I have been reflecting on the Healthcare IT Congress event held by Bridgemark Media Group earlier this month. It was a phenomenal opportunity to represent Sanford Health and network with many other healthcare CXOs in a smaller, close-knit setting.
There are a few key takeaways that I thought were valuable to share with the broader healthcare IT community.
- Although cybersecurity has been getting attention, it seems to be “old news” in some discussions. That’s a dangerous thought pattern because there are absolutely zero indications that we can back off. If anything, there are numerous indications that we need to double down. It’s no longer just about data breaches and ransomware payments, it’s an intentional attack on the well-being and life of our patients. Don’t let cybersecurity take a back seat — it needs to be riding shotgun.
- We are only scratching the surface with artificial/augmented intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). This is a space where healthcare needs to shed its old ways of being ultra-conservative and embrace change. We need to be ultra-prudent on making sure we have proper governance, safety, and control in place, and we need to be ultra-bullish on its opportunity to materially improve patient care outcomes and caregiver experience.
- Broad data literacy and competency can be transformational in health systems. In healthcare, we all know we have mountains of data, but it’s as difficult as mining for gold to find valuable insights. Getting good, clean, accessible, and curated data in front of the right people can lead to transformative thought and action. The data won’t do that by itself. Data is also audience-specific, and we can’t treat it as one size fits all. Executives want the menu. Caregivers want the ingredients. Data Scientists want to know all the variables that go into cooking the meal. Operators just want the meat and potatoes… maybe with a little gravy. What if data was as visible, transparent, and understood as a hibachi meal? You see it all. You can pay attention to the things you want. You know how it’s prepared, and you know it’s standardized for all people at the table. You also walk away wishing you had more skills like the chef (data scientist). Don’t tell me you haven’t tried some of those tricks at home yourself.
All three of those areas are common topics, and to some, they are so overpublicized that people are tired of talking about them. The problem is that we keep talking about the problems and opportunities but aren’t putting enough focus on moving the needle. With how tight things are in healthcare right now, double down and move the needle on patient safety (cyber security), patient outcomes (AI/ML) and running a sustainable business (data insights). I’m proud to be part of Sanford Health in moving the needle and making a difference for our patients and caregivers. You can’t go wrong by making one or all of these a priority in your organization.
Brad Reimer is CIO at Sanford Health, an integrated system based in Sioux Falls, S.D. To view the original piece, click here.