The medical industry has undoubtedly been a sector that derives maximum benefits from the advancement of technology. Benefits of technology have been everywhere, whether it is diagnostics, medicines, basic and advanced treatments, surgical procedures, post-care, and so on. The role of CIOs in healthcare is becoming prominent in the attempts to derive maximum benefits through technological upgrades.
FREMONT, CA: The medical industry has gone far beyond what it was a few years ago. Amongst all other contributing factors causing this, availability of technology-powered medical devices has been a significant factor.
Medical devices vary in nature, purpose, size, and availability. One common factor concerning the devices across the worldwide healthcare sector is that their number continues to increase owing to the proliferation of Internet of Things (IoT). Due to the popularity of IoT, it has been possible to add more and more connected medical devices to a healthcare provider’s IT infrastructure.
This explosion of IoT has been a key factor in making the implementation of medical devices at healthcare firms and hospitals a critical yet extremely delicate process, which requires extreme precision always. This is where a CIO becomes critical to the sector as a key person who can be at the core of the need for high-end technical knowledge and also in deriving effective strategies.
The Ideal Approach for a CIO
First and foremost, while implementing connected technology, it is of extreme importance that CIOs belonging to the healthcare sector go beyond the medical devices or software being implemented. CIOs should retain an overall view, instead of a single-device approach.
To explain, a CIO should be able to think beyond the specific technology being implemented to consider the future outcomes that are expected through the implementation. These outcomes include workflow goals, patient outcomes, goals for clinical staff, requirements with respect to cybersecurity, and enhanced quality measures, besides many others. In other words, it is the responsibility of a CIO to ensure that the medical devices being implemented would yield these goals. Devising an apt strategy will be the most important step here, which will be in sync with the goals.
The ideal CIO will be capable of integrating different and related technologies such as IT and biomedical engineering into the process of medical devices implementation and operation. By aptly incorporating all these technologies, CIOs will find it easy to optimize patient safety, security, cost, and outcomes.
As an example, across the U.S, many healthcare CIOs continue to work along with wireless network specialists who are up-to-date on the most recent technologies which are highly responsible for technology implementations. CIOs also find themselves working in constant collaboration with the clinical staff to meet with stringent workflow outcomes and technical outcomes along with the cost goals.
As connectivity continues to increase, the conventional approach of considering the perimeter security is enough to enhance the security of the clinical environment has been an outdated concept. Therefore, a holistic approach is the need of the hour to bring in tight integration among conventional IT and biomedical engineering to impart enterprise-grade security while addressing the concerns that are specific to clinical environments. This requirement also brings the CIOs to the forefront as capable enablers.
CIOs should continue to be focused on the impending and evolving requirements associated with medical devices implementation. It is also imperative to decide on trustworthy vendors who are familiar with the process of digital evolution but also are prominent industry players. CIOs should make sure that their vendors implement a strong cybersecurity program for developing innovative products. It is also important to constantly focus on modernizing a healthcare provider’s connectivity infrastructure while implementing new medical devices.
Further, the medical industry is more or less fragmented and is constantly driven by a multitude of critical aspects which vary from hospital-precise capital allocation or reimbursement policies. As a result, it might be challenging for both healthcare organizations and technology vendors to bring in an alignment.
As critical decisions pertaining to capital allocation are made at individual healthcare levels, CIOs considering implementing new devices need to gain early insights into these practices. It is vital to get acquainted with the budget allocation process and regional preferences, if any. Lastly, CIOs should arrive at a perfect planning process to evaluate new technologies in medical devices.