Building Trust to Build Business

Frank Scafidi, VP of Information Systems & CIO, Georgetown Hospital System
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Frank Scafidi, VP of Information Systems & CIO, Georgetown Hospital System

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

CPOE, securing data and Big Data are challenges. My wish list would be for all the security systems we need to place, including a dedicated security officer, a powerful analytical engine and a team of data scientists.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

I struggle most often with the reliability of wireless infrastructure. It needs to be rock solid, especially now that we have switched to VOIP to include wireless phones being used heavily by nurses. And, again, PHI slipping out the door is a constant concern.

Manner in which Data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

We have acquired a number of physician practices in the past two years. We install eClinicalWorks (ECW) in each one. We outbound interface all hospital lab results and transcribed reports to ECW. We also send DICOM images to a cloud based solution for sharing with physicians and other hospitals.

On decreasing readmissions, I feel like we are treading water in this category. Although we have a robust EHR, we do not have a fine tuned data repository or a powerful analysis tool. A lot of data is downloaded into spreadsheets where it is combined with other data and analyzed. A lot of data is still collected manually by our Quality and Case Management departments.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the Healthcare sector

You can’t improve what you don’t measure. Quality, cost and efficiency can only be improved by tracking the data over time, looking for trends, finding correlations, making adjustments and tracking again. My organization’s strategy is to improve these things and the IT strategy supports the system strategy. They must align.

Technology Trends Impacting Enterprise Business Environment

Big Data and 802.11ac: The only way hospitals are going to stay in business is by being able to operate on Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates. We must leverage the massive volumes of data to reduce cost and improve care. With the explosion of wireless devices used and carried into hospitals by the public, we need more reliable wireless connectivity.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

Although the CIO is a strategy level position, I find myself getting more involved with operational issues. I think this has more to do with the sheer volume of work we are asked to do rather than a change in the job responsibilities. So, as a CIO I find myself doing both jobs.

Lessons learnt and your advice for fellow CIOs

If you want satisfied customers you have to keep a few things constantly at top of mind. Look ahead at new technologies that might solve problems you don’t even have yet (e.g., Google Glass). Build a great team and recognize them frequently. Do not hesitate to make changes if team members are not working out. Allow/encourage information to flow freely throughout your department and to the rest of the organization. Hold weekly IT Leaders, monthly department meetings and monthly governance meetings. Be honest to a fault. Earn your customers trust.

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