4 (Dumb) Mistakes HIT Leaders Keep Making

Jim Molpus, for HealthLeaders Media , January 24, 2012

3. Not thinking like an executive
At a user's conference where I spoke last spring, one of the speakers before me was Sheila Currans, CEO of the 61-bed Harrison Memorial Hospital in East Cynthiana, KY. Her topic was on how CIOs can become part of the leadership team, including such simple advice as keeping the tech jargon to a minimum when working with executive and clinical leaders on a key project or decision.

In larger health systems, the CIO has moved into a strategic role of running the clinical data enterprise and is looking for ways to grow the business using technology.

4. Always thinking like a customer
True, only a miniscule number of hospitals have the resources, expertise, or mission to develop their own technology solutions and must go to the market to purchase tools. The mistake is in accepting that in every case.

Are there opportunities to work with vendors on site testing or other pilots in exchange for price concessions? Are there applications or workarounds developed by your team that have the potential to be "entrepreneurialized"? 

Denver Health, a public, safety-net health system, might not seem an obvious choice for HIT development, but its team discusses ways it has saved money and tailored tools by taking a more active approach to HIT development.

Serial offenders guilty of these four mistakes would not be running a technology program anyway. But every time I think these blunders are ghosts of a bygone era, some leader shares a story of a project gone wrong because one or more has been committed.

Healthcare IT leaders are smart people. I have faith that smart people can change. Or at least avoid a wreck when it's a mile down the road. 

Jim Molpus is Leadership Programs Director of HealthLeaders Media.
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