What success in 2020 means for 5 CIOs

As 2019 comes to a close, hospital and health system CIOs are evaluating what they've accomplished in the past year and what comes next in supporting their organizations' overall missions of delivering quality care.

In some cases, that means EHR transition or enhancements; other CIOs are exploring virtual visits, data analytics capabilities and ways to boost the patient experience through digital health. Some leaders anticipate partnerships with big tech companies while others are searching for the best local partners to engage their patient population.

Here, five CIOs outline what success looks like in 2020.

Phyllis Teater. CIO of The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (Columbus, Ohio): At the end of the year, all areas here would be meeting or exceeding their strategic goals. As a member of the executive team, I share responsibility to achieve these goals and specifically for ensuring that we leverage technology where needed to do it. In the upcoming year, the goals that fall under that category include making sure our organization is on track with our facility growth plans. We are building and planning a number of facilities in central Ohio to expand our reach, including a new hospital tower, a number of outpatient multi-use facilities, a multi-disciplinary healthcare education center, and a new research facility.

If we are successful next year in this space, we will know fully what capabilities will be delivered in those buildings from a technology perspective and will be on track with our plans to implement them.

The second priority for 2020 is continuing to move into the digital delivery of healthcare and having a presence in the virtual health space. For us that includes a number of foci, such as being able to significantly increase the amount of virtual visits that we can offer patients through technology so they have increased access to our services and it's more convenient for them. We also plan to do more remote virtual monitoring for patients who need it to improve their outcomes.

Another space that we have some big goals over the next 14 months is around becoming a data-driven and analytics-driven organization. We are thinking about how we structure to move those initiatives forward and provide a holistic analytics service that can drive us towards the future.

Tamara Havenhill-Jacobs. CIO of Bozeman (Mont.) Health: In my role with Bozeman Health, I have oversight for IT and analytics, which typically falls to the CIOs, but also we are seeing more CIOs focusing on innovation and digital technology. I also oversee our regional health technology and innovations efforts. There are a lot of different ways for me to consider the year successful. We have several significant projects in place that will be impact the community, including expansion and a focus on increasing access through our ambulatory care network.

There will also be a lot of emphasis on data analytics and our ability to drive quality outcomes to help us prepare for the future of population risk management. In 2020, we want to have healthy and thriving staff and providers that are finding more solutions and partnerships in the community to improve health and quality of life.

Kristin Darby. CIO of Envision Healthcare (Nashville, Tenn.): Envision Healthcare physicians, advanced practice providers and support teams provide high-quality care to patients across the U.S. through more than 35 million encounters annually. In 2019, we made significant progress in transforming our IT infrastructure and the solutions we bring to healthcare partners and patients. For us to continue that momentum and move the needle even further in 2020, my primary goal is to focus on our customer-centric approach while creating and sustaining a differentiated business value through technology. Some areas of focus in 2020 that build toward this vision include:

• Applying automation and artificial intelligence to drive workload transformation across our key business functions. Operational excellence is critical in the back-office functions because it creates capacity for investment in clinical areas that provide value to the customers and the patients we serve.

• Increasing the adoption of cloud and consumable technology to provide maximum agility to deliver scalable enterprise solutions with expediency. Strengthening our clinical and business partnerships in a manner that enhances our ability to collaborate and execute with more agility as an integrated team.

• Reengineering our IT organizational model to include a comprehensive framework that empowers the team and fosters creativity and innovation. We recognize the competitive market for strong technology talent and strive to create a culture in which Envision is an employer of choice.

Jeffrey Sturman. Senior Vice President and CIO of Memorial Healthcare System (Hollywood, Fla.): There is so much going on next year. We follow the fiscal year, and our 2021 year begins on May 1. To make it successful would mean to execute important strategic partnerships. A lot of people think of innovation in terms of what is new and cool and different. I am thinking about how I can align myself and my organization in the right strategic partnerships and monetize those things we already do exceptionally well.

Jason Williams. CIO of CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (Los Angeles): Our vision for 2020 is to successfully implement new IT systems including EHR capabilities, and to enhance operational efficiencies with a centralized communication system for clinical teams to enhance the patient experience.

More articles on health IT:
The promise of digital health: Key thoughts from Partners HealthCare's Chris Coburn
How CommonSpirit Health aims to change healthcare with strategic, purposeful innovation
The biggest IT threat to health systems goes beyond cyberattacks

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