Written by Dean Lehmkuhler
The revolutionary transformation of the digital age can catch a lot of industries off guard. Without the right amount of foresight and CIO to lead your team, the benefits of today’s technology might pass your organization by. In order to maintain a successful system, a collaborative approach is often best. IT leadership in hospitals is a group effort—which means your CIO needs the right support.
The Changing Role of CIO’s in Healthcare
Not long ago, a health system CIO was regarded as a trusty staff member to fix computer bugs. But today, troubleshooting technology is a much smaller part of their job description. The new role of the CIO is becoming more and more crucial for the larger hospital functions. It’s not uncommon to have the CIO involved in system-wide initiatives like new population health efforts or other outreach programs.
If your surgery center or hospital already has electronic health records in place (as they should be), there are plenty of “next steps” that your CIO is probably taking to continue your technological innovations. Today, CIO’s are often the point person for new telehealth programs, as well as new programs to track analytics for quality and safety metrics internally. Yet with the massive amount of new tech available, it’s nearly impossible for one person to keep up with all the options on their own.
All these changes have occurred over just the last 10 years or so, making it even more important that healthcare CIO’s don’t experience burnout. Just as other C-suite executives need the input of their colleagues, the CIO also needs a specialized system for feedback and support. This often cannot be found within their healthcare organization itself. Instead, they often need to have a third-party to call.
How Contractors Fill the Void
Having an outside perspective allows health systems to challenge their current processes and think of alternative ways of doing business. For busy health systems especially, contractors can help verify that your existing infrastructure is future-proofed. Because contractors have experience that extends beyond your network, they are better equipped to manage new projects and technology. This creates more flexibility for your existing team and less pressure on your timeline.
When they find an experienced contractor, all of their past experience and various scenarios come with them, too. If the CIO is left alone to research, develop, and implement new technology, they will only have a few points of reference. It helps to leave these concerns to the IT contractors. Their job is to manage any headaches that arise along the way. This frees up your CIO and other key players to attend to other matters that require their expertise.
Of course, no contractor can fully comprehend the ins and outs of your organization. What worked for the health system in the past and what flopped will often only be known by a long-term CIO. A collaborative approach, on the other hand, allows both sides to shine. It’s almost always better to have the success stories of dozens of similar projects than a limited perspective. That’s the kind of confidence a contractor can provide.
Strategic IT Consulting—from Design to Integration
Giving your CIO the resources to explore other options available to your health system can be a great asset to your bottom line and performance reviews. As more hospitals make the switch to become fully integrated and tech savvy, you don’t want to fall behind. The best approach is to stay ahead of the curve.
An experienced IT consulting group can help you identify gaps in your system. They can also give your organization clear steps to develop a more streamlined approach to patient care and data tracking. While current staff understand the inner workings of your existing technology, they may not be aware of other solutions that are available. To bring the healthcare industry to the cutting edge of technology, a third-party consultant is often the missing link.
Ultimately, the contractor’s responsibility is to bring everyone up to speed. This alleviates the stress for your regular team and eases the transition process with new technology. After identifying the right solutions for your system—whether that’s a unified communications system, an updated system for clinical informatics, or starting up a new telehealth division—you need to get the support you need for a successful transition. Then, you’ll be bound to have a happy CIO, satisfied patients, and an energized team.
If you would like to continue the conversation, the G2 Group can help. Our healthcare consultants specialize in strategic IT consulting, project management, and revenue cycles. Send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.