3 Future Expectations for Health Care CIOs

I've seen the role of the health care CIO transform dramatically as the digital age has progressed, and with the way things are shaping up, these leaders will be facing even more dynamic and diverse pressures alongside the sea changes of IT innovation. While it is an exciting time for the world of health care, CIOs will have to bear in mind these towering expectations as the sector takes on new challenges and works to smooth out persisting issues. Here are three areas that health care CIOs must be ready to tackle head-on. 

Preparing for Disruptive Technologies

Perhaps more so than any other vertical out there, the health care sector is highly prone to disruption, with clinical, operational, regulatory and financial factors all playing into the equation. According to a recent article from CIO Magazine, leaders in this industry will have to keep a close watch on developments such as wearable technologies, mobile health services, and electronic record innovations if they want to proactively improve their organizations' efficiency and reputation. 

"There really is too much going on at once," said Rick Schooler, vice president and CIO for Orlando Health. "What's going on in our organizations is really nuts. Our people are getting jerked around almost endlessly."

Delivering Optimal Patient Experiences

Much like the consumer-centric developments in the worlds of e-commerce and financial services, health care CIOs are feeling the pressure to create more personalized, streamlined and engaging patient journeys than any prior generation of industry leaders. CIO Magazine pointed out that relationships between care providers and patients will be fundamentally different in years to come, as more collaborative approaches will be utilized to ensure clinical quality and drive down costs. Of course, the CIO will play a pivotal role in redefining these frameworks.

Securing Networks and Applications

As if the requirements laid out by HIPAA weren't enough to make the modern health care CIO break a sweat come audit time, a seemingly endless series of data breaches and cybercriminal scares have put these leaders on high alert when it comes to actively protecting their databases and applications. CIO Magazine suggested that tech leaders look beyond their internal resources and leverage IT consulting to shore up defenses and better align their operations with compliance standards. With guidance from a dedicated third-party service provider, the demands of the forthcoming generation may be met with greater certainty and speed.

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