Essential Skills For Modern Healthcare CIOs
The healthcare industry is constantly changing; the move to mHealth applications, social communication and EHR is changing the face of the industry and the way patient care is delivered. With this in mind, it is no surprise that the role of a healthcare Chief Information Officer is also changing. CIOs are still primarily charged with overseeing the management of health information systems, managing health data and integrating clinical, administrative and business operations, however their role has developed to encompass mHealth systems, social management and online security.
Thought leaders within the medical IT space have emphasised the importance of the CIO in recent years. The purpose of a CIO is no longer solely based on clinical and administrative IT – but extends to supplying data and information to employees, executive leadership, financial planning and management and decision making. With a plethora of mobile devices, mobile apps and software solutions on the market, the CIO needs to understand the business requirements, needs to liaise with clinicians and manage IT from the top down.
In order to succeed as leaders, CIOs and similar health IT leaders must possess two important skills: a knowledge of the business of healthcare and the ability to communicate and collaborate effectively.
“Yes, it’s important for them to communicate with the IT team that’s there, but they’ve got to be outside of that immediately,” Rich Miller, B. E. Smith’s Senior Vice Present of Talent Strategies & Information Technology claims. “They’ve got to understand where the issues are and how to attack that. And you’ve got to have that comfort with healthcare — with the hospital, physicians, and clinicians - to be able to immediately establish that relationship. That’s the only way you’re going to get results.”
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Given that health IT initiatives and mandates are pushing healthcare organizations and providers to exchange health information beyond the four walls of the institution, CIOs and healthcare executives cannot afford to work in isolation. With the advent of HIEs, you can’t live in your own environment. You have to start talking to your payers; you’ve got to talk to the patients and what’s on their minds.
And according to Miller, this outreach should be limited to the healthcare industry, although leaders within the field as valued resources. “I’m actually in favour of healthcare leaders and CIOs looking outside of healthcare, too. There’s incredible value in talking with a CIO or IT leader in the finance industry, for example. I don’t think we do that enough within healthcare,” Miller says.
Skin Analytics wins NHSX award for AI skin cancer tool
An artificial intelligence-driven tool that identifies skin cancers has received an award from NHSX, the NHS England and Department of Health and Social Care's initiative to bring technology into the UK's national health system.
NHSX has granted the Artificial Intelligence in Health and Care Award to DERM, an AI solution that can identify 11 types of skin lesion.
Developed by Skin Analytics, DERM analyses images of skin lesions using algorithms. Within primary care, Skin Analytics will be used as an additional tool to help doctors with their decision making.
In secondary care, it enables AI telehealth hubs to support dermatologists with triage, directing patients to the right next step. This will help speed up diagnosis, and patients with benign skin lesions can be identified earlier, redirecting them away from dermatology departments that are at full capacity due to the COVID-19 backlog.
Cancer Research has called the impact of the pandemic on cancer services "devastating", with a 42% drop in the number of people starting cancer treatment after screening.
DERM is already in use at University Hospitals Birmingham and Mid and South Essex Health & Care Partnership, where it has led to a significant reduction in unnecessary referrals to hospital.
Now NHSX have granted it the Phase 4 AI in Health and Care Award, making DERM available to clinicians across the country. Overall this award makes £140 million available over four years to accelerate the use of artificial intelligence technologies which meet the aims of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Dr Lucy Thomas, Consultant Dermatologist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, said: “Skin Analytics’ receipt of this award is great news for the NHS and dermatology departments. It will allow us to gather real-world data to demonstrate the benefits of AI on patient pathways and workforce challenges.
"Like many services, dermatology has severe backlogs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This award couldn't have come at a better time to aid recovery and give us more time with the patients most in need of our help.”