HIT Essentials for Hospital Boards (and Other Leadership) Part 3

Over the past couple of days I’ve suggested a few essentials that hospital and other healthcare leadership should keep in mind when doing strategic plans that involve technology. The first six again are:

  1. Information technology is a tool, not an end unto itself;
  2. Paper is tangible, electronic records are not;
  3. Information technology is a long-term commitment;
  4. Converting to EHR systems is a baby-step;
  5. Calculating return on investment is hard;
  6. Technology will enable individualized medicine;

Here are two more:

1. Don’t treat HIT as a competitive advantage. It used to be that a hospital that invested in HIT could say it was more advanced, and had access to the latest technologies. Now that every hospital must make the investment, competitive advantage must come from somewhere else. How is the data used? What long-term vision and strategy does the hospital have that HIT can enable? If every hospital has HIT, how will yours differentiate itself in the marketplace? Start planning now.

2. HIT will be the new standard of care. Again, there is no going back. A hospital without HIT will be considered a technological laggard and by extension, a safety and security risk to both patients and to the community. Hospitals that do not employ HIT will be easy targets for lawsuits claiming that they offer a substandard quality of care, which will lead to a downward spiral.

Conclusion

First create a great vision for your hospital. Then ask how IT enables that vision. Secure financing and support senior leadership through the challenging but rewarding times ahead. Most importantly, take ownership of the process, and you will in turn enable your executive leadership to accomplish the mission. Use the eight health information technology essentials to keep you are on the right path. (Link to full article as published here.)

-Rod Piechowski

Copyright © 2010, Rod Piechowski, Inc., Consulting

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