The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is the professional organization for chief information officers (CIO) and other senior healthcare IT leaders. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve.  

I recently attended the CHIME19 Fall CIO Forum in Phoenix, where provider CIOs and other healthcare IT executives exchanged best practices, addressed professional development needs and strengthened partnerships. I believe that CHIME continues to raise the bar on the quality and capability of the population of CIOs/CMIOs (and those on their way) in order to strengthen the position and contributions that they can make to the industry. 

As one of the first Foundation members, I’ve watched this organization grow into the market and continue to advocate and be a voice at the table for CIOs in Capitol Hill. As the thought leadership and thought sharing occurred during CHIMEI’ve shared my thoughts below on a few key themes. 

Moving beyond the four walls 

From a delivery standpoint, healthcare is moving outside of the four walls of healthcare (i.e. a hospital facility) into the communities simultaneously as consumerism is continuing to rise as a variable. With this comes extra layers of complexities as new data-capturing tools and devices come to the market. Not only are multiple applications interfacing, but now multiple devices such as wearables are interfacing with patients, providers and their communities.  

Interoperability becomes key because our industry has spent over $30 billion over the last decade to bring close to 97% of the market on the inpatient side and about 95% on the outpatient side into electronic medical records (EMRs). Though EMRs collect mass quantities of data, the inability of interoperability between different EMRs makes it almost impossible to decipher the data in the way it was intended for. 

Hitting a nerve 

We were selected to host a track session, which was hosted by Nicci Cosolo, director, solutions at emids and Keith Woeltje, MD, PhD, vice president and CMIO at BJC Healthcare, a 15-hospital health system headquartered in St. Louis. With over 10attendees in our session, multiple industry leaders and vendors agreed with developing and creating more patient-centric data governance strategies and that the patient is the endgame driving the outcome. 

When initially implementing their EMRs, a lot of facilities created their data governance strategies and processes to manage incoming data as it became a part of their fabric. However, these facilities are now finding out that these initial strategies are not practical enough to drive value from the investment of the initial EMR implementation.  

“Begin with the end in mind” 

There’s a propensity in the provider space (with all of the new shiny objects,” such as block chain, chatbots, data lake etc., that are distracting CIOs and other decision makers) to not fully think through their strategies and endgame. 

At emids, we help our clients think through questions such as:    

1. Is this the right place to start?

2. Are we using the right application of this technology?  

3. Does this technology communicate with other devices on the market?  

4. Does this technology drive the value we want as an organization?  

 As organizations are still trying to figure out what digital transformation means to them, we have defined the five Elements of Simple, to help make digital doable as providers are taking a step back to understand the data they have. The driving force behind digital transformation – across every industry – is the consumer and as we are approaching a new era, it is important for partners to understand the applications, the data that the applications produce and the implications of the data from clinical, financial and regulatory standpoints 

Everyone is on their own journey and we’re on a mission to help make digital doable. 

Tim McMullen is president of emids’ Provider business. A proven change agent, Tim brings 30-plus years’ experience building and leading high-performing teams around the globe for Fortune 500 and entrepreneurial enterprises. He is actively engaged in moving the industry forward, serving as a founding member of the College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME) Foundation. He also is a member of the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the Health Research and Development Institute and the Scottsdale Institute. Be sure to connect with Tim on LinkedIn.