CIOs top 3 strategic priorities for 2018, a year of federal policy uncertainty

CIOs need to eliminate unwarranted care variations, deploy telemedicine and encourage adoption of consumer-centric technologies, The Advisory Board says.
By Bill Siwicki
12:13 PM
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Hospital CIOs

Healthcare C-suite executives are hunting for the most savvy investments and strategic imperatives to succeed during a time of great uncertainty in the industry.

There are three strategic priorities for 2018, according to a market analysis and interviews with dozens of health system CEOs by The Advisory Board:

  1. Reduce overall cost of operations
  2. Transform the delivery model
  3. Rebuild the health system. While these priorities will consume health system CEO agendas, the question in health IT circles is, what does it mean for CIOs?

The Advisory Board said there are three associated opportunities for CIOs to encourage or enable strategic initiatives to complement these priorities. They are to eliminate unwarranted care variation with the use of clinical decision support, deploy telemedicine to increase access, and encourage the adoption of consumer-centric technologies.

“There are no answers to health system challenges in 2018 that do not directly involve IT solutions,” said Naomi Levinthal, practice manager at The Advisory Board. “Whether these solutions are driven by innovation or necessity, IT offers the means to achieve real cost reduction, new delivery models and overall transformation. CIOs are critical to health system success.”

Healthcare leaders consistently express concern over the lack of a defined federal healthcare policy, The Advisory Board found.

“The list of unknowns in this environment continues to grow,” Levinthal said. “For example, will there be funding for community health and charity care, and how will consumers and the general market react to these conditions? Our research points to near-term and long-term mandates that can steer any health system through these uncertain times.”

Levinthal will speak on the subject at the HIMSS18 Conference & Exhibition during a March 7 educational session entitled “What CIOs should know about health system strategy in 2018.”

Attendees at the session will hear what The Advisory Board teaches their health system CEO colleagues about strategic priorities for 2018.

“The Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress have yet to crystallize a consistent health policy platform,” Levinthal said. “The result causes great uncertainty for healthcare leaders across the country. This session presents the research conducted with dozens of interviews with CEOs across healthcare to identify key priorities during these tumultuous times.”

Attendees also will learn about distinct opportunities to contribute to solutions – successful IT practices from The Advisory Board interviews, case studies and secondary research with CIOs, she added.

The future for healthcare organizations may include federally mandated reimbursement rate reductions, fewer insured patients and increased charity care demands. The Advisory Board research suggests that success under these conditions will depend on an organization’s ability to reduce its overall cost of operations, transform the care delivery models in use and rebuild the health system.

“CIOs should focus attention on IT-driven initiatives to meet the escalating demands of health systems today,” she said.

Naomi Levinthal will be speaking in the session, “What CIOs should know about health system strategy in 2018,” at 11:30 a.m. March 7 in the Venetian, Sands Showroom.

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Twitter: @SiwickiHealthIT
Email the writer: bill.siwicki@himssmedia.com