by Sandy Kendall

Health Care CIOs, Take Heart

Feb 11, 20052 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsIT Leadership

We’ve written extensively in CIO about the need for electronic medical records (EMR) and the digitizing of the health care field. Our refrain has pretty much always been, as Senior Editor Sarah D. Scalet put it a year and a half ago in Saving Money, Saving Lives:

CIOs are at the center of this tug-of-war. They’re the ones who must drive this transformation, delivering systems without incurring dangerous downtime or allowing medical files to fall into the wrong hands.

Well, CIOs, take heart. CEOs think they’re the ones who must drive. So maybe you can rely on them for some support. Chief Executive magazine’s February story, Health Care’s Paper Chase, lays the charge at the feet of CEOs. In fact, by their lights, “concerned CEOs, working in groups as well as on their own, are trying to drag the industry kicking and screaming into the 21st century.” Before you laugh, the story does portray the kickers and screamers as the users of the systems, not so much the implementers (i.e., you).

Budget issues are still going to be a bear. “Creating such a system raises the expensive prospect of, at best, fixing legacy computer systems and, more likely, creating a new IT infrastructure, then overhauling archaic business and clinical processes,” acknowledges Chief Executive, but gives examples of companies who’ve bitten the bullet and gotten a payoff.

The story includes a tip list of “What CEOs Can Do.” Worth sharing, if you see this article before your CEO does.

For more from CIO on the good and ugly of EMR, check out these stories:

  • The Slow Road to Electronic Records
  • Off the Charts
  • Invasive Procedures
  • Glaser Faces the Music