The transformation of the nation’s healthcare system really begins with the advances that support the relationship between providers and their patients, which has been extended beyond the bedside and examination room.
Information technology has been at the vital center of this transformation, which has accelerated quickly over the last 10 years. However, widespread deployment of information technology has not eliminated the challenge. Health IT leaders at community and critical access hospitals face a range of problems that are often not appreciated.
These IT leaders typically fill more roles in their organizations, interact with a wider range of colleagues and handle more tasks. Recent interviews of these leaders by Galen Healthcare Solutions, identified these common responsibilities:
- Act as broker between IT departments, administration and clinicians, convene multi-stakeholder steering groups, agree on a finite list of important projects, and obtain buy-in for the time, resources and scope necessary to deliver those projects.
- Deploy data management and data governance strategies to increase trust in organizational data, improve quality of care and patient safety, maintain regulatory compliance, manage costs and succeed with new payment models..
- Facilitate interoperability, data normalization, harmonization and care coordination across care settings.
- Broaden and harden IT security to mitigate emerging and evolving threats.
- Enable increased patient engagement capabilities, such as telehealth technology, to maintain competitiveness with regard to patient access.
The interviews indicated that these tasks are made more difficult because these hospitals are typically financially strapped and have depleted resources, and serve semi-isolated communities and rural areas.
In the interviews researchers heard these and other common themes, and how HIT executives aim to deal with them in some way particular to their own care setting, but generally compensating for the lack of financial resources, while seeking to implement the best possible tool for clinicians and their patients, balancing competing initiatives, and navigating the path from fee-for-service to value-based care.
Learn about community & rural hospital CIO perspectives on the challenges they face in the transition to value-based-care by reading the full article on Health Data Management here. Contact us below for any questions on how to navigate the transformation: