Forging the future of healthcare means investing in IT teams

Keith Jones, associate CIO of Greensboro, N.C.-based Cone Health, told Becker's that as technology continues to evolve and change, hospitals and health systems must invest in their people to make sure they are ready for that change, especially if they're working with fewer employees and more patient demand. 

"Our whole culture is around growing and developing our staff, and I think we have to ensure that we have the right skill mix to face the future of healthcare," Mr. Jones said. "We want to forge the future of healthcare, and if we want to practice what we preach, we have to make sure we invest in the right people."

Mr. Jones, who was appointed associate CIO of Cone Health on May 4, said the health system is discussing ways to do more with fewer people. 

"Not in terms of layoffs or massive cuts, but we know that demands are increasing, and we can't just add people at the same rate in which demand is accelerating," Mr. Jones said. "So the CIO and I have been working to find ways to partner with IT service management for our organization, and I think that's key right now."

Mr. Jones said acting like CIOs from the past is not what will work at the moment, stating that hospitals and health systems cannot make decisions in a silo nor can they force technology upon their enterprises. 

"I think we have to listen to understand what problems enterprises are facing, and then we can come to the table with both strategic as well as tactical ways to fulfill those problems," Mr. Jones said. "And when we are thinking about increasing the IT value of our organization, we must ensure our strategic goals are aligned so we can continue to deliver for our organization in a cost-effective way."

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