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David Chou
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3 trends driving transformation decisions in healthcare IT

Opinion
Mar 18, 2022
Digital Transformation Healthcare Industry

At the ViVE 2022 health IT conference, CIOs had plenty to talk about as the industry transforms

Electronic Health Records [EHR] / digital medical data / tablet, x-rays, healthcare, doctors
Credit: Nikada / Getty Images

The healthcare community gathered at ViVE 2022 in Miami in early March to discuss the industry’s latest technology and business strategies. The event was an excellent opportunity for healthcare leaders to come together and share their insights on the industry’s most pressing issues. This year’s conference was especially important, as healthcare providers face increasing financial burdens and patient expectations continue to evolve. Here are the top three themes that healthcare CIOs were thinking about at the event.

Mergers and acquisitions

The recent round of announcements such as …

  • Oracle acquiring Cerner
  • Microsoft acquiring Nuance
  • Harris Computer Corp. acquiring parts of Allscripts
  • Baxter acquiring Hillrom
  • Stryker acquiring Vocera
  • and others

… makes healthcare CIOs reevaluate their portfolio of products to align better strategically and establish new or deeper partnerships. We will continue to see vendor consolidation in the healthcare technology space, and many CIOs are keeping that theme in the back of their mind as they make purchasing decisions. The main question is whether decision-makers will gamble on an early-stage solution knowing that it is an acquisition target.

Unicorn search

According to a recent study from Rock Health, U.S. digital health companies secured $29.1 billion in funding in 2021, nearly double the amount invested in 2020. Everyone is looking for unicorns in digital health. Aaron Miri, SVP, Chief Digital and Information Officer at Baptist Health in Jacksonville, Fla., said, “SPACs and investors that promised limited upside for start-up valuation are hitting the target. Everyone is looking for the next unicorn, but the reality is that we are driving a well-equipped ford instead of the Bentley the world thinks we drive.” 

William Walders, CIO & Senior Vice President, Operations Support at Health First, is excited about the start-up culture. Walders said, “lots of folks are nibbling at the edges of big healthcare and will be successful in ways we can’t be.” Examples include the announcement of Amazon digging into the retail pharmacy space by teaming up with Blue Plans in five states to roll out prescription discount savings cards.

We saw many start-ups and investors at Vive 2022. CIOs such as Walders are advising other healthcare CIOs to work closely with early-stage companies and startups on bringing innovation to their organization. 

Workforce burnout

Clinical workforce burnout is a primary focus as clinical teams were working extremely hard to fight the pandemic. Behind the scenes, healthcare organizations are also supported by technology teams, and IT teams also experienced high levels of burnout. Kevin Shimamoto, CIO at Valley Children’s Hospital, is focused on retaining talent while fighting burnout at the same time. Valley Children’s Hospital, based in Madera County, Calif., competes with Silicon Valley big tech companies as everyone is poaching talent since employees can work from anywhere in technology.

Dr. Zafar Chaudry, senior vice president, chief digital and information officer at Seattle Children’s, spends a lot of time meeting with frontline remote staff to ensure that they are engaged and feel inclusive from working in a remote environment. Health systems have traditionally not embraced a remote working environment, and CIOs are adjusting their management style in supporting a remote setting.

So there you have it: The top three themes from the ViVE 2022 healthcare conference that healthcare CIOs will be thinking about for the months ahead. These themes will continue to shape the healthcare landscape and the IT infrastructure supporting it.

David Chou
Contributor

David Chou is a senior healthcare technology executive with experience working in the healthcare space throughout the world. David is a dynamic keynote speaker and industry commentator working with organizations to transform their business models using technology. He has spoken around the world at healthcare tech-related conference including keynotes for leading industry events and intimate executive settings. Chou is also one of the most mentioned CIOs in the media and well quoted in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, HIMSS Media, ZDNet, CIO.com, Huffington Post, and Becker's Healthcare. David is an active member of both ACHE and HIMSS while serving on the board for CHIME.

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