Why Geisinger's IT services are getting 'skinnier'

John Kravitz, CIO of Geisinger in Danville, Pa., joined the Becker's Healthcare podcast to share his top priorities and technologies intriguing him today.

Below is an excerpt from that conversation. Click here to hear the full episode.

Question: What are your top three priorities today?

John Kravitz: First and foremost, I'm thinking about digital strategy for the organization because we want to be focused on our consumer. For us, the customer could be a medical student, a participant in our health plan or somebody who's a subscriber to the health plan and someone who gets medical services. We're really focused on making it easier for them to request information, access services and track their status online or with a mobile device. That's really our focus.

The second priority is trying to get skinnier for the services offered. What I mean by that is rationalizing applications, or minimizing the number of applications we have, and consolidating more toward our platforms. A lot of [health systems] have gone through mergers and acquisition over the past 10 years, and we have a tendency to get a lot of clutter in our applications stack. We've been working pretty judiciously to offline a lot of those applications to another vendor who could provide access to them for release of information with electronic health records, or access for continuity of care of those records. Those are all important factors for us to make it simpler. If you minimize the number of applications we have to support for compliance and other purposes,that will reduce costs and help with attrition.

The third priority I'm working on is the migration to the cloud. That's where the second trend of application rationalization comes into play. We want to make certain we don't just do a lift and shift of applications into the cloud. We want to make sure we really maximize the capabilities of the cloud, which means keeping the resource consumption as low as possible, both for storage and computing, and by having applications that are cloud ready, we achieve that goal to drive down the cost of providing those services and capabilities.

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