Data Governance Is Relatively New To The Healthcare Industry

By William Phillips,SVP & CIO,University Health System

William Phillips,SVP & CIO,University Health System

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

One of the largest challenges is to establish Data Governance in Healthcare. The new buzz word in health information technology is big data. You see many articles and comments pertaining to big data, but you do not see much mention of data governance. Data Governance is relatively new to the healthcare industry as it was born out of the financial sector.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Voice recognition is the largest in my opinion. It has made a lot of advancements over the past several years with natural language processors; however, it is still not quite there. Clinicians need the ability to speak through all aspects of their patient treatment. What I mean by this is; everything from opening a chart by a patients name to completing orders, notes, prescriptions, and everything included in the Electronic Health Record.

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

Our Report Library is the foundation of our extensive collection of metrics. The library is used by leadership to quantify readmissions and explore options, to decrease the rate. Tracking frequent users of the system allows identification; leading to ways to better improve their episodic care, thereby decreasing cost. Population health metrics such as number of patients who have certain conditions and how well they are doing are tracked. We monitor preventive needs data; such as mammograms and pelvic exam/pap smears, immunizations, etc.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the Healthcare sector

IT strategic planning is a critical part of supporting the organization in these initiatives. In fact, this is why an IT strategic plan exists. Organizations have to invest into technology that supports these initiatives. In our IT strategic plan, all items are identified as to what the item will impact. The example below shows the year of implementation, the initiative and items that the project will improve.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

We currently use a Real-time Location System (RTLS) and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) to manage temperature in medication refrigerators, and to locate clinical equipment across our enterprise We also use it to track patients and clinicians in our operating rooms; to improve turnover rates of the operating rooms, and on-time surgery. This technology has expanded its capabilities; to provide patient tracking throughout the hospital, hand washing compliance, surgical sponge monitoring etc.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

The CIO used to be known as the IT guy and was responsible for, delivering hardware and software. He is now part of senior leadership involving in all organizational aspects; that include financial, clinical and operations. His role has expanded to have responsibilities of non-traditional reporting areas, such as bio-medical engineering. In Healthcare, this role has also turned into one of compliance.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

My biggest piece of advice is to gain support and trust from senior leadership to include Board of Managers. This will allow you to advance your IT profile and which deliver leading technology solutions, which will ultimately advance your organization to improve performance, workflow, financials, outcomes, patient satisfaction and most of all patient safety.

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