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April 4, 2019

Four Actions to Help Medical CIOs Build a Healthier Future

CIOs play a lead role in the digital transformation of healthcare and are at the forefront of what is changing and the technology opportunities that are available.

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  • Mike Jones, Senior Research Director at Gartner

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CIOs play a lead role in the digital transformation of healthcare and are at the forefront of what is changing and the technology opportunities that are available. They are responsible for ensuring that IT assets provide maximum value. In Gartner’s 2019 CIO agenda, healthcare provider CIOs report progress in their organisation’s digital maturity while acknowledging that there’s room to grow in their overall effectiveness of making digital an integral part of business strategy and harvesting results.

Here are four key actions that healthcare provider CIOs need to take to advance digital investment and business transformation:

  1. Improve Financial Insights to Better Align IT Capabilities

Many healthcare organisations lack visibility into the actual costs of delivering care, and this puts them in the dangerous position of making strategic changes without fully understanding their financial impact. Additionally, they often lack the mature enterprise architecture capabilities needed to identify and design solutions that can improve clinical and financial outcomes. Gartner recommends that the CIO work with the CFO and chief medical officer (CMO). The three of them can identify and launch a pilot around a specific use case to advance cost-accounting methodologies and system adoption. If successful, the CIO should seek to scale up the pilot across the organisation.

  1. Use Enterprise Architecture to Plan for a Digital Real-Time Health System Era

In parallel, as technology becomes more critical to the success of healthcare delivery, the technology environment becomes more challenging to manage. Gartner surveys show that healthcare providers which lack a mature enterprise architecture function have more difficulty managing the transition to digital business architectures, including the real-time health system. CIOs are advised to work with managers and clinical leaders to create high-level strategies that lay out the desired future state of a real-time health system-enabled organisation.

 

  1. Establish Key Performance Indicators to Measure Digital Progress

The digital era requires new metrics to assess performance, but many healthcare organisations do not have appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) in place. Start by instituting new digital KPI measurements that reflect optimisation and transformation efforts. Also, add specific outside-in performance metrics to ensure that optimisation efforts are focused around the patient and can be linked to positive healthcare outcomes.

  1. Rationalise Application Portfolios to Create New Digital Value

Gartner research shows that many healthcare providers are not realising the full value of existing technology investments, such as electronic health records (EHR) and telemedicine. Therefore the first step is to identify and evaluate the value that each application provides within the organisation. Once the evaluation stage is complete, CIOs can optimise their application portfolio using four core strategies: reducing application procurement costs, reducing application costs in IT, improving joint IT and business costs, and enabling business innovation.

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  • Mike Jones, Senior Research Director at Gartner

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