HCI's July Editorial Lineup is Here

June 24, 2011
At HCI, we rely on our readers to help make our stories deeply useful and effective. Please take a close look at the lineup below. If you are a

At HCI, we rely on our readers to help make our stories deeply useful and effective. Please take a close look at the lineup below. If you are a C-suite technology leader, consultant or analyst interested in participating, please send me an e-mail. Inquiries regarding these stories are welcome until May 19.

And, as always, if you’ve got other story suggestions for us, let me know.


Anthony Guerra, Editor-in-Chief

Cover Story

The CIO's New Team — Strategies and Lessons Learned

Increasingly, CIOs of larger hospitals and health systems are becoming more strategic and executive in their roles than ever before, driven by the need to plan for huge IT implementations and justify enormous budgets. That means CIOs need a new constellation of executives reporting to them to be effective. What are the roles that are most important now? We'll look at such titles as the CMIO, chief clinical informatics officer, CNIO, CTO, program management director, and other titles whose owners are now part of the CIO executive team. Have you had experiences with the recruitment, retention, and development of these titles that you would like to share with your CIO peers? Do you have lessons learned? We'd like to hear from you.


In Part II of our three-part series on medication administration, we take a look at the second leg of the elusive closed medication loop. Once an order is placed by the physician, what are the fastest, safest and most efficient ways for it to get to the pharmacy — and safely back to the patient? And what systems can help ensure that medication orders are filled correctly every time, with a minimum of callbacks to the physician. We’ll speak with CIOs and pharmacists to see who is doing true medication reconciliation — and see how systems can ease the way.


Faculty practice billing often makes up a big chunk of hospital revenue, meaning a high denial rate can seriously impact the bottom line. Today, many hospital-affiliated and -owned practices still struggle with outdated billing systems and the Byzantine task of installation and maintenance across multiple practice sites. Lately, however, many say software as service architecture is making it easier to accurately bill out of these physician groups, with a minimal outlay from the IT budget. HCI talks to some hospitals using SaaS and real time payer rules to find out if it’s as good a solution as many say.


A number of hospitals and health systems are implementing Web-based staff scheduling systems that are realizing significant cost savings in a relatively short period of time. By utilizing an automated approach that enables employees to view and request open shifts at anytime, these technologies are helping facilities to reduce costs from contract labor and overtime. This article will examine the use of these technologies, as well as software that is helping facilities to manage two or more disparate staffing applications by coordinating all the data into a central location. It will also look at how all of these technologies fit in with the health system’s IT infrastructure.


Busy clinicians find they have to juggle more and more tasks. To help manage the ever-increasing number of responsibilities — and patients — that face clinicians, some health systems are getting help, in the form of robots. Robots are being leveraged for all types of duties, including picking up and delivering medical supplies and laboratory specimens, uploading and transmitting patient data via secure connections, and in some cases, even roaming trauma units to look in on patients. In this article, we will look at how some facilities have integrated robots into their systems and how it is helping their overall workflow.


In part two of our three-part series on RIS/PACS replacement issues, we'll look at the concerns around integrating second-generation RIS/PACS with core EMR systems. What are the key strategic, process, practical, and technological challenges involved? How can CIOs best satisfy the needs, wishes, and demands of the physicians, nurses, technologists, and other end-users whose acceptance and adoption is key? And what lessons have CIOs learned that speak to the key success factors involved in making such integration efforts work? If you have experience in this important area, please let us know.


A recent analysis of a HIMSS Analytics database suggests that for the country to get to higher levels of EHR adoption may require an additional 40,784 health IT professionals. Rep. David Wu (D-Ore.) said the study's findings "further justify the need for my 10,000 Trained by 2010 Act,’ which provides funds for healthcare IT education. The House approved Wu's bill (H.R. 1467), and it is awaiting action in the Senate. Wu’s bill would provide federal funding for institutions of higher education to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Informatics Research. Do CIOs think there’s a shortage of health IT workers and do they support this type of targeted funding? Is it likely to pass Congress?

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