With consumerism, and big data continuing to be the topic of conversation for many healthcare technology executives in 2016, the most interesting pertains to the transformation of the CIO role. The shift to Consumerism and big data has created a chain reaction within healthcare by pushing  CEO’s, CIO’s and CMO’s into uncharted waters to become consumer centric in their thinking. This is resulting in new responsibilities, experience and skill sets for today’s healthcare CIO. As real-time data and analytics becomes much more prevalent in driving consumer behavior and customer experience, these insights will be used to guide and influence every aspect of the business from sales to marketing to the overall financial wellness of the business.

Gartner refers to this as bi-modal IT. Which is creating a hybrid executive that is part information officer and part analytics officer who will “lead the deployments of agile, consumer-facing, cloud-based, scalable and dynamic IT applications.” 

Healthcare appears to be following in the footsteps of many other industries by creating the “T Shaped Executive” who think outside the traditional organization approach to business “to share knowledge freely across the organization (the horizontal part of the “T”) while remaining fiercely committed to individual business unit performance (the vertical part)”

As digital transformation in healthcare enterprises begins to take its effect on the industry and move them towards the mindset of software companies, some analysts predict “that old-school CIO’s will need to rise to the occasion or be left behind.”

While over $28 Billion has been spent so far on implementing health information technology, particularly Electronic Health Record Systems (EHR), these systems are not interoperable, meaning that information does not flow seamlessly between them. Earlier this year, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information technology (ONC) released a report on health information blocking that has been undermining healthcare reform and called for congressional intervention to address the issue.

Recent media coverage on this topic indicates that many health systems and networks are developing workarounds using available standards to exchange clinical information within and among themselves to improve the patient experience and reduce costs. However, the healthcare IT landscape is far from seamlessly integrated at this point with major EHR vendors and health systems driving independent agendas. The same report notes that 63 percent of hospitals and 69 percent of health systems expect interoperability to be one of the top three data-related challenges over the next three years in performing analytics. Read More

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