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Healthcare CIOs Target Data Security, Physician Satisfaction

Healthcare CIOs name data security and physician satisfaction as their top considerations when implementing new mobile solutions.

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

Healthcare CIOs center their focus on data security and physician satisfaction when deciding which mobile technology is most important for their health IT infrastructure, according to a new survey conducted by the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).

Data security and physician satisfaction

More than 100 CHIME CIOs were surveyed about their big-picture technology goals, mobile app selection,and most common workflow improvements.

Eighty-one percent of healthcare CIOs surveyed said that strengthening data security was their top IT goal for the next 18 months. Sixty-seven percent of respondents also indicated that care team coordination for treatment planning was the top workflow channel needing improvement with better tools.

Sixty eight percent of survey respondents said that implementing secure text messaging is an active project, and 53 percent have an enterprise mobility management (EMM), solution to further enhance patient data security on mobile devices.

CIOs identified physician adoption as both the top measure of success and the top challenge with these technologies.

“Healthcare IT leaders are looking to achieve a delicate balance between meeting regulatory requirements for security and physician expectations to provide impactful improvements with easy to use technologies,” said Dr. Andrew Mellin, chief medical officer of Spok, Inc. "Adoption of new technology requires change management to be most effective. The organizations we’ve seen with the most successful secure text messaging rollouts first identify key clinical challenges and workflow frustrations for end users and then deploy the technology alongside process improvement and change management activities to demonstrate value to the provider, care team, and patient.”

“Treatment planning involves coordinating the right people and information to make the best decisions quickly and effectively―it is at the core of patient care,” said Hemant Goel, president of Spok, Inc. “Giving a provider enough information with context for timely decision making is key. It is an important challenge to improve care quality with reduced reimbursements as the industry moves toward payment for outcomes instead of fee-for-service.”

CIOs find it challenging to implement technologies that achieve multiple goals. Single solutions that address several health IT goals save organizations time and money by reducing cost over time and requiring less maintenance. CIOs are charged with taking the business needs of the organization, and preferences of individual users into account, as well as complying with federal regulations and accrediting organizations. CIOs need to balance what their organization needs with what they will need in the future.

Many single-solution technologies lack the ability to achieve big-picture goals. CIOs see “an opportunity to address communications holistically from an enterprise perspective, Goel continued. “Being able to securely connect data from systems such as nurse call, on-call schedules, and critical test results brings these leaders closer to their larger goal of improving care team coordination.”

When caregivers and clinicians are not able to connect and share information, treatment can be incomplete or delayed. The survey suggests that implementing mobile technology will significantly improve interoperability and patient care.

Custom enterprise applications for employees in healthcare organizations can provide efficiency, mobility, and even security benefit. Apps act through the cloud as a way to send and receive data within a network, making it accessible with a desktop or mobile device by signing in. Not only do apps connect users and their data to the cloud, they also protect electronic health data and are designed to make jobs run more efficiently.

Mobility is the first step in better coordination between users and implementing the correct mobility solution ensures data is secure. The most secure solution may not be correct fit for an organization if the users are not happy using it.

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