Impact Insights

Week in Review 7/17/15

THE CIO PERSPECTIVE ON OPTIMIZATION… A great new report based on a breakout session of 14 CIOs at the annual Scottsdale Institute Spring Conference looks at IT optimization challenges – and strategies for success.  According to the report (written by Impact Advisors’ very own Dr. Tonya Edwards), although the potential benefits of optimization are significant, there was a lack of enthusiasm about it among the 14 participating CIOs given the very real challenges organizations are facing.  The CIOs discussed the problems with differing definitions of “optimization,” the misperception that optimization is primarily an IT responsibility, and the fact that optimization currently needs to be done amid an environment of perpetual EHR implementations and upgrades.  The 14 CIOs also discussed a number of strategies to help maximize success, including (but not limited to):

  • Working with senior leadership to create an organization-specific definition of “optimization”
  • Creating multidisciplinary teams that include members from operations, IT, and performance improvement
  • Developing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to actually measure the success of optimization efforts

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  The report offers some truly great insights from 14 CIOs at some of the top delivery organizations in the country – so it is highly recommended reading.  For more on the topic, also be sure to take a look at Impact Advisors’ recent white paper, Optimization: The Next Frontier.

THE HOUSE PASSES THE 21st CENTURY CURES BILL… as we wrote when it was introduced a few months ago, the bill is notable for providers and vendors because it includes language that would establish new interoperability standards that EHRs would have to meet by January 2018 or face decertification in 2019.  As a condition of certification, EHR vendors would also have to attest to a number of different statements, including that they did not knowingly limit interoperability and that APIs for the EHR have been published.  Under one of the more controversial provisions, provider organizations or EHR vendors that are found to have “engaged in information blocking” would also be subject to penalties.  According to The Hill, the Senate is not expected to act “until this fall at the earliest.”

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  To us, the interoperability language in the bill seems more focused on levying penalties to EHR vendors (and even providers) deemed uncooperative rather than offering any type of real solution to the problem (which is about more than just technology) – so we question how effective it would be if the language as currently proposed ultimately becomes law.

THE GAP BETWEEN DEMAND AND USE OF PATIENT ENGAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES… A new survey published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine finds strong interest from patients in communicating with their provider over email, the web, mobile apps, and Facebook – but limited actual use For example, 57% of respondents expressed an interest in accessing their health information through their physician’s or hospital’s website, but only 7% reported actually doing so.  Additionally, only 3% of respondents said they had used a mobile app to access their health information – despite more than 40% saying they were interested.

Impact Advisors’ Thoughts:  The survey is an important reminder that there is often a huge disconnect between the ways patients say they want to access their health information and what they will actually use in practice.  The gap here is particularly surprising given that respondents were CVS Pharmacy customers with at least one chronic condition in the household.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT… a guest blog published in the Wall Street Journal looks at the CIO’s role in mergers and acquisitions.  Not specific to healthcare, but still worth a read!

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