How CommonSpirit’s CIO Ensures That New Technology Investments Are Worth It

How CommonSpirit’s CIO Ensures That New Technology Investments Are Worth It
How CommonSpirit’s CIO Ensures That New Technology Investments Are Worth It

Hospitals’ finances are in a rather dismal stateso CIOs are scrutinizing the return on investment for new technology more closely than ever. They’re not interested in point solutions or exciting new tools without proven efficacy — they need technology that can quickly alleviate healthcare’s burnout crisis and workforce shortage.

CommonSpirit Health CIO Daniel Barchi laid out two critical actions that hospitals can take to help ensure their new technology investments will be worth their time and money during a Tuesday panel at MedCity NewsINVEST conference in Chicago. The first is to prioritize scalability, and the second is to involve frontline clinical staff early on in the process.

As CIO of the second-largest nonprofit hospital chain in the U.S., Barchi said that scalability is one of the first aspects his health system considers when it is thinking about adopting a new technology.

“We’re in 22 states, so when we think about a solution, we want to make it happen in a way that’s replicable. We’re not looking for point solutions. We’re not looking for one-offs. We’re looking for something that’s replicable everywhere, whether it’s in our remote critical access hospital or in one of our teaching hospitals,” he declared.

In order for a new tool to be impactful across an entire health system, it must integrate seamlessly into its users’ workflows, Barchi argued. Sometimes health systems neglect this consideration, and clinicians end up rejecting the tool that’s being piloted because it doesn’t intuitively fit into their day-to-day routine. Most nurses “couldn’t care less” about the shiny new piece of technology that their health system is planning on rolling out, Barch pointed out — they’re far more concerned about fixing the problems with the tools they already use every day.

To certify that new technologies will actually have a positive impact, health systems should involve their frontline clinicians in the decision-making process, Barchi said. The C-suite shouldn’t be the only ones calling the shots when it comes to choosing new tools.

“If IT people are the people making choices about the technology being purchased or implemented, it’s not a good situation” he declared.

In Barchi’s view, “one of the greatest initiatives” at CommonSpirit is its clinical command center RN. This is a command center in Phoenix that provides nursing services to CommonSpirit hospitals across the country — employees at the command center can watch patients at hospitals in different states and monitor things like cardiac rhythms and potential falls.

The idea for this command center came from one of CommonSpirit’s nursing teams, Barchi pointed out.

“They actually drove that entire project. IT weighed in on it at every step of the way and helped make it happen, but it was nursing leadership that had the idea. This is the partnership that needs to happen,” he said.

Source: metamorworks, Getty Images

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