Thought Leadership In Healthcare Digital Transformation

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How are leading CIOs dealing with the perfect storm in healthcare

how are leading cios dealing with the perfect storm in healthcare thumbnail 20june2022

The healthcare sector is in the midst of a perfect storm. The CIOs of leading health systems are grappling with a talent shortage, budgetary constraints, and conflicting enterprise priorities. In this webinar, The Perfect Storm for Healthcare CIOs, the panelists discuss executing digital strategies, making strategic technology choices, and working with internal and external partners to drive change.

Talent shortage:

The CIOs from Geisinger Health System, MaineHealth, and Intermountain Healthcare discussed the importance of roping people outside the healthcare industry to expand the experience and skill pool. Individuals with technical knowledge and an understanding of the community’s pulse were identified as significant resources to the healthcare sector. John Kravitz, CIO of Geisinger Health, mentioned that he meets students from graduating classes and high schools to encourage them to take up internship programs and certification programs. Exposing students to the industry’s nuances at a young age would help them be a valuable resource with relevant skills in the industry, thus solving the talent shortage crisis.

Budget constraints:

The budget in the healthcare sector is always stretched owing to the innate functioning of the industry. The panelists suggested adopting an agile workflow to maintain efficiency and effectiveness while scaling up deliverables under a thin budget. CIOs can leverage existing health plans to expand the customer base by utilizing subscribers of health plans to drive population health initiatives. In addition, investing in integration and interoperability can benefit the sector’s long-term financial health. To flourish under a tight budget, the bottom line is to strive to be efficient with the available resources and focus on only those activities that will add the most value to the organization, says Daniel Nigrin, the CIO of MaineHealth.

Conflicting enterprise priorities:

Healthcare businesses are engaged with numerous projects at any given time, making prioritization challenging for CIOs. The panelists discussed implementing a customized plan based on the healthcare organization’s vision and their target population’s need to formulate robust priority patterns. The priorities identified must be communicated to every team to script a synergized growth story.

Collaboration with Industries:

Although the healthcare industry is unique as it deals with a wide range of people, it does share specific common challenges with the other sectors. Supply chain issues, increased labor costs, and skyrocketing inflation are major pain points for the healthcare sector. Craig Richardville, CIO of Intermountain Health, shared an exciting proposition of adopting a collaborative approach with their peers, like the retail and manufacturing industries. He advised others to learn from their peer industry experiences in tackling the bottlenecks in the growth roadmap and implement their tried and tested results while overcoming these common hurdles. Similarly, an integrated network within the healthcare ecosystem can help consolidate and rationalize the healthcare sector by sharing best practices and utilizing the available technology stack.

Offering Proactive Wellness Solution

Value-based care model improves accessibility and affordability by making the patient touchpoints frictionless. The intervention of the healthcare providers in helping their clients maintain a healthy lifestyle is vital. This can be achieved by being more relevant and visible to the customers, understanding the market, identifying viable communication points, and leveraging applications and social media. This would mean forgoing older systems like HL7 or EDI transactions and adopting more evolved API systems. The key is to provide data to the clients that will assist them in making informed lifestyle decisions by employing self-service tools. Building a loyal customer base using the available data and keeping the population health and patient risk management strategies in sight will be extremely helpful to the industry. Migrating data to the cloud is a novel strategy to standardize and rationalize the procedures and recovery of data in case of disasters while minimizing the hardware cost, proving to be a wise financial investment for the organization.

Selecting the Right Vendor

Partnering with the right vendor(s) is crucial to the success of any project in a business model. The panelists listed down key checkpoints they follow:

  • The vendor must be a partner with a shared vision and synergized goals.
  • Choose a vendor who is ready to share the risk, including losses and profits, to maintain a long-term relationship.
  • Health systems must diligently select broad-based vendors to cut down on extra investments in time and finances. Every problem needs a tailor-made solution, and thus working with vendors who come with experience and reliability will add value to the industry and help it grow symbiotically.

Paddy Padmanabhan, the host of this webinar, aptly mentioned that the healthcare sector is facing the perfect storm in the form of massive competition for patients, talent, and even medical supplies, along with other geopolitical issues. To remain afloat in such situations, the healthcare sector must accelerate digital transformation. Collaborating within and outside the industry and working in tandem with the need of the community will help the healthcare sector counter the perfect storm

*To watch the full webinar – The Perfect Storm for Healthcare CIOs: How to Accelerate Digital Transformation While Managing Budgets, Nurturing Talent, and Addressing Competition – click here.

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