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By Ed Simcox, Healthcare Practice Leader at Logicalis Healthcare Solutions

I’m always exited to hear what healthcare CIOs hope to learn at the national HIMSS conference. This helps us gauge whether our company’s services and consulting are relevant and interesting to attendees.

I have also had a great opportunity over the past two months to ask CIOs what is top-of-mind for them in terms of innovation going into the National HIMSS15 conference. The things they told me are very much in line with conversations we hope to have with current and future customers at HIMSS this year. Here’s a quick rundown of what I heard:

  • Security: The intensity with which CIOs focus on security seems to vary, but it never goes away. Because of recent, high-profile breaches, especially regarding patient data, information security is an especially hot topic.
  • Big Data/Analytics: Another frequent topic of discussion involves using data to make better clinical and administrative decisions. Because “big data” and analytics are big media buzzwords right now, CIOs are being challenged by their CEOs and boards to show progress in using data to inform business decisions, reduce costs, and improve quality. Strong analytic strategies can help CIOs get in front of high-profile analytic requests from leadership. I have a meeting set up with a customer to discuss this very thing: helping him set up an analytics strategy that can be used to justify spending money on analytics, and help set executive expectations about what can reasonably be expected in the short-term.
  • Changing Regulatory Environment: Regulatory changes can be abrupt and unexpected, causing wasted internal effort and frustration. Take for example ICD-10: Providers were poised to activate IDC-10 last year when the deadline was abruptly pushed out one year. Now, some experts are predicting another delay will be announced. CIOs are thus thinking about how to balance regulatory realities with strategic imperatives.
  • Mobility and Data Access: Clinicians use a wide variety of IT devices to access systems for patient care. Their interaction with technology affects their workflow, and workflow affects patient outcomes, productivity and profitability. Being able to streamline, simplify and speed access to critical information while delivering a consistent experience across devices and workstations ensures that technology will enhance rather than hinder patient care.
  • Data Interoperability: CIOs continue to grapple with interfacing systems; applications are aging. Application-counts are also increasing due to new business requests and merger activities while old applications are rarely taken out of production. It seems that healthcare CIOs are once again taking a serious look at their application portfolio.
  • Imaging: Radiology and many other specialties generate increasingly-large volumes of image data due to growing image file sizes and more image slices per study. At the same time, the list of medical specialties using images is growing. This is leading CIOs to investigate a new imaging concept called “enterprise imaging strategy.” The goals of such a strategy are to rationalize image libraries and reduce unnecessary, repeat studies by presenting images in the context of patient records.

I’m looking forward to talking with CIOs about these topics next at HIMSS15. I encourage you to stop by Logicalis’ booth, #8157 to take our quick CIO survey. Once you take the short survey, you will have access to some really interesting data from all the other people that have taken it as well as some industry research.

For more information on how your organization can innovate to solve your healthcare IT challenges, check us out at