Over the past year and a half, much changed in the world of healthcare as a result of the COVID-19 public health emergency (PHE). While some of these changes may eventually revert back to their pre-pandemic state, there are many changes that are here to stay.
One such change is the consumerization of healthcare. Prior to the PHE, healthcare was largely done in brick and mortar establishments—on our own terms. But as patient trust in the use of everyday technology mediums for medical care grew during the PHE, it is time for CIOs and healthcare organizations to evolve.
In a recent webinar titled The Modern Healthcare CIO, Jeff Buda, Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Floyd Medical Center shared his thoughts on the changes and the role CIOs may need to play.
How COVID-19 Permanently Changed Healthcare
While the COVID-19 PHE certainly wasn’t anything anyone ever wanted to see, there were some unexpected positives that emerged through the healthcare industry’s response. One of these was a newfound trust from patients in digital healthcare solutions. As people were forced to seek healthcare through digital means, it gave them an opportunity to try things they might not have otherwise.
And now that patients see healthcare can meet them exactly where they are and exactly when they want it, don’t expect that demand to disappear. Brick and mortar will always be important but expect to see some erosion and shift towards the mobile and virtual experience.
The Complexities Created
When healthcare is predominantly conducted in-house in brick and mortar settings, it’s easier to manage things like resource allocation, information security, and the implementation of new innovations. However, as the scope of service expands into the digital realm, there are a lot more things that CIOs and key decision-makers need to account for.
Some of these complexities include:
- Cybersecurity – How are we going to protect patients, systems, and critical information?
- Data Collection – In a world where big tech and social media have aggressively collected people’s data, sometimes with unwitting consent, how can we collect the data we need to fuel effective clinical decision-making while maintaining trust?
- Resourcing and Logistics – How are we going to use healthcare data and predictive analytics to allocate resources for better efficiency and stronger clinical outcomes?
- Innovation – What do we need to do to lay the groundwork to take advantage of new technological solutions coming down the pipeline?
The Champion of Change
Many of these challenges are going to be new, complex, and interdepartmental. Without the right support and understanding backing the changes, implementation and adoption may be slow. This is an opportunity for CIOs to be the champion of the change. Clearly articulating the benefits that technology brings and helping people to think outside of the box of the brick and mortar shell, the CIO can be the pivotal piece on the path forward.
How to Learn More
If you’re interested in hearing more about the changes coming to the healthcare industry and the role the CIO has the opportunity to play in that transition, we’d invite you to listen to the complete webinar, The Modern Healthcare CIO right now.
The Modern Healthcare CIO
Digital Transformation in a Post-COVID World