Health at home roadmap for CIOs, CTOs, and CISOs
Editor’s note: This is the fourth installment of a five-article series that will explore the evolution of care to more patient-centric, virtual, and in-home. Previous articles discussed home-based care from the patient perspective, increased security demands of health at home, and technologies driving home-based care. Upcoming content will look at the impact of home-based care on the healthcare workforce.
As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, one significant development that has taken center stage is the growing adoption of home-based care. This unprecedented shift demands healthcare leaders be the driving force in initiating innovative processes, ensuring the quality of care remains at its highest even during this transition.
Leveraging technology is fundamental in this scenario. From wearable devices that monitor vital signs to telehealth platforms for remote consultations, technology has indeed ushered in an era of convenience and efficiency and is key in implementing and maintaining home-based care. The challenge for healthcare leaders is to stay ahead of the curve, ensuring the adoption and successful integration of these technologies within their respective organizations.
Collaboration is key
“In order to prepare an organization for the adoption of devices, software, and digital tools, close collaboration among various departments within the healthcare organization is vital,” said Michael Mickey, Field Chief Technology Officer at SHI.
Mickey recommends fostering collaboration by establishing an IT Steering Committee or an innovation team that can help create a culture of innovation and drive technology adoption. He suggests it’s crucial for organizations to establish such committees, ensuring that Chief Information Officers (CIOs) have significant influence.
“Additionally, the CIO/CTO must have a seat at the table and participate in committees related to Medical Staff, Strategy and Performance, Quality, and Data Governance. This ensures alignment between the needs of these committees and the available technology.”
Aligning tech adoption with organizations needs
The broader strategic vision for health at home should also align with the available technology. A majority of the technology adopted should integrate well into the organization’s strategic plan, acting as an ally rather than an interruption.
“Collaboration with companies like SHI can help leverage grant opportunities to expand coverage in rural markets, thereby facilitating the integration of home-based technologies,” Mickey continued.
While observing and waiting may seem like the safer bet, this is a time for action. Healthcare leaders must embrace change, experiment with new care delivery models, and create detailed change management plans. Models such as Kotter’s 8-step process may help facilitate progress and collaboration. This guide encourages leaders to create urgency, form guiding coalitions, establish clear visions, communicate effectively, remove barriers, execute and celebrate wins, persist in efforts, and further cultural and institutional change.
“When introducing new technology, it is vital to consider the right fit, timing, and market demand,” Mickey said. “Understanding the market for these devices is essential. By demonstrating how this technology can address business challenges, improve patient care, generate revenue, or reduce hospital stays, it becomes easier to gain support from the organization. CIOs and Chief Technology Officers (CTOs) play a key role in advocating for the technology by showcasing its value and benefits to the business.”
Integrating tech into existing technologies
Integration with existing systems is crucial for the smooth functioning of any new technology. Whether an organization utilizes EPIC, Cerner, MEDITECH, or eClinical Works, assessing the solution’s flexibility to integrate is essential.
“CIOs must have a comprehensive understanding of how the technology will be implemented,” Mickey said. “This includes assessing its impact on workflow, clinical processes, sound project implementation doctrine, billing procedures, quality improvements, and patient education. By considering these aspects, CIOs can effectively implement and leverage technology to drive positive outcomes within the organization.”
Health at home has come to the forefront as a significant development within the healthcare sphere. Healthcare leaders need to spearhead new, innovative processes to ensure the unwavering quality of care throughout this transitional phase.
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