SCL Health CMIO Dr. Louis Capponi's team vision for 2019 + healthcare's biggest need for innovation

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Louis Capponi, MD, chief medical information officer at Broomfield, Colo.-based Sisters of Charity Leavenworth Health System, discusses the rising expense of healthcare and the best ways to use automation and support from health IT to help.

Responses are lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: What do you consider your No. 1 priority as CMIO? How do you ensure you're successful?

Dr. Louis Capponi: This is a very dynamic time for health IT across the industry. Now that we've got a critical mass of infrastructures in place, it's time to maximize the return of this investment in outcomes and efficiency. We will continue to make the tools easier for end users and release the power of advanced decision supports such as intelligence augmentation and amp up patient engagement.

Q: How did you become a CMIO? What is your background and what advice do you have for aspiring CMIOs?

LC: As an internist, I suppose I gravitate toward complex problem solving, and there are few endeavors more complex than healthcare. When I walked into clinical practice 24 years ago, I saw huge opportunities for improvement and knew that technology could play a role. However, as I got into it I realized that the exciting part wasn't the technology, it was the complexity of leading people and organizations through change.

Today, the greatest strength of a CMIO is the ability to lead. What I look for when hiring associates, in addition to experience implementing and optimizing technology, is experience managing groups and organizations through change.

Q: What is the vision for your team in 2019? How will you approach your role and meeting your goals?

LC: This is my 15th year as a CMIO, and I spend most of my informatics time with clinical leadership, partnering in clinical transformation. This is less about the technology and more about helping the organization adapt and change quickly.

2019 will be a year to focus greater attention on discerning the value of technology proposals as well as leveraging the vast amount of data now available to us to guide and predict where we should be spending our efforts.

Q: Where do you see the biggest need for innovation to improve the healthcare system in the future?

LC: Without a doubt, the greatest need is to maximize value. Healthcare is still too expensive. Automation and support from health information technology must be used to help patients and clinicians make the best decisions, eliminate waste and improve outcomes.

To learn more about clinical informatics and health IT, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

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