This article is part 1 of a 7 part series derived from ‘7 Habits for Technology Driven Healthcare Organizations’ – a presentation led by Ravi Ganesan, President of Core Solutions, at the 2015 Open Minds Technology & Informatics Institute. Over the next three months, we will cover all seven habits with informational articles accompanied by corresponding videos and exercises.
Being proactive means taking an attitude of I can, I will and I shall. How does this fit into the health information technology world? For leaders of behavioral health and human services organizations that are likely dealing with information overload, there are proactive measures you can take to segment what data you should pay mind to. These actions will help narrow your focus to the tasks that your organization can affect, such as making strategic HIT decisions and investments – and will also provide clarity to the way you approach them. Consider these 4 ways to unleash the power of proactive HIT investments before someone else does.
Circle of Concern vs. Circle of Influence As set forth by Stephen Covey, there are two categories of which the challenges and opportunities faced by your organization belong. Proactive professionals focus their efforts on tasks that can be situated within the “circle of influence.” This circle includes tasks that you and your organization have control over and can move forward. Challenges that you and your organization do not have influence over however, such as decisions made in Washington D.C., belong in the “circle of concern.”
The Language that Surrounds Technology It’s important to analyze your organization’s tone around technology – is it positive, negative, naïve or realistic? Oftentimes, we are quick to blame technology for organizational frustrations or delays in progress. Chances are however, your EHR has moved your organization from point A to point B – perhaps it’s saved time or helped to enforce processes. As leaders, it is important speak positively about the progress your technology has made. Positive communication will help drive your tech-driven mission forward and permeate adoption of your EHR throughout the rest of the organization.
Importance of HIT investment As a technology-driven industry and moreover, a technology-driven business, it’s critical to make investing in technology a priority. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, 50% of organizations spend over 2% of their operating budget on HIT, while the recommended level for the health and human services industry is 7% to 9%. Budgetary concerns prevent organizations from accommodating this number; however as tech-driven organizations, it’s imperative to proactively find creative ways to accomplish this.
Expanded Influence of CIOs In the early stages of every industry, IT personnel was responsible for managing all office technology. As organizations evolved to integrate databases, applications and EHRs into their operations, the role of the CIO expanded to include the management of vendors and strategic technology. For organizations achieving $10 to $15 million in revenue, investing in a CIO to guide the strategic direction of technology as it relates to your mission statement is critical. The right candidate will be adaptable, have strong interpersonal and technical skills, and the ability to foster positive relationships – and if you look close enough, the perfect candidate does exist and for the right price.