Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Intersystems CMIO Dr. Jonathan Teich's goals for 2019: Increasing direct solutions and care coordination - Becker's Hospital Review

Jonathan Teich, MD, chief medical information officer at healthcare database software company Intersystems in Cambridge, Mass., explains why healthcare innovation needs more than just technology to make improvements and the unique tasks of the CMIO role.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Where do you see the biggest need for innovation to improve the healthcare system in the future?

Dr. Jonathan Teich: For innovation to produce improvement, it's vital to start with the problem and the process rather than the technology. It's not just about using cool new technology for its own sake, it's about giving the front-line users what they need to get through the task in front of them. For example, distributed, fragmented care is a big problem crying out for innovation. Patients see a wider range of clinicians than they used to, so innovation is needed to realize the benefits of that range in specialized care while guarding against an inefficient and disjointed patient experience. We need to look at healthcare as basic workflows — asking ourselves, 'what does this patient have? What do I do next? What is going on that I'm not aware of? What happens long term?' — and direct innovation toward reusable components that can be applied to those workflows.

Q: What do you consider your No. 1 priority as CMIO? How do you ensure you're successful?

JT: The number one priority is in the title: the CMIO has the unique task of bridging the medical and the information technology. CMIOs need to speak both languages, communicate with colleagues in both areas and promote IT work that is relevant to medical care and the healthcare enterprise. The role sometimes requires you to act as an influencer and sometimes as a direct leader of projects. In either case, you need to periodically review and refocus to make sure you are staying on track. I also think it's important for the CMIO to look outward, see what other CMIOs and other organizations are doing, share and learn.

Q: What is the vision for your team in 2019? How will you approach your role and meeting your goals?

JT: In 2019, we're looking for more direct solutions and more coordination of care. We are leaders in combining data from multiple, widely spread health practices and making it as seamless as a single source. Looking forward, we must ask: what can we do with all that diverse information that helps providers, patients, payers and health suppliers succeed at their next task, or answer their next question? We are developing intelligent solutions that show you not all the information but just the subset that you need, presented in the most actionable way. We are designing practical ways to promote communication and coordination among clinicians sharing a patient's care across the hall or across the continent and to help patients understand and participate in their decisions. And we do continue to push the envelope on interoperability with deeper capabilities for [healthcare interoperability resources], cloud services and other technologies.

To learn more about clinical informatics and health IT, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Jackie Drees at jdrees@beckershealthcare.com.

More articles on health IT:
The best way navigate EHR optimization and combat physician burnout: PatientKeeper CMO Dr. Christopher Maiona
HHS drafts strategy to reduce EHR 'burden' on clinicians: 4 things to know
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