As IT Changes Health Care, CIOs Must Be Responsive

Disrupt or be disrupted. That’s the way Dave Dimond, chief technology officer for Global Healthcare Business at EMC Corp., sees the IT business—especially for those in the rapidly changing health care sector.

Dimond said the challenge health care providers face has everything to do with meeting patient expectations in a world “where they want things, and they want them now.”

A recent survey from Vanson Bourne found that 89 percent of health care providers say technology has already changed their patient expectations.

With the health care sector moving rapidly toward value-based care–a model based on using data to improve outcomes while lowering costs–information management will be key for organizations that want to survive, Dimond said. IT is a resource that will be spread too thin without finding new ways to free up a CIO’s time to focus on the requirements of value-based care, such as predictive analytics. It can’t be business as usual.

According to a new EMC survey, business leaders in any sector of the economy see several areas as key for surviving, including the ability to: predictively spot new opportunities; demonstrate transparency and trust; innovate in an agile way; deliver a unique and personalized experience; be always on and operating in real time.

“Businesses and organizations need to use information in new ways to embrace these attributes,” Dimond said. “But few do these well or organizationwide.”

One way that IT leaders can help to achieve all that is demanded of them is to change their role, Dimond said. Instead of managing every aspect of data, IT professionals can move toward using cloud-based software-as-a-service.

For health care providers, under pressure from value-based care to form networks with other providers, the cloud will be essential, especially in the aspects of value-based care that will require analytics. “There’s a race to mature in a hybrid cloud environment,” Dimond said. “Organizations have to transform the way they look at building services and virtualizing them across multiple devices.”

Most health care organizations have become “very much on the same page,” over the last couple of years, Dimond said. “They see the trajectory toward creating an internal cloud and IT brokering.” By outsourcing some of the IT services needed–such as data analytics needed for value-based reimbursement requirements–IT leaders can focus on other issues at hand.

EMC is helping organizations to adopt this new digital mind-set by helping them to simplify their health IT infrastructure, reduce costs, and innovate faster. The company also helps health care providers capitalize on predictive analytics for clinical, financial, and operational use cases along with improving the security and availability of their patient information.

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