. This goes for our teams providing clinical care as well as our patients. Whether it’s a doctor, nurse or patient, we need to be able to provide access to tools or information in a quicker and easier fashion.
Nicholas Szymanski, CIO, Richmond University Medical Center
Personally, in 2020, I’m hoping to work on some coding projects that are absolutely unnecessary and will have virtually no return on investment, yet will bring me joy! My Bachelor’s degree is in computer science, and I was a programmer in high school and college, but since attending medical school a million years ago, my development skills have gone south. I’ve played around a bit with some Python scripts to automate a few of my administrative tasks, and I have lots of fun as I tear my hair out trying to make them work. While ultimately programming comes down to ones and zeroes, there is a creativity and beauty to the process that I miss, and I hope I can find the time to be a weekend warrior of code!
Craig Joseph, MD, CMO, Avaap & Interim CMIO, El Camino Health
On a personal level, I plan to enhance my understanding of security related topics by attending the CHIME CISO boot camp.
On a professional level, I realize the industry is touting advanced technology, AI and process automation and others. At the risk of sounding fully un-sexy, I’m doubling down on our ITS internal process improvement framework. The only sane way to achieve more with the same is to create efficiencies within our current ITS workflows. We have leveraged the OKR methodology in order to engage our front-line staff on pain points that perhaps only they are aware of. Overtly addressing these hidden potholes provides a tactical advantage that previously didn’t exist. After this framework is put in place, it’s then my responsibility to make the business case to senior leadership for ITS process improvement. I plan to boldly make the case, knowing that positioning ITS for success sometimes requires an unconventional approach. As Doc Holiday said to Wyatt Earp in the movie Tombstone: “There’s no normal life, there’s just life. Get on with it.”
Lee Milligan, MD, SVP, CIO & CMIO, Asante
In 2019, we attended CHIME, HIMSS, AMIA, AMDIS, RSNA, NAHSE and other important meetings and conferences. This provided an opportunity to engage with IT leaders and know current market information. Our most important accomplishment in 2019, as it has been in the past, is our relationship of trust and commitment with the healthcare IT leadership community in a changing market.
Hillary Ross, Managing Partner and Leader, Witt/Kieffer’s Information Technology Practice
The one goal for 2020 is to exceed our measured contributions of our programming by our associates in the successful execution of our strategic imperatives and initiatives for the benefit of our patients and our communities.
Craig Richardville, SVP & CIO, SCL Health