IT as a Strategic Resource

Hospitals, systems and physicians have made significant progress in implementing electronic health records and have received millions of dollars in meaningful use incentive payments.  Yet, as executives and healthcare trustees strategize to build patient centric systems of care to manage populations and make the transition from volume to value, most realize that they do not have the data they need to reduce costs, improve outcomes and coordinate care. Physician-led development and use of information technology and analytic tools are essential to harvesting information from EHRs and designing new care practices. That will enable providers to transform the way care is delivered and to achieve the full return on the substantial IT investments hospitals and physician practices have made.

Strategic Implications

Many organizations have focused on EHRs for the purpose of obtaining stimulus funds. IT has been viewed as an operational resource, and most trustees have left it to senior management to define direction. At best, boards have been passive recipients of reports on implementations rather than assertively asking how they can realize value and mitigate risk.

Yet, IT is integral to the way care will be delivered, managed and transformed, and it consumes the bulk of today’s capital expenditures for many hospitals and systems. As boards work to extend their oversight of transformation initiatives, it is important for them to understand the information and technology implications of each transformation strategy.

In this article in Trustee magazine, Pam Arlotto shows how, by asking a few key questions, healthcare trustees can become more effective in ensuring IT value realization and supporting the physicians who lead these efforts.

Read the full article here.