RED HOT Contributors


Care Reimagined: Why Digital Health Needs To Be at the Forefront


Jamie Nelson, SVP & CIO, Hospital for Special Surgery

Tim Zoph, Client & Strategist, Impact Advisors

It’s a question any leader whose organization has completed — or is nearing the end of — a large implementation knows well: “What now?”

When Hospital for Special Surgery reached the homestretch of an enterprise-wide Epic rollout, the next goal was clear — achieving success with digital health. The execution? Not so simple, but with help from Impact Advisors, HHS is making strides in the right direction.

During their presentation at the upcoming CHIME17 Fall Forum, Jamie Nelson, who is SVP and CIO at New York-based HHS, will speak with Tim Zoph, a longtime CIO-turned consultant, about how the organization has been able to pivot from an all-consuming EHR implementation to a digital health strategy, what were the biggest roadblocks, and what others can learn from their journey.

For Nelson, it starts with viewing digital health as an extension of the Epic project, rather than a separate entity. Once they had an integrated EHR in place — which offered a “more robust set of tools and a unified data base” — the question become how they can leverage it to the fullest extent.

“What started out as a traditional IT strategic development plan turned into a more full-blown digital health strategy,” she notes. “And that was a recognition that we had the opportunity to pull together not only IT, but other capabilities that exist within our organization, whether that’s innovation, data analytics, marketing, and a leadership team that executes as a team, to talk about what this can mean in terms of engaging patients.”

She quickly realized that, with the infrastructure in place, the opportunity now existed to “reimagine how to ease access to the institution,” and look at how they can deliver care outside the hospital walls and provide the digital experience that patients have come to expect.

“We had to jump into the digital health environment because that’s where our clinicians and patients are going,” says Nelson, noting that the challenge came in understanding how people are using certain tools, and “getting in front of that to enable them to use smart devices as a portal for their experience.”

The big question, of course, is how to make that a reality.

That’s where Impact Advisors came in, as Zoph and his team painted a picture of what the digital landscape looks like, what other organizations are doing, and what best practices can be applied. It started by providing a definition of digital health and a common goal, which isn’t as simple as it sounds. “If you ask 10 people what digital health is, you’ll get 10 different answers,” noted Zoph.

And although there are varying opinions when it comes to what it actually means, one thing that’s clear is the role digital health will play as organizations strive to meet the evolving needs of both patients and providers. “It has a more pervasive impact on the organization that most people realize,” says Zoph, who hopes to provide some clarity to attendees on how to cultivate a digital health strategy, what are some of the key implications, and which constituents to involve in putting together a plan.

Last, but certainly not least, Zoph and Nelson will discuss how the CIO’s role will change as digital health moves into the forefront, and how leaders can take advantage of the opportunity to add another dimension to their experience.

“We’re being challenged to step up our game and really think beyond the traditional IT strategic plan and look at how we can inform and amplify the 20/20 vision for our organizations,” says Nelson.

The presentation will take place Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 11:15 a.m.



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