The 2019 guide to cringeworthy conversations from 8 health IT leaders

Innovation, disruption and bandwidth have become overwrought and under-defined terms in health IT.

 

Several other buzzwords are on the brink of becoming more annoying than meaningful in conversations about forwarding healthcare delivery and improving patient outcomes. Here, eight leaders in health IT share cringeworthy terms and phrases related to their field.

Charles Podesta. CIO at UC Irvine Health (Orange, Calif.): A few buzzwords and overused phrases that should be avoided are: disrupt or disruption, bandwidth, leverage, go-forward strategy, ideation session and ecosystem.

George Carion, Chief Technology Officer, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center (Los Angeles): Innovation. It's overused and people place too much emphasis on the new and unique. Innovation in healthcare looks a heck of a lot more like solid systems integration supporting more efficient processes and workflow, bundled with a solid training program.

Peter Schuyler Greene, MD. CMIO of Johns Hopkins Medicine (Baltimore): Data science. I feel like the term has been applied too broadly to jobs, and it has been mixed up with more routine data analysis, data mining or data engineering. We should reserve it for people who have advanced skills in machine learning and statistics. It has become somewhat of a buzzword and has been called out for a number of years now as being the sexiest new job title, but we need to think more about how to get more people with real skills, competency and experience in this area.

Stephanie Musso-Mantione. Chief Information Privacy and Security Officer of Stony Brook (N.Y.) Medicine: Bandwidth, as in, 'We don't have the bandwidth to do that right now.' No one really has any 'bandwidth' these days and busy people don't want to hear or really don't care how busy you think you are. The work still has to get done, especially when it comes to providing quality patient care.

Pamela Banchy, RN-BC. CIO and Vice President of Clinical Informatics at Western Reserve Hospital (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio): Security and how to maintain security of patient data as the threats and risks keep getting bigger and more complicated!

Paul Black, CEO, Allscripts (Chicago): Patient engagement. It feels like a term of the past. An engaged patient works closely with her provider to make decisions about her healthcare treatment. I believe this term is overused because the momentum has shifted to a more proactive approach. 'Patient-directed' healthcare means you and I – as patients – can build our own health story and share our personal health data with those providers we want to have it. At Allscripts, our patient and consumer engagement platform, FollowMyHealth, simplifies patients' connection to their health information, so they can direct their own healthcare and share their health data with family, friends or their home care team when required.

Aaron Sheedy. COO of Xealth (Seattle): The total overuse of AI to simply describe 'we do some complicated things with data and computers to generate a result.' The problem is that most companies are just flat-out lying and promising something they can't actually deliver.

Christine Parent, Associate Vice President, Meditech (Westwood, Mass.): Blockchain. Blockchain technology, best known for usage with cryptocurrency, has been hyped over the past few years as the panacea for healthcare. In practice, a decentralized authority model may not be immediately viable for storage of protected data, and other authority models could negate certain advantages. Applications for less sensitive data around supply chain, pre-authorizations, claims, and provider directories may be the most promising near-term use cases.

More articles on health IT:
How UPMC's CIO is leading his health IT team to success
The key to technology adoption? User experience, says Cedars-Sinai CTO George Carion
How 3 health system CIOs recruit and retain top talent

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