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Un-complicating Healthcare IT

3 Simple Health IT Strategies for CEOs: #1 Security As A Service

Jan 5, 2017 12:00:00 PM Posted by Phil Stravers | Partner, V.P. Strategy & Development

cyber-lock.jpgTypically, when you read articles and reports about the look ahead or future of IT you hear about Jetsonian-type technology predictions. Even looking ahead to just the year 2017, Gartner begins to list off phrases like “Advanced Machine Learning,” “Intelligent Things” and “Digital Twin” to articulate the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2017 (digital twin has nothing to do with cloning yourself; sorry to disappoint). At the broad research and development level, I’m sure Gartner and Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) are spot on when it comes to spotting trends that are at the tip of the spear for new ideas, but I’m not sure those concepts are really going to help advance the proper healthcare IT priorities in your organization in 2017. All of that pontificating about how machines will overtake the world is interesting for movie story lines, but it really doesn’t help us get work done.

So, in this series, I’m going to outline 3 “No Fluff” health IT strategies for your 2017 efforts. In my experience, the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method has proven time and time again to be a valuable tool for execution. So don’t look for highbrow theories in the following text, just good old practical horse sense tailored to the independent community healthcare IT setting. Alright, enough build-up, let’s get simple.

1. Implement Security As A Service

I know what you are thinking… “Seriously, he started with security, OMG,” but hang on a minute. I get to observe the IT function in numerous healthcare facilities all over the country and sit in on round tables with IT Directors routinely and I’m going to render a verdict right now. On the whole, community healthcare organizations are completely failing at this. 90+% of you conduct a healthcare IT risk assessment in order to check the box for compliance and then ignore the remediation list until the week before the next assessment. Is it any wonder healthcare has become the biggest target? It’s time to acknowledge that this is a difficult priority to manage. To change the outcome, you must change the approach. 

This starts in the C-suite. IT managers might be negative nellies by nature, but once in a while they are actually right and this is one of those times. There are a number of options out there to bundle preventative technology with good security management discipline for a predictable fee. Not only will your board be grateful for your attention to fiduciary responsibilities, you will actually positively impact your security, keep your doors open and make your Cyber-insurance company breathe a little easier (which might help keep your premiums from skyrocketing). So stop messing around and do something different this year to patch this giant chest wound.

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Phil Stravers | Partner, V.P. Strategy & Development

Phil Stravers, Partner and EVP of Strategy & Market Development at ICE Technologies, Inc. has been in consulting and management roles within the information technology industry for over 25 years and has spent more than 20 years helping hospitals and clinics “make IT work better”. Phil has had the opportunity to act as an Interim CIO for numerous hospitals which gives him a unique perspective on their challenges and associated solutions. Phil really enjoys sharing lessons learned and frequently presents at various hospital associations, HIMSS events and healthcare board rooms all over the country. In addition to his passion for improving Health IT, he loves baseball (die hard Cubs fan) and has spent more than 15 years coaching young baseball players. Phil lives in Pella, IA and often shares concepts learned from his background in coaching along with the Dutch farm culture and work ethic that his home town is known for.