healthcaretechoutlook

Integrate Scant Information into an Evolving Map of the Future-Present

By Nader Mherabi, SVP & Vice Dean, CIO, NYU Langone Medical Center

Nader Mherabi, SVP & Vice Dean, CIO, NYU Langone Medical Center

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2014

Having deployed several large enterprise systems over the past couple of years in clinical, ERP, research, and other areas, one of our big goals for 2014 is to complete the system and business process integrations necessary to gain the full benefit of these investments across our clinical, research, and educational missions. We are also aggressively deploying systems to support our clinically integrated network (ACO), with full analytics.
Recently, we launched our new intranet, a unified communications platform, which will significantly improve internal and external collaboration and  mobility across the enterprise. Our wish list would include improved predictive analytical capabilities for patient carecoordination, readmissions, and other key health metrics.

"We recently launched our new intranet, which will significantly improve internal and external collaboration and mobility across the enterprise"

Solutions that would make my job easier

The inevitable and perennial struggle between local and global optimizations of technology (“best-of-breed” versus “enterprise”) ensures that even optimal outcomes will inflict pain somewhere within a large organization. Perhaps because this contest poses immediate and temptingly simple  choices, it tends to displace considerations of systems’ integration and enterprise architecture that are ultimately more consequential. The aversion of
vendors (and many consultants) to the big “edge problems” of systems’ deployment continues to perplex me. I believe it constitutes the biggest single threat to their products’ success, and introduces very significant long-term challenges for their customers.

Trends impacting enterprise business environment

Patient empowerment is a very important trend in healthcare and we are deploying patient information portals and in-home device-integration capabilities to support it. Another important trend is the development of integrated workflows to reduce costs and improve quality across the continuum of care, including outpatient and inpatient care across our growing care network.

Changing Role of CIOs

As information technology has become a strategic differentiator for organizations, CIOs have had to adjust or look for other work. CIOs today oversee diverse and ever-changing sets of services, infrastructure, facilities, and data stewardship obligations that may have been inherited from predecessors
who were regarded as managers of support organizations rather than as senior leaders.

For instance, at NYU Langone, the CIO is a member of the executive leadership team, having senior vice presidential rank, as well as holding a vice-deanship in the NYU School of Medicine. As the Medical Center’s technological environment matures, my role as the CIO is increasingly
engaged in efforts to advance its information environment by creating seamless care processes that improve patient care while reducing costs, and
providing insight into data that can be used to advance medical practice, research, and education.

My word for a CIO

Information technology's furious rate of change obliges the CIO to actively seek out and cultivate desirable futures. The CIO must be able to recognize and integrate very scant information into an evolving map of the future-present and then confidently lead the organization across it. To do this, he or she must monitor shifts in the technology, culture, and business of IT. He must understand what pre-teen and collegeage IT disruptors and innovators are
saying and doing. He must embrace the early-adopters and risk-takers within his company and continually adjust the services, infrastructure, and processes they would otherwise bypass or break. He should read books on a wide range of topics, including science, and participate in engineering, information-science, and consumer-technology circles. And he must continually seek to sharpen his insight into the business and to bring options to the table.