What Healthcare CIOs Say They're Focused on for 2019

Published: March 19, 2019

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From data interoperability to cyber security, healthcare CIOs in the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) were surveyed by LexisNexis Risk Solutions on the areas they are focusing on for 2019.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions surveyed 30 high-level healthcare executives on their top priorities regarding hospital technology and data security. The respondents were Vice Presidents and Chief Information Officers from hospitals, nursing homes and health plans of varying sizes and from various cities across the country.

These variations were significant because organizations in the early stages of IT modernization were primarily concerned about building the fundamental structures for cybersecurity of the electronic health record and interoperability in their information exchange. CIOs are investing in tools to protect their systems against any internal or external vulnerabilities to make sure patient data is not compromised. These security measures would include: multi factor authentication, biometrics, one time passwords and knowledge based authentication.

When it came to interoperability, many CIOs stated extensive challenges with data quality and accuracy. At this point in time, they mainly handle data warehousing and aren’t currently responsible for data quality. Therefore, they’re focusing on an enterprise-wide effort that includes significant input from health information management and quality assurance that will ideally help overcome workflow issues and maximize information delivery into clinical workflows.

Organizations with an established health information exchange listed improving data governance and expanding directories for patients and providers as their current focus for 2019. CIOs agreed they need some kind of universal patient identifier if they want to achieve interoperability across the healthcare industry. While this specific initiative on a national scale is currently unlikely, it was agreed that it would be a necessary future endeavor. Executives from healthcare organizations with a completely modernized IT infrastructure were looking into using analytics to make more informed business decisions and fostering patient engagement through virtual care and telemedicine to offer a personalized care experience. Analytics and telemedicine have been buzz topics in the industry only in recent years, and it may possibly be the next initiative for more healthcare organizations to explore as their IT systems become more robust.

From this survey it is clear that executives are focusing on tackling the same issues we have heard about for some time now; data quality, cyber security, and interoperability. All three of these issues are complex and ongoing which means they will likely always be a concerns for healthcare organizations no matter the current state of their IT structure.  As our technological landscape continues to be ever evolving, it is important for healthcare organizations to remain vigilant of the changing landscape in the interest of protecting their patient’s data while delivering streamlined and personalized healthcare delivery.

Source: Healthcare IT News