IT Execs Energized, Ready to Take On Challenges

More than 700 health IT officials gathered in California for CHIME's Fall Forum.

Hospitals & Health Networks—October 18, 2012

Close to 700 health IT professionals are here in Southern California's Coachella Valley for the College of Healthcare Information Management Executive's 20th Fall Forum. The meeting is a unique opportunity for provider-based IT executives and vendor representatives to network and learn in a relatively low-key setting. The atmosphere is much different than at, say, HIMSS' annual meeting. There isn't really an aura of sales and deal making. While the vendor companies that make up the CHIME Foundation and help sponsor the meeting do conduct focus groups here, those are really aimed more at information gathering than a direct sales pitch. To be sure, some deals are getting done, but that's not really why everyone is here.

Generally, the CIOs and vendor reps I talked with are energized. At the same time, they are painfully aware that the demands on IT departments are growing at an unprecedented rate. It's not just meaningful use and ICD-10, but also the increased emphasis on population health and the shift to reimbursement model that is highly reliant on outcomes data.

Jamie Nelson, vice president and CIO at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, joined Gash. Nelson has only been on the job for six months and is at the front end of implementing a new governance process. After the presentation, she told me that governance is especially critical now as IT departments are asking for major capital outlays, all while CEOs and boards are trying to hold down costs.

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