HCI recently sat down with digital transformation executive and visionary leader, David Chou, to chat about several topics and trends surrounding digital transformation in healthcare.
While there are many factors that can obstruct transformation in a hospital IT organization, let’s look at three common roadblocks.
1) Legacy Infrastructure & Applications
One common challenge is legacy infrastructure and applications that create high operational maintenance costs. Whether you are trying to move toward a newer platform, or if you are going through a major change in your infrastructure, there are major costs associated. This will tie up operational budget dollars long after an EMR implementation. Five years may go by after the implementation and additional dollars for transformation can still be hard to come by.
2) Shadow IT
A second roadblock to transformation is shadow IT. What’s worse is the piles of shadow IT that is being paid for by the CIO’s budget. Many departments in the organization may be accustom to buying technology “stuff,” and somehow that technology stuff comes through without any formal governance. Then, the CIO must pay for out of his operating budget – ultimately limited his/her ability to allocate funds toward transformation.
3 Types of CIOs
1) The “Start-Up/Buy” CIO
The “Start-Up/Buy” CIO comes into an organization and gets a large budget because they’re going through a major purchase of an enterprise system. This CIO has the money to make things happen, but the money may not involve innovation and transformation.
2) The “Post-Go-Live” CIO
When the “Start-Up/Buy” CIO leaves, the “Post-Go-Live” CIO comes in. This CIO focuses on maintaining, optimizing and supporting what has been put in place over the last two years. With a heavy focus on cost-cutting measures, a focus on transformation may be moved to the back burner.
3) The “Clean-Up” CIO
The third type is the “Clean-Up” CIO. This is the CIO who comes in after a previous CIO was in place for a long time and has built a legacy that is quite different than the successor’s preferences. He/she spends most of their time cleaning up and reorganizing processes and has higher overhead just to maintain the system, applications and infrastructure.
3) Lack of Direction
The final roadblock to transformation happens when the CIO is not leading innovation. There are many organizations in which the CIO does not lead innovation. When this happens, the IT organization may be viewed as reactionary in nature, simply there to keep the lights on and the systems running. An organization that is more reactionary than proactive will struggle to innovate and budget properly for transformation. It all comes down to timing and creativity in the budget to move transformational projects forward.
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