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HCI's August Lineup is Here: CIOs Wanted

June 2, 2008
by aguerra
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At HCI, we rely on our readers to help make our stories deeply useful and effective. Please take a close look at the lineup below. If you are a C-suite technology leader, consultant or analyst interested in participating, please send me an e-mail. Inquiries regarding these stories are welcome until June 16.

And, as always, if you’ve got other story suggestions for us, let me know.

Thanks,

Anthony Guerra, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story: Operational Intelligence: CIOs' Next Strategic Imperative

Part One: Introduction

Implementing advanced clinical information systems is turning out to be the first step in a long but crucial journey for patient care organizations. CIOs are finding that the next step in strategic IT deployment is the orchestration of tools to gain business and clinical intelligence — now increasingly referred to generally as "operational intelligence" — from clinical information systems. Doing this can improve patient care quality, clinician workflow, and drive business operations improvement. The introduction will explain the terms and lay of the land.

Part Two: Clinical Information Systems and Patient Care Transformation

Implementing EMR, CPOE, pharmacy systems, eMAR, wireless connectivity, RIS/PACS, and other advanced clinical information systems is a crucial element in optimizing patient care and clinician workflow. But beyond the self-evident needs involved in implementing these systems, there remains a huge new area to conquer, and the most advanced hospitals and health systems are moving into that Wild West. The goal? Gaining business intelligence from clinical data — or as it's sometimes now called "clinical intelligence," or "operational intelligence" — in other words, deriving value from data gathering, analysis, feeding data back into the clinical care loop to optimize patient care, and using data to create greater transparency in response to the demands of purchasers, payers, and consumers. This section will look at the challenges and opportunities ahead, where this emerging area is going, and what the leader organizations have achieved so far.

Part Three: Dashboards and Performance Analytics

CIOs and their C-suite colleagues are increasingly developing data dashboards to use in creating performance analytics — measurement tools that can improve efficiency and effectiveness in hospitals, in areas such as staffing levels, cost of care per patient, cost trends, and discharge data. What are the leading-edge organizations doing in this area, and what have their results been? This section will look at what top health systems are doing in terms of dashboards and performance analytics, and what challenges and issues CIOs and their teams face as they help create and use these tool sets.

DEPARTMENTS

Clinical

In Part III of our three-part series on medication administration, we take a look at the final step in closed loop medication administration — bedside. Statistics show that medication errors which make it to this final stage have the highest likelihood of escaping detection before administration. See how the latest trends in bar coding, medication carts and other systems can change those numbers in your hospital — and how they can eliminate potentially fatal workarounds. We’ll speak with CIOs who have beat the system by using best practices in this dangerous area.

Financial

In today’s tough economy, many CIOs are being asked to scale back on projects or trim discretionary budget items. But deciding exactly where to pare can be the hardest part. In this article, HCI gives you some best practices in how to shrink the budget while still advancing strategic initiatives. We also look at the C-suite dynamics in such processes and tell you how working closely with your CEO and CFO can make all the difference.

Administrative

The amount of data that hospitals must manage can be daunting. As both the number of servers and the demand for capacity continue to escalate, facilities must determine how to most effectively power and cool these systems while controlling costs and energy consumption, and complying with environmental standards. States like California are mandating reductions in emissions, and national requirements may be just around the corner. To stay in compliance, some hospitals are constructing new, energy-efficient data centers that hold greater amounts of information, while others are turning to virtualization, a strategy that enables systems to run multiple applications and operating systems at the same time. In this article, we will examine the latest trends in data storage and look at how CIOs at different health systems are dealing with data storage needs.

Wireless

The medical community and technology companies are engaged in a war over wireless space. The proposed use of unoccupied airwaves for high-speed Internet service in healthcare facilities has hospital administrators and medical device makers alarmed that it may cause interference with devices and disrupt the monitoring of patients’ vital signs. While technology companies argue that the white space flanking the channel allotted exclusively for monitoring equipment shouldn’t remain vacant because of its value to consumers, the medical community contends that there needs to be more of a cushion to protect patients. In this article, we will examine how this issue is affecting hospitals, what CIOs are doing to address it, and what technologies can be used to protect wireless networks and channels.

Imaging

How can CIOs and their senior IT executives strategize around vendor issues when planning for RIS/PACS replacements or upgrades? While PACS products are rapidly becoming commoditized, RIS products remain relatively diverse; and the degree of interoperability of both types of systems with EMRs and other clinical information systems remains highly variable. We'll look at how CIOs and their teams are strategizing around vendor issues, and glean advice from industry experts and observers.

Policy

Can data from EHRs be a feasible method of collecting quality measures for CMS? The agency has launched a pilot project to find out. In May, CMS chose six vendors to participate in a pilot to extract Physician Quality Reporting Initiative (PQRI) measures directly from electronic health record systems. Vendors will submit data for five PQRI measures — three related to diabetes, one related to coronary artery disease, and one related to heart failure — to a CMS data warehouse for assessment. Could this allow healthcare organizations to get away from using claims data for quality measurement — a process that requires multiple steps and must be done after care is administered?

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