The Most Important Ingredients in Healthcare Technology Innovation

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Healthcare Technology Innovation:
Three Essential Ingredients for Success

The University of Illinois at Chicago posed an important question to our health informatics degree students and other visitors to our Facebook page. We asked “What are the ingredients for success in healthcare technology innovation?” According to our friends and followers, there are three essential elements for success:

Goal Alignment

As the healthcare industry continues to transform, with no signs of slowing down, organizations need to ensure that their technology initiatives and incentives are appropriate aligned with previously defined goals. Transformation, by its very nature, does not signify a smooth and steady path forward. The need to be able to manage technological change is a must for any healthcare system or provider.

Reporting on successful measures at various stages of IT upgrades and process improvements will help to keep stakeholders up-to-date with key milestones for reaching the goals that have been put in place. Knowing that the constant pace of change is achieving results adds confidence that the new technologies will better ensure safe, quality care with greater efficiency.

Patient Engagement

Phase Two of the Meaningful Use directives include patient engagement as key measure of success. Objectives center on three main actions:

• Making personal health records available for online viewing, download and transmission through a secure patient portal.
• Allowing patients to input and share their own data regarding a hospital admission.
• Providing a vehicle for secure electronic messaging between patients and physicians.

The requirements for 2014 specifically state that 100 percent of all eligible physicians must have at least five percent of their patients using the portal. Adoption of portal technology has been slow overall, but the future potential is quite expansive including video chat, video post-op instructions, integration with in-home monitoring devices and more.


In most large health systems, leadership in health informatics and innovation is being spearheaded at the Chief Medical Information Officer level. The CMIO has the visibility and clout to champion technological change across the entire organization by achieving buy-in at the C-level.

They serve as truly transformational leaders in a time of change – serving as a liaison between IT and clinicians to facilitate technology implementation and adoption. A strong CMIO will also share their successes with the industry at large, lecturing at conferences or speaking in front of Congress as to the value of government-mandated innovation.