Deploying robots, harnessing data & more: Health IT improvements CIOs hope emerge in 2022

Hospital leaders used technology throughout 2021 to provide virtual care, predict disease outbreaks and more. Here, four health system CIOs share how they would like to see hospital technology continue to improve in 2022:

Note: Responses have been edited lightly for clarity and style.

B.J. Moore. CIO at Providence (Renton, Wash.): In 2022, I want to see us realize the full benefits of the many tools we have implemented over the last 12 months. We need to optimize and measure the impact of those platforms to achieve maximum value for our patients and caregivers. For emerging technologies, I would like to better leverage the internet of things to make for a more scalable and seamless at-home care experience for our patients. For example, connected medical devices.

Scott MacLean. CIO at MedStar Health (Columbia, Md.): I hope we are able to better harness the power of our collective data and use automation to turn it into useful decision support at the point of care. Earlier this year, we joined 16 other healthcare systems as founding members of Truveta, the first health system-led company that offers scientists and clinicians access to real-time, deidentified clinical data from across the country. The intention of this partnership, which now includes 20 hospitals and health systems, is to find the answers to critical medical questions quicker and with greater accuracy and to give us insights on health equity as well as quality and safety measures across diverse populations.

Zafar Chaudry, MD. CIO at Seattle Children's: I hope to see more use of predictive analytics and artificial intelligence to get ahead of supply chain and capacity issues in healthcare that we have seen in the pandemic.

Atefeh Riazi. CIO at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (New York City): We all need to do more to assess and intervene in cases where patients bear a high burden in terms of housing stability, food security, domestic violence, mental health, etc. Besides covering this issue, I look for the following other tech improvements in 2022: helping hospitals keep clean, perhaps with germ-killing robots or hand-washing tracking; using robots and AI to create companions for isolated patients, for emotional and clinical support; and democratization of genetic data and protected health information. I think we need to empower patients to own their own data.

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