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A challenging year for the health care CIO

By Anna Siembor, Editorial Assistant

The upcoming year in health care will be characterized by optimized processes, reduced waste and improved quality, all in the name of cost cutting. That’s according to the GE Healthcare and eHealth Initiative white paper outlining their predictions for the top 11 trends for the health care CIO in 2011.

The document was published at the end of 2010, but, as the first four months of 2011 have demonstrated, the song remains the same. The white paper warns that the pressure to quell rising health care costs will affect businesses from all sides, which creates the need for new technologies and strong personnel. The white paper calls for the industrialization of health care: creating newly reliable processes that can be replicated and improved upon as a vehicle to lower costs and improve quality.

No one will be stretched thinner than the health care CIO. With the HIPPA reporting version 4010 to 5010 upgrade rapidly approaching, preparations for ICD-10 transition beginning to loom large and the Stage 1 meaningful use deadline quickly closing, health care CIOs certainly won’t have a free ride. This couples with a new demand for talented mid-level IT workers with the ability to lead and drive change in the health care professions —  after all, CIOs can’t do this alone.

Influential health care professionals saw great potential in the iPad right after its April 2010 inception, but were frustrated by the lack of active iPad functionality for doctors. We’ll be seeing even more improvements throughout the year along with an increase in new efficient health care technology for both medical professionals and the patients they work with. Ubiquitous mobile devices and helpful apps will increase patient-doctor communication and general patient engagement.

GE Healthcare’s predictions for the coming year are ambitious but not unrealistic. Major health IT players must meet their deadlines, embrace technology and focus on optimizing their processes. Clearly, this is shaping up to be a year of tremendous transformation for health care CIOs and providers across the country.

(Editor’s note: This is the first blog entry by Anna Siembor, an editorial assistant at TechTarget. She will be writing several posts for Health IT Pulse over the next few weeks. Welcome aboard, Anna!)

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Upcoming year in #healthIT marked by process optimization, reduced waste & improved quality, says @GEHealthcare #hitsm
Upcoming year in #healthIT marked by process optimization, reduced waste & improved quality, says GE #hitsm #EHR #HIT
RT @HITExchange: Upcoming year in #healthIT marked by process optimization, reduced waste & improved quality #EHR #HIT