February 25, 2014
Dr. John Halamka commented recently on his blog about his approach as a CIO to the regulatory challenges of 2014 (ICD-10, MU2, and HIPAA/Audits among them):
“As I navigate FY14, creating project plans that allocate resources and time, it’s clear that I cannot deliver any discretionary projects. If the Main Thing about leadership is To Keep The Main Thing The Main Thing (Stephen Covey) then I have no choice to but to keep IS resources focused on the Federal regulatory agenda that has been prescribed for FY14 and nothing more.”
While I agree completely with this statement, I want to propose the next part of the discussion:
The tactical implementations of ICD-10 and EMR technology will be the complete focus of our organizations for 2014. As we bury ourselves in these massive undertakings, let’s not lose sight of the long-term strategic discussion. The proliferation of electronic medical records (data) and stronger standards for representing that data (ICD-10) mean nothing less than a sea change for the healthcare industry.
To illustrate, here are three examples:
1) The broad availability of standardized electronic healthcare data allows us to finally consider electronic tools to assist HIM professionals in extracting critical data from our medical records. Computer Assisted Coding has the potential to be a real game changer by allowing our highly trained coders to analyze and interpret coded data instead of physician’s handwriting.
2) The broad availability of standardized electronic healthcare data allows us to take advantage of sophisticated data analysis tools to find and address clinical and business trends in our data that would have gone unnoticed in the paper world.
3) The increased level of technical sophistication required to support these technologies in the physician office setting continues to make life more difficult for the physician in private practice. This presents opportunities for the forward thinking healthcare executive to find ways to provide the support physicians require and simultaneously strengthen physician ties to the hospital / health system.
What other strategic opportunities will be exposed in 2014 and what should we do to position ourselves to take advantage of them in 2015 and beyond?
Provide your opinion in the comments, below.