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Oh 2018, your IT concerns were so linear and logical!

04 Oct 2021

Recently,  I came across an article that detailed the priorities held by CIO's in 2018. As much has changed in the last few years (and at an accelerated rate in the previous 18 months), it was intriguing to compare how they've aligned or shifted over time.

Let's dive in! In 2018 we saw the following:

1. Reduce Costs

In 2021 this is still a high priority. Every day we are doing more with less. Less staff, less budget, less time, less energy, and it feels unsustainable.

2. More Mobile

Mobile Apps have come a LONG way in a short amount of time, enhancing the Patient Experience. Not only from an EHR/EMR perspective which was more of 2018's intention. Now we wrap mobility into Telehealth, Remote Patient Monitoring, and keeping all of those BYOD devices secure. Patients became consumers at a rate that many were not prepared for. 70% of them access your information from their mobile device.

3. Mergers & Acquisitions

Most growth in Healthcare is coming from M&A activity. Adapting to disparate systems, cultural workflows, and new security policies has become the #1 needed skill for many Healthcare CIO's/CISO's.

4. Interoperability

What does Interoperability mean to you? With so many interpretations across all of your business groups, deciding on what it means as a CIO is just the beginning. Is it sharing records, how systems work together, or extracting data from one platform to enhance another? All valid definitions in 2018 and still a struggle today.

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5. Compliance - HIPAA

New rules, policies, and standards to protect the Personal Health Information of patients. Today, secure patient portals and new state privacy laws add serious complexity to compliance and your Healthcare brand reputation. Also, some scary fines. Embracing beefier encryption and vendors willing to sing BAA's has helped this a bit for folks who can rally budget.

6. Data Security

Concerns over hackers, unsecured medical devices, and negligent employees has been amplified by a 300% increase in ransomware and threat actors looking to make an impact beyond financial inconvenience. Today, it is essential that any enterprise manage user credentials with multi-factor authentication, run the highest of intrusion prevention and detection services, and continually educate staff against the new threats of the day. It's exhausting, and hackers are betting on you having old technology so that they can more easily gain access, making you a massive target.

7. Digital Transformation

What this meant in 2018 can be interpreted entirely differently in 2021. While maturity levels are a moving target in the journey to adapting digital strategies, the need exists more today than it did years ago. Initially, EHR's and the adoption of some cloud services put your organization pretty high on the digital transformation curve; however, adding automation and slapping a sensor on anything that can be measured is the real goal here: to make life easier.

In 2021, these 7 points are still incredibly valid; however, the order of priority has shifted rapidly for so many folks.

Which one would you place as #1 for your organization today?