HIT Ex­ecs Get New March­ing Or­ders

The Most Pow­er­ful Women in Health­care IT see new demands ahead as the in­dus­try evolves.

Health Data Management - - CONTENTS - BY FRED BAZZOLI

Women lead­ers in IT play an in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful role as health­care providers strive to of­fer more pa­tient-centric ser­vices.

A health­care IT ex­ec­u­tive’s job is al­ways chal­leng­ing; it’s also ever chang­ing.

That’s the sense of Deanna Wise, ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and CIO for Dig­nity Health, an in­te­grated de­liv­ery sys­tem. “Health­care is never static,” she says. “I be­lieve that a CIO’s job isn’t just about de­ploy­ing tech­nol­ogy. I’m al­ways look­ing for cre­ative and in­no­va­tive ways to ac­com­plish am­bi­tious goals” of im­prov­ing pa­tient care. Wise is one of the 50 hon­orees rec­og­nized in Health Data Man­age­ment’s 2018 Most Pow­er­ful Women in Health­care IT, which starts on Page 14. Many of th­ese ac­com­plished women are find­ing that their roles are grow­ing and evolv­ing now that the vast ma­jor­ity of providers have elec­tronic health record sys­tems in place.

Th­ese HIT ex­ec­u­tives—as well as the in­dus­try’s thought lead­ers and HIT ven­dor ex­ec­u­tives—are in­te­grat­ing tech­nol­ogy into the trans­form­ing land­scape of care, which is reem­pha­siz­ing the im­por­tance of high value and high qual­ity. HIT ex­ec­u­tives now are in­ter­act­ing with se­nior ex­ec­u­tives on how to use tech­nol­ogy to achieve th­ese strate­gic mis­sions. They need to be vi­sion­ary and in­spi­ra­tional, says Pamela Sae­chow, as­so­ciate CIO at the Cleve­land Clinic. “They need to fo­cus on re­mov­ing com­plex­ity and go­ing to sim­plic­ity,” she adds. “We need ‘high touch’ skills—care­giver and pa­tient ex­pe­ri­ence must be in our mind­set for what we do.”

But new waves of tech­nol­ogy and as­so­ci­ated chal­lenges also re­quire tech­ni­cal ac­u­men. Cy­ber­se­cu­rity is a key chal­lenge, and new ini­tia­tives such as mo­bile health tech­nol­ogy, the In­ter­net of Things and blockchain will be among the new capabilities that will grow in im­por­tance in the com­ing years. In any event, the in­dus­try needs HIT lead­ers who can adapt to rapid change.

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