HIT Execs Get New Marching Orders
The Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT see new demands ahead as the industry evolves.
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.