Health system CIOs and IT leaders say they expect to invest in IT that supports precision medicine, such as data infrastructure and analytics, machine learning and greater computational power. Other investment priorities include remote patient monitoring, hospital-at-home technology, patient access centers, the internet of things, and web and app technologies "to make care convenient for patients and provide care on their terms," says Mike Mistretta, vice president and CIO at Virginia Hospital Center.
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Workday CIO Sheri Rhodes relishes the opportunities a CIO has to enable growth, support the business' strategy and improve the customer experience. CIOs face challenges such as maintaining resilience in the cloud, reacting to the changes wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic and managing the return to the office, and Rhodes says CIOs should think like general managers, view IT as a business and consider how to generate value, which doesn't necessarily revolve around technology.
When emergency room staff at Jackson Hospital in Florida couldn't connect to the electronic charting system, IT director Jamie Hussey quickly realized the software was infected with ransomware and had the hospital's computer system shut down, preventing the malware from spreading throughout the entire network. Some hospital employees may not like the idea of manual charting, "but it's better to be down a day than be down a month," Hussey says. Cybersecurity expert Allan Liska says health systems that have managed to stop ransomware attacks should share their strategies, as Hussey has, to help others understand what signs to look for and how to stop an attack.
The UCLA Center for SMART Health and Hearst Health are refocusing the $100,000 prize Hearst Health Prize on data science, artificial intelligence and other digital health technologies that improve patient outcomes. The award "provides a national platform to showcase how data science is making a difference in the lives of patients," Hearst Health President Gregory Dorn said in a news release.
In an effort to keep both employees and patients safe, health care facilities are investing in security personnel, training and modern video surveillance systems equipped with analytic tools and cloud-based technology. Mental Health Center of Denver Vice President and CIO Wes Williams says that the 36-site health system's cloud-based security solution is scalable and easy to maintain and manage. In the future, "I think what we're going to see is a merging of security technology, building automation systems and infection control," said Paul Sarnese, immediate past president of the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety.
West Virginia University Health System, the largest private employer in West Virginia, will offer Virta Health's virtual type 2 diabetes management system to eligible WVU Medicine employees statewide. People with type 2 diabetes can use the app to interact with clinicians, get personalized advice from health coaches and monitor biomarkers, potentially enabling clinicians to taper or discontinue medications.
The Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement for health data interoperability aims to eliminate cumbersome legal agreements between health information exchanges, insurers, health care providers and other entities through a single common agreement between qualified networks and participants. Success depends on voluntary participation, but EHNAC CEO Lee Barrett says stakeholders will realize that if they do not join in the data exchange as either a participant or a subparticipant, they will be at a competitive disadvantage.