Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Marketing IT

The role of the CIO is very operational - keeping the trains running on time, ensuring budgets are sufficient and aligning IT resources with the needs of stakeholders. One other important task of the CIO is to market the work of the IT Department to internal and external audiences. Although IT staff and those involved in IT governance committees are interested in the granular details of projects and their timelines, many audiences want the vision - the big, audacious goals that are really transformational.

To ensure I target the right message to the right audience, I create two documents each year - an operating plan and an "elevator speech". I'm working with all our governance committees over the next few months to complete the details of the operating plan, but here's my strawman elevator speech for 2009:

1. We will lead the country in interoperable electronic health records
a. Every doctor in New England affiliated with BIDMC or its associated organizations will have a hospital provided or hospital subsidized electronic health record with e-Prescribing and connections to our community data sharing systems by the end of 2011
b. Every patient will be given the opportunity to have a Patientsite, Google Health, Microsoft Health Vault or Dossia personal health record by the end of 2011
c. All inpatient documentation will be electronic and multidisciplinary by the end of 2011

2. We will lead the country in 'social networking tools' for healthcare
a. We will launch a new intranet which includes IM, blogging, wikis, and forums by the end of 2009 ensuring every doctor and staff member can be an author and publisher.
b. We will pioneer the concept of the "patient specific healthcare wiki" for team management of patient medications, documentation of problem lists, and creation of clinical documentation by 2010. The idea behind this concept is that an entire community of caregivers should work together to create and maintain the lifetime medical record of each patient. This means that any caregiver should be able to add/amend/correct the patient's lifetime record, with a complete audit trail to identify every source of data and edits.
c. We will use a combination of personal health records, electronic health records, and social networking tools to ensure continuity of care among all stakeholders in our community by 2011.

3. We will lead the country in 'event driven' medicine
a. We will adopt electronic clinician notification systems for our hospital applications based on physician communication preferences (EHR, email, fax, page, cell phone) by the end of 2009. These systems will close the loop for laboratory, radiology, discharge, referral and other important communications needed to ensure safety.
b. We will deploy business intelligence tools connected to our clinical data marts by the end of 2009
c. We will embrace next generation decision support tools from Safe-Med and others by the end of 2010 which will provide the business rules to trigger notification of clinicians. This will ensure that clinicians receive just in time information to deliver the best possible care.

These three concepts will be challenging to implement because the path to success is not entirely clear. There are few vendors or hospitals which have implemented this functionality. Along the way, I'll share all our lessons learned - good and bad.


Gary M. Levin said...

John,I agree, the path is not totally clear, yet the path to the "new world" by Christopher Columbus was not clear either. Columbus was searching for a path to the far east, however he 'discovered' North America.......not a bad trade off. That may or may not be a good analogy,but I like the way it sounded. You have a full plate.
I would like to link your blog on my site,
Take a look,then if you approve let me know. You are welcome to link to mine.
Keep up the good fight

Gary Levin MD
Coordinator Inland Empire HIE

Anonymous said...


This will be useful to me as I work on health informatics strategic planning for my own organization.

Ian Furst said...

Thank you for the post John. We just finished our IT strategic plan for the year (somewhat less grand). How does the hospital quantify the resources (money) to put behind the Web 2.0 applications and portability of health records. I know that your group is active in the PHR/Health 2.0 initiative but where does a small clinic (50 staff) like ours begin to estimate how much to spend on it?

One pet peeve -- a previous hosptial the CIO I knew was poorly connected to the clinical staff and all initiatives where framed in IT terms only. "Our goal is to be 100% computerized by 2009". he would spend for IT's sake rather than the patients. I've always thought that grander IT goals should start with "we will improve the patient care/experience/life expectancy with....." I know it's preaching to the converted with you but I got the same sense when I read the grander goals in your post. Regardless, thank you for sharing your vision, we'll make good use of it. Ian.

John Halamka said...

Ian makes a great comment. I'll post later in the week about clinical alignment of these high level goals.