From May-June 2022, Gozio Health commissioned a survey of healthcare executives to better understand their digital strategy and planning. Nine out of 10 of those healthcare executives said they believe a well-designed patient-facing mobile platform is critical to the success of their larger digital strategy. However, only about 20% have a mobile solution that is flexible and customizable in a way that can truly meet business goals. That made us ask ourselves: Why is that number so small?
We talked to some of our clients and hosted a focus group of CIOs to try to learn more. What we found was reflected in many of the sessions we attended at CHIME Fall Forum as well.
The role of the CIO is changing. The way organizations set goals and make decisions about digital health is also evolving. And the healthcare systems that are most successful are the ones that are adapting quickly. They are the ones that have created a culture of collaboration designed to put the human experience in healthcare first.
Collaboration is king. The need to create a cohesive digital and mobile strategy that truly meets the demands of patients and can help achieve business goals has prompted a restructuring of teams and roles at healthcare systems. One of Gozio’s clients who achieved a 10/10 score in the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired Survey said they attribute at least some of that success to breaking down silos between departments. It’s no longer feasible for key stakeholders in digital innovation to work in a vacuum. Many CIOs say they want to implement the best solutions and deliver on the promise of digital health, but they don't feel like they can do the whole thing on their own. It’s one reason why a culture of collaboration around digital health is key.
It is moving beyond internal stakeholders. Gone are the days when IT’s perceived role was to keep the printers running. Now, there are myriad hardware and software solutions deployed in every corner of the enterprise. They are all networked, mission critical, and expensive—and more come online every day. CIOs are still managing security, vendors, and internal stakeholder satisfaction as they support these efforts, but now they are also tasked with considering patient experience and satisfaction. One CIO talked about at- tending community meetings, focus groups and pa- tient advisory meetings. As these leaders collaborate more with marketing and patient experience teams, they are being invited to participate, not just receive a quick update. About 50% of the CIO focus group attendees reported that they are getting more involved in these activities.
You have to get out of the building and learn. Overwhelmingly, healthcare CIOs seem ready to face the challenge of digital transformation and all it means for their role and their teams. They see the potential impact they can have on big challenges in healthcare, like staffing, and they are excited to bring their unique take to the table. “We have a lot more influence with the C-suite on what's happening with our digital strategy,” one CIO said. But upleveling the value they bring to strategic discussions necessitates that CIOs gain a real-world view of healthcare in action—in and outside their own facilities—and engage other CIOs in discussions around emerging challenges, new approaches and best practices.
Many of the CIOs in the focus group say they are sharing more about their experiences at events like the CHIME Fall Forum and that a big part of success for their role now involves networking and ongoing learning opportunities.
”We don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” one CIO said. “Using what others have already learned and applying it saves time and increases the chances of success. There’s simply too much to do to start everything from scratch.”