Health IT

Here’s what CIOs will focus on in 2018

In June 2017, Spok surveyed 46 CHIME CIOs about their priorities in 2018, as well as other topics. The results show that technology and gaining buy-in are areas of increasing importance.

In June 2017, Springfield, Virginia-based Spok surveyed 46 CHIME chief information officers about their priorities in 2018, mobile technologies and the patient experience.

“CIOs are making thoughtful decisions about their technology investments,” according to a Spok infographic and news release about the survey. “The point of view behind the healthcare CIO’s desk is one of challenges and opportunities; considering future investments and measuring success.”

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Across the hospital, 40 percent of CIOs said implementing an enterprise analytics platform is a focus area for 2018.

Additionally, 62 percent indicated that gaining physician adoption and buy-in for healthcare technologies is a top priority in the new year. Only 38 percent said optimizing EHR integration is a 2018 goal.

However, integration does appear to be an area of interest. Seventy-one percent of respondents said they base investment decisions for communication technologies on EHR integration. And 69 percent said they base said choices on integration with other systems.

Rolling out such communication technologies — more specifically, secure texting — can be problematic. Fifty-four percent of CIOs indicated that physician adoption and buy-in is the hardest. Forty-eight percent said funding is a top challenge.

The Spok survey narrowed in on mobile technologies as well.

Sixty percent of respondents said critical test results alerts are driving their organization’s mobile technology selection. Seventy-nine percent indicated that secure messaging and communication among care teams are behind their decision. And 60 percent said the main driver of their organization’s selection is receiving alerts from critical systems.

Despite the significance of new technologies, not all organizations seem to have a plan for the future in place. Twenty-six percent of CIOs said they are not developing a mobile care team strategy. Sixty-five percent of respondents indicated they’re working to bring mobile elements into a unified strategy.

For those organizations interested in a mobile strategy, the survey also took a stab at examining CIOs’ goals. In the next three years, 76 percent of respondents plan to have secure texting. Sixty-five percent said their organization will have critical diagnostics results alerts, and 61 percent plan on having clinical decision support alerts.

Though technology is an area of interest and importance, healthcare organizations have not forgotten the patient side of the equation.

Exactly half of the respondents indicated their organization has a patient experience officer or equivalent position. The healthcare sector is also continuing to leverage technology to assist patients. Forty-five percent of interviewed CIOs said their organization is evolving patient portals to support population health initiatives.

“We’re looking forward to seeing how healthcare CIOs keep pace with advancing technologies — integrating their systems and ensuring adoption, while keeping the patient perspective front and center,” Spok concluded.

Photo: chombosan, Getty Images