All of this speaks so strongly to the moment that our industry is in right now, as policy, particularly federal policy, is driving everything forward. From the recent announcements of the new mandatory cardiac care bundle in 98 markets, to the looming implementation of the new MACRA/MIPS final rule, to the announcement of the readmissions penalties, to the eventual resolution of the issues around the remaining elements of Stage 2 meaningful use requirements and the anticipated Stage 3 of MU, and beyond, policy, especially reimbursement-related policy, is pushing the entire U.S. healthcare system forward.
And in that kind of environment, CIOs and other senior healthcare IT leaders with only technical backgrounds and skills, are finding it to be hard sledding. That is not to say that technical skills should be seen as lacking in value; on the contrary, they remain extremely important, as the purchasing decisions alone, when it comes to the big clinical and other information systems that hospitals, medical groups, and health systems are buying, are more and more expensive and comprehensive. And it will be very important, of course, to have enough of a technical understanding of the current data security threats to ensure that numerous IT security elements are put into place.
But the leadership and strategic skill sets needed from CIOs in the next few years will honestly be preeminent, as patient care organizations will need to move into hyper-drive in order to move forward successfully into the emerging policy and operating environment. And no amount of technical skill will compensate for a lack of leadership ability and strategic acumen, which will be so terribly needed in the coming months and few years, as U.S. healthcare revolutionizes itself.
So it was really good to hear from Suzanne Anderson and Sajid Ahmed last week, and to get the really big-picture overview on these issues. And we will need more reminders like theirs going into the future, as the foundations are laid for the next phase of the evolution of the U.S. healthcare system, across what inevitably will be a challenging period of transition.