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Bringing Simplicity into the Business

Gregg T. Martin, VP & CIO, Arnot Health

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Access to capital and operating funds will be a significant challenge. Like most facilities, managing disparate vendors and moving them towards increased interoperability and data exchange will also be challenging. Our primary focus in 2013 will be upgrading EMR platforms to Stage 2 certified environments.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Data sharing between providers continues to be painful. A National Patient Identifier would solve a lot of the problem. Balancing security/confidentiality with data access and finding an affordable two factor authentication solution is still evasive, but the number one issue is having the capital to build fully redundant solutions that meet the demand of “5-9’s” availability, as most of our systems are deemed “mission critical”.

Manner in which Data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

We use a mix of regular and ad-hoc reports to monitor things, which is inefficient, so we have a need for increasing our analytics capabilities, to include a data warehouse of information and putting reporting tools in the hands of end users, to include dashboard type displays, health monitoring and increase our capacity for ad-hoc reporting.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the sector

IT Strategic Planning should encompass efforts by asking the “ROI” question for any decision for deploying IT, understanding that “ROI” is more than the traditional accounting/finance definition. We’ve discovered integration, and how the investment can support. To avoid decisions that create silos of information that was justified for marginal functionality that sacrificed the value of an integrated solution.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

I think two of the trends I see that will have a significant impact is the trend towards increased patient engagement/meaningful use, which will move our thinking from a “hospital centric” model to an ambulatory one, where IT decisions will value any I.T. investment decision for how it adds value patient centered medical homes and/or ACO support and align both our I.T. systems.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

I think the CIO position has been empowered and involved to make decisions where change management is part of the equation, how providers practice, where there has been resistance to adopt I.T. The CIO is getting involved in driving process re-engineering so that I.T. investments can be optimized. With IT viewed as incredibly important, yet expensive tool, for the future challenges, the CIO’s opinion and perspective is vital. CIO’s will be challenged to “find the sweet spot” for I.T. investments.

Lessons learnt and your advice for fellow CIOs

That I should have become a lawyer rather than an IT professional. They get paid twice as much for doing half as much work (just kidding!). Nursing represents a key “center of influence” that should be leveraged to drive change and adoption throughout the organization. The power and value of an integrated solution cannot be under estimated, and needs to be taken into account when departmental, non-integrated solutions are being promoted by individual departments and that some functionality is worth giving up to get a more integrated solution. Learn to sell solutions that are explained in terms that stakeholders can understand, and accept.

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