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New Blog, New Approach

January 15, 2008
by Travis Gathright
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It brings me great pleasure to be counted amongst the bloggers on the Health Informatics website. This website has increasingly become an important resource for me in my administrative practice. I hope my contribution can be useful for other health informatics readers. I welcome your feedback, and encourage discussion.

It is an important time to talk about health information technology. A study released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides a glimpse into why. Total spending on healthcare “topped $2 trillion in 2006,” as reported on NPR. Healthcare spending increased by 6.7%, out-pacing inflation and general economic growth. While this figure represents only one factor in determining the effectiveness of our current healthcare system, we are inundated with signs that make it quite easy to conclude our industry needs change like it has never seen in the past. Our industry must curb spending, improve productivity, improve preventative services, improve patient satisfaction, and improve patient safety.

Luckily, improvement is the specialty of a good IT leader. IT Department heads must possess solid leadership ability, an array of business skills, and broad technical understanding. IT leaders must be able to make a realistic case for investments in technology that get results and execute beyond expectations.

I look forward to discussing everything from the tools and techniques to the big wins and rough days which are all a part of IT leadership. It is an important time to talk about health information technology, because the opportunity is there for IT leaders to positively affect our organizations and our industry like never before.

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