Healthcare chief information officers had a lot to take in at HIMSS22 this past week. There were many new product and partnership announcements and insightful panels and discussions, but here are two critical takeaway themes from HIMSS22 relevant to healthcare decision-makers like you!
Healthcare cloud is everywhere
It feels like every company has a health cloud offering these days.
Microsoft’s Azure health cloud includes a data service that brings together clinical, imaging, medical devices, and other datasets. Microsoft has made additional enhancements focused on clinical workflow integration with the Teams product and Dynamics CRM. Examples include using Teams for virtual care visits, Teams integration with Cerner electronic health record, and additional enhancements on the Azure Health Data Services using AI.
Salesforce has announced that it will improve its Salesforce Customer 360 for Health product, adding new features. Teladoc Health and Ovation Medical are among the organizations that will utilize these new capabilities. Staff members, clinicians, and administrative staff can access patient health information and social circumstances while observing the patient from all angles to arrange appropriate treatment while empowering front-line support teams to communicate with and provide an excellent experience for patients.
Google Health will embed its search and summarization capabilities within the Meditech Expanse EHR. Meditech will use Google Health’s technologies to build a longitudinal health data output that combines data from multiple sources using standard FHIR format. Google Health’s innovative summarization feature takes data from various parts of the patient record to summarize the patient’s health information, which offers the clinician detailed information about treating and monitoring those illnesses, such as lab results, vital signs, and prescriptions.
The new Snowflake Healthcare and Life Sciences Data Cloud provides a data marketplace that enables users to get data from third-party sources. The platform also optimizes data types and formats commonly used in healthcare and life sciences, including unstructured data.
It will be challenging to have many healthcare cloud-like solutions. Now is the time for decision-makers to make a choice and stick with it. Because these solutions require a significant amount of data and time to fine-tune and process their AI algorithms to generate insights, the journey will be lengthy and CIOs must choose wisely.
Healthcare at your doorstep
Hospital at home programs are pretty popular in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. There’s a lot of evidence, including some recent research showcased at HIMSS22 that they save money while improving patient satisfaction.
This approach has never quite taken off in the United States – until now, where there is a renewed emphasis on population health management and value-based care as telehealth has also gained wider acceptance.
This is an opportunity for CIOs to shine and lead the way in developing a set of tools that can deliver care anywhere, anytime. The following tools in your current portfolio are the ones to optimize.
Virtual care. Expand the organization’s current telemedicine solution or establish a new one to figure out how to bring the platform readily to a patient’s house. I’ve seen inroads to patients’ homes made with partnerships with broadband carriers or cable TV operators.
Map route optimization. Delivery of care at home necessitates the clinician to go and visit the patient’s house. To ensure that your clinicians are traveling using optimum routing based on the schedule, use and collaborate with solutions such as Google Map, Apple Map, or a third party.
Wearables and remote patient monitoring. RPM and simple-to-use wearables for monitoring are easy to use and deploy. The technology is straightforward, but establishing a full-time command center operations that can monitor many patients simultaneously is essential.
The hospital at home has seen a boost in popularity, but the models have been hampered by physician uncertainty and piecemeal reimbursement arrangements.
When the public health emergency ends, the government waiver that opened doors for providing hospital care at home may expire, causing worries among hospital at home advocates that much of the progress made during the pandemic may end due to the lack of sufficient reimbursement.
Regardless, healthcare CIOs need to be prepared for the upcoming changes in the healthcare landscape. They need to be ready to provide solutions that can deliver care anywhere, anytime, to any patient. With the right tools and partnerships in place, they can succeed in this new era of healthcare.
David Chou serves as the CIO for a public academic health system. He has held executive roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Children’s Mercy Hospital, University of Mississippi Medical Center, AHMC Healthcare and Prime Healthcare.