Stephen Tranquillo, VP & CIO, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital
Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014
Unified communications and workflow driven systems are two areas that have tremendous value. However in a complex environment like an academic medical center these capabilities need to be more mature in order for them to reach their real potential. I think the industry is poised to go to the next level but other priorities and economic drivers may compete for attention in these areas.
Solutions that would make my job easier
In healthcare IT, it is the constant tug and pull of the best of breed individual systems and an integrated enterprise approach. The best of breed approach usually provide excellent functionality within each discipline but don’t translate well across the entire continuum of care. The integrated systems provide a more consistent and holistic view of the patient and their care but at times fall short on some of the features and functions. The inherent gaps in workflow and inconsistency in data created by this situation are what concern me. Healthcare providers need to be clear and consistent in their strategy and choices, system vendors need to acknowledge this situation and deliver solutions that address these issues, and clearer standards need to be developed to facilitate a better environment for caregivers and patients.
Trends impacting enterprise business environment
Mobility and consumerization are two areas that have tremendous potential and also represent huge challenges.
Changing Role of CIOs
The constant progression of technology capabilities and incredible advances in the consumer market have tended to commoditize the outward facing use of technology, which unfortunately masks the complexity of the total IT environment, especially in large organizations. I find much of my energy is spent on delivering the message that all of this great technology is only a set of tools and the real work of the organization is to leverage these tools for better results and outcomes. While that seems fairly obvious it is a message that takes time and effort to deliver. I see it as the next step after having the CIO being at the table and understanding the business. Now the job is to get the organization to focus on the work it takes to really leverage these great technology tools.
My word for a CIO
I would just suggest that CIOs focus on consistency, and to whatever degree possible simplicity, in order to position their organizations to manage through the many changes that will continue to unfold, and to leverage the great technology tools that are available and will continue to evolve.