Looking At Google And Amazon Tools To Do Real Time Decision Support, Search And Predictive Analytics

Denise Zabawski, VP and CIO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital
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Denise Zabawski, VP and CIO, Nationwide Children’s Hospital

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

There are three areas that will continue to challenge Health IT this year and in the future. Information Security is at the top of this list. HIPAA and the recent Omnibus changes significantly up the ante for breach reporting. We need tools that will track PHI movement and release across the enterprise. The second challenge is mobile device management. The tools in this space are more mature but still don’t provide the flexibility and reporting that we require managing the mobile workforce. The third challenge is TeleHealth or TeleMedicine. The technology needs to become much easier to use and more reliable.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

By far the area that concerns me the most is our ability to recover our EMR system in the event of a disaster. The solutions have become so incredibly complex and the EMR vendors are not offering out of the box solutions for true active/ active operations. The second area is Big Data. Currently products and tools are designed for other industries.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

Our ability to collect, mine and analyze data has become a key component of our strategic plan. Historically we have used data to reduce errors, manage cost and improve quality. We are now looking at Google and Amazon like tools to do real time decision support, search and predictive analytics. Data is a critical component for achieving meaningful use and to support our ACO. As in other industries it is becoming a competitive advantage.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the Healthcare sector

IT strategic planning should be an integral part of the overall hospital strategic planning process. This year our technology focus includes TeleHealth, community outreach and Big Data. Once we understand the organizations aspirational goals we can develop the IT strategy for infrastructure and technology to support those goals. The first question we ask is “how does this align with the hospital’s strategic plan.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

1. Consumer devices
2. Risks to the environment from cybercrime and acts of cyber terrorism

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

My job is less about implementing and managing technology and more about facilitating organizational change to improve business processes, revenue and patient outcomes.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

IT is so integrated with the day to day jobs of healthcare workers. We need to be open to new models of operation and decentralized control of applications and devices. We still need to run the infrastructure and protect the organization from risk, but it has to be much less apparent. Our end users are already doing what they want on their personal devices and we need to learn to adapt. The change cycle will continue to accelerate which means it is critical that we get very good at managing risk for the organization.

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