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Why we might start doing more IT Projects?


Today in health, it we're going to take a look at. An article in healthcare. It news. CEO's look back on 2023 and offers a forecast for 2024. So we're going to take a look at that. There again, there's a bunch of these articles and I want to see what people are thinking. And this is Mike who is the CIO over at Penn medicine.

So loo forward to this look today, my name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system creator this week health set of channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare. One connection at a time. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

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They can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. All right, let's get to the story. Healthcare it news. CIO looks back at 2023. And offer some forecast for 2024. Let's see is that time of the year reflect on the past and pontificate about what the future may hold. Actually, this is written by Mike.

So this isn't a, this isn't an article that is a one where they interview him. This is one where he's writing it. So first person, here we go. For the first time in several years, I'm promoting a more positive albeit cautious message. Like the revenge travel explosion seen as individuals broke free from. Confines of COVID 19 pandemic healthcare organizations have also experienced an accumulated demand for it related project activity.

Now coined payback projects. Wow. Interesting terminology. I agree with that, by the way, I think there's a pent up demand. You cannot run away from tech debt. It will eventually catch you. And if you let it pile up too much, it's the same stuff as your garbage piling up in your backyard. You got to take care of it at some point.

And. we Might be getting to that point. We'll see. In many instances, these projects were initially suspended so that it teams could focus on supporting the pandemic activities such as the electronic health record modifications, enabling mobile testing centers and creating unique reporting and dashboard requirements.

Today's tsunami of projects and service request activity combined with many health care organizations, trimming of operational expenses has led to an ever-increasing backlog of project related initiatives. Although it teams are, feverously working to activate projects. In as rapid a timeframe as possible. Like the travel industry, there is an ever increasing level of frustration among users, awaiting efforts. To be expanded. On expended on their new mission, critical projects.

So you may be thinking where's the cautious positivity, given the present situation first and foremost. The current moment reinforces the critical importance of it teams with any each healthcare organization. Absolutely true. And I don't think that's going to abate. I think roles are going to continue to change as we talk about different AI. Functions and what's going to happen and what is possible.

And it's exciting. But roles are gonna change and you're going to need people who can move these projects forward. Work with the organization, work with the operation, understand the business, understand the technology and make those things work. Let's see, he goes on. Secondly, organizations have begun to recognize that just because a request is submitted. That does not necessarily mean it's appropriate to expend efforts on that request.

A men, as a result, organizations have become much more diligent in identifying anticipated benefits and holding these requests, users accountable for the anticipated results. That last line is the one that I've found has been missing for, I don't know, for a decade or so. Essentially we do these projects.

We look at the projects, we evaluate them based on each other. We have projected returns and those kinds of things. And I find that most organizations do not go back. And measure those anticipated results. Did we actually get those results on those it projects? It's once it's done.

Let's just move on. Atmosphere. I hope we are getting more digital diligent on that. I know we were getting more diligent on evaluating these projects for their value to the organization. We are also getting more cautious. We were doing. Controlled pilots that are going to measure whether we are going to get the kind of results that we thought.

And then we were evaluating whether we should continue or not. We are. Not as tied up in sun cost as we once were. So we do these smaller projects. There's a little bit of costs out there. A little bit of commitment out there, but if we look at it and say, this is not getting us what we want we seem to be what I'm hearing more and more as we seem to be okay.

Pulling off that project and saying new, what. Our assumptions were wrong. This was wrong. We're going to do something a little different. All right. He goes on.

Finally this project prioritization process reflects back to the organization that there is limited source of resources available. To provide support this discipline is a critical success factor for organizations to succeed in the ever-changing. Healthcare environment where reimbursement will continue to remain relatively steady while overall costs tend to escalate for many of the past year has been one. Stabilization and whatnot.

So let me go back to this point a little bit. The project prioritization process reflects back to the organization that there's a limited source of resources available to provide support. I don't know if what he's saying is there's limited resources available, period. So we have to be more selective on the projects.

I think there's a sense of, he was saying that before. So I think what he's saying here is that there's an ongoing cost of these projects that we have to take into account. There's an ongoing resource to support it. There's ongoing resources to educate. Just like anything else that you purchased in your life? There is a cost associated with maintenance upkeep and maintaining the viability of that solution. And we have to take that into account, especially when we are kicking these projects off. And yes there's an, by the way, there's just an insatiable demand in healthcare. For projects. Sometimes. I'm talking to partners and they will come to me and they'll say, Hey, why does this help some not understand it?

This is a really important project. And I will put them at ease and I will say they do understand that it is a very important project. But they also have. A hundred other very important projects and they have to stand it up against those projects. And that's what a lot of vendors and partners do not see is what is it being stacked up against? And I think if you sat in that room, you would realize how hard these decisions are to make.

And it's not like they're cutting you out, even though there is a return on your project. Does return on a lot of those projects and some of those projects quite frankly, are mandatory to get done because they were regulatory based. So let's see also working with operational leaders to mine, the rich data that resides within our systems. And develop actionable analytics will further drive advances in patient care and operations.

He goes on for the past several years, the healthcare industry has managed the many challenges of the pandemic gut punch.

Through dedication, persistence. And at times a little luck, our organizations are now poised to elevate to new Heights. There is more technology than ever to support these endeavors as always. It will be the partnership between operations and it teams that will make all the difference. The partnership has historically guided organizations through turbulent times and to higher Heights. And is the reason why I continue to be so optimistic about the future. Micro sushi, a CIO, Penn medicine. Who we've talked to on the show and I really appreciate a strong leader.

Really I think. Nails it with this article, there's a pent up demand. The organizations are getting much more selective on the projects. They're really looking at the return on those projects. And making sure that they are being highly selective. And then finally they're taking into account the impact on the organization.

Not only short-term, but long-term. On these projects, but at the end of the day, I think one of the main points he makes and I think it's true. Is that there's a pent up demand for these projects. And we there to a certain extent you've gotten on this bus, you have to stay on this bus. You have to continue to invest in technology. Because to not do so would be to fall behind. And that's the challenge we're all going to face this year is how are we going to do this limited budgets, limited resources.

What's going to look like. So I promised you I was going to talk about different strategies. That I would take going into this year. I am now over being six. I will get to do some research through the weekend. And I will kick that off next week for you. And we will talk about some of the projects that I'm looking at to free money up.

Some of the projects I'm looking at from an it perspective, some of the projects, I think that are going to be a necessary two foundational projects, I think are going to be necessary. For the To move the needle forward on clinical operations to move the needle forward on personalization of healthcare and the patient experience.

And as always, we need to stay ahead of the regulatory curve as well. We'll take a look at some of those things and what we're going to be doing. And maybe even some of the more acute challenges that we are facing in healthcare. So that is a that's all for today. Don't forget, share this podcast with a friend or colleague, keep the conversation going.

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