How Intermountain Healthcare is investing in health IT: 3 Qs with CIO Marc Probst

Marc Probst, CIO and vice president at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, discusses how the health system has saved through its cost reduction efforts and what health IT areas it plans to invest in this year.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What does your health IT budget look like this year? Is it trending up or down over previous years?

Marc Probst: Overall the budget is remaining about the same. We have focused a lot on cost reduction efforts, so our efficiency is increasing and, although the budget remained stable, we are increasing technology use and support. I do not see a decrease in the need or the organization's willingness to invest in IT/cybersecurity, but I do see a need to use those investments more efficiently.

Q: How are you allocating the budget? What difference is there this year compared to previous years?

MP: Significant investment continues in the area of clinical system optimization. We are also increasing investment in consumer experience development capabilities, rapid movement to the cloud to decrease data center costs, as well as to many areas as a service.

We continue to decrease support costs but increase investment in new technology and capabilities.

Q: What projects are you most excited about for 2019?

MP: Digital front door, several artificial intelligence projects and new cyber capabilities. I'm also pretty excited about therapeutic use of virtual reality.

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