A recent KLAS report indicates that healthcare organizations have been selecting their electronic medical record partners at a record pace. The next step associated with these selections that many in the industry are in the midst of is the implementation and adoption of new systems.
With a majority of health systems now having the ability to leverage a foundational electronic medical record, I anticipate many CIOs focusing on what lies ahead in this realm, and investigating EMR capabilities at this year's Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) scheduled for February 19, 2017 through February 23, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.
For Penn Medicine, 2017 will focus on several cornerstone topics, which I believe are in alignment with similar organizations across the country.
1. Cyber. As health systems have become more reliant on their information systems, further securing and protecting both their patient data and the overall operations has become the utmost priority for many. Failure in this arena may result in financial, operational and reputational harm to the organization. Given the volume of projects associated with cyber and the rapid pace in which most organizations must operate to deploy these projects, CIO's will be in search of cyber solutions and resources that can assist in addressing this ever growing threat.
2. Analytics. With growing volumes of data now associated with an organization's electronic medical record, the potential to leverage this data to make breakthroughs in patient care and research becomes ever more present. Focus is now shifting to CIO' s to drive significant value from this data; which in many instances has come with a significant investment. Driving value can come in a variety of forms ranging from simple report development through surveillance solutions that constantly hover and report on abnormalities of patient data. At HIMSS, CIO's will have the opportunity to exchange analytic strategies as well as attempt to navigate the morass of analytical solutions that now reside within the industry.
3. The Next Big Thing. In recent years, the Penn Medicine Information Services team has been nationally recognized for leveraging innovative technologies to advancement patient care and research. For these achievements, we did not need to invent a new technology, but simply found a unique and productive way to leverage already existing technologies. With this approach in mind, there are several interesting technologies that have caught our eye and will certainly require more investigation in the HIMSS conference center. Companies like Amazon, Apple and Google have introduced their speech recognition/artificial intelligence solutions to the consumer market. Of interest is how to leverage these technologies to improve linkages with patients, enhance patient care and drive operational efficiencies. Along the same lines, Virtual Reality ("VR") has become more mainstream and applying VR for the benefit of our patients and staff is an area of exploration. Finally, tools that provide more self-service access to the volumes of data now at their disposal will be of interest. The HIMSS exhibition hall is sure to be much more entertaining as one explores and tests-out some of these emerging technologies.
With the assistance of government incentives, the healthcare information technology industry has made significant strides in advancing patient care and research by ensuring the right data is made available to the right care provider and the right time in the right location.
The year ahead seeks to further accelerate these advancements through traditional and emerging technologies all for the benefit of our patients and our communities.
Mike Restuccia is the CIO of Penn Medicine.
HIMSS17 runs from Feb. 19-23, 2017 at the Orange County Convention Center.
This article is part of our ongoing coverage of HIMSS17. Visit Destination HIMSS17 for previews, reporting live from the show floor and after the conference.