Finding Talent is a Challenge

Max Mortensen, CIO, Norwegian American Hospital
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Max Mortensen, CIO, Norwegian American Hospital

Challenges in technology to meet enterprise needs in 2013 and expectations

Human talent is the scarce resource in IT. Not just business analysts to help with Business Intelligence tools, that prove technology is improving quality care and bringing efficiencies, but the IT talent to sustain and adapt what we’ve built is becoming more scarce for IT shops as they are pulled away into consulting and the vendor arena, as every IT shop is competing for those same consulting and vendor resources to keep up with the ever changing and heavily regulated demands.

The areas in business environment where solutions do not yet exist or not up to the mark, and which if existed, would've made job easier

Disaster recovery, business continuity, and policy and procedures, especially as it relates to all the demands of HIPAA continue to be a constant worry point. As the healthcare industry invests in solution after solution to keep up with governmental demands. What keeps me up at night is the crashing reality that after the stimulus monies have dried up, who will be able to maintain a positive bottom line and support all the technology foisted upon healthcare in a world of shrinking reimbursement?

Manner in which data is used to head off problems and complications before they happen

Finding the right business analysts and data analysts that can actually help interpret the data, translate it into information is a key factor for success– and is appearing to be a harder goal to achieve than one might think. Finding business analysts that are also healthcare operations savvy is a needed needle apparently hiding in some other haystack for smaller safety net hospitals.

Thoughts on how IT strategic planning supports organization-wide efforts to improve quality, cut costs and improve efficiency in the Health care sector

Pushing the organization to think strategically, to get out of the realm of reacting to the governmental demands, is an ongoing effort requiring constant re-visiting of thoughts, plans, and thinking long term. Having real time data entered into the system and reported in a more real time method is the first step towards improving quality, cutting costs, and finding efficiencies.

Technology trends impacting enterprise business environment

Data exchange interoperability will be a critical trend and technology solution that has to be fulfilled and will force redesigns and staff resource retraining. Business Intelligence tools that don’t require an exponential rise in resources to maintain, analyze, and develop, will also be critical tools that can either help or bury a given organization.

My roles and responsibilities as a CIO

I’m new to my role, so cannot offer too much in this realm but am sensing that diving into more of the operational details may be critical to fend off vendor myths, vaporware, and short term solutions that continue to perpetuate the buy it, try it, only to throw it out and try again mentality.

Lessons learned and advice for fellow CIOs

Staying focused on the customer, being much more agile. Everyone is trying hard. No one wants to fail. Constantly revisioning IT’s purpose, mentoring others, and motivating staff by being a buffer to the chaos are the key skills that help build teams.

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