NJHIMSS 2019 Winter Event: “Surviving HIT Implementation: Outwit, Outlast & Become the Ultimate HealthCare Survivor!”

Our chapter’s annual winter event was a huge success! We held the event on January 22, 2019 at the Forsgate Country Club located in Monroe Township, New Jersey.

We kicked off the event by welcoming key sponsors, vendors, and members during our networking reception with excellent food and an open bar. After the buffet dinner, the round table panel discussion kicked off, represented by leading hospital and health system chief information officers and executives.

This year’s event was moderated by Joe Carr, CIO of New Jersey Hospital Association (NJHA). The panel featured: Linda Reed, CIO, St. Joseph’s Hospital, Richard Temple, CIO, Deborah Health, Jim Hennessy, President, E-4 Services, and Tom Pacek, Vice President and CIO at Inspira Health Network.

Carr lead an engaging conversation with the panel members and the audience. Carr’s topics of discussion included the “Big Bang” approach to EHR implementation and the training, consulting, budgeting, and security considerations that are associated.

During the topic of implementation, it was expressed and agreed by the panelists that keeping all parties – from IT and management to the front-line users – engaged in the process to ensure expectations are aligned across the organization.  It is imperative that all member groups be involved to get buy-in and ensure a smooth transition to the new systems which often involve new interfaces, processes and workflow.

The panelists indicated that the HIT systems they deployed were Epic, Cerner, and Meditech.

Post-implementation, the consensus among the panelist was that training was the most important aspect. Each one of the panelists’ organizations adamantly expressed that they underestimated the time it took for training as well as the need for IT infrastructure and what is needed to power the new system. The need for EHR consulting also played a huge part in reaching the finish line, and the lesson learned was that budget needs to be allocated accordingly for such services. Another challenge experience by all was the effective use of reporting systems.

Once the implementation and training stages were complete, some of the tangible benefits included improved interoperability, increase in revenue, less time needed to move patients’ records through each system, and the delivery of patient care was able to transpire at a much faster pace.

Our panelists expressed that cybersecurity is one of their biggest concerns. One click on a malicious link or attachment, and the whole entire organization can be affected. Healthcare organizations need to be perfect 100% of the time when it comes to defending their network perimeter against data breaches, while a hacker only needs to be successful once.

The growing trend toward healthcare “consumerism” was also a hot topic. With applications and services such as Uber, Amazon, and Netflix making it extremely easy to transact business, consumers are expecting frictionless experiences with healthcare. The panelists echoed the need to make healthcare services easy.  For example, offering a patient portal that provides real-time notifications as well as health tips and access to their treatment history can improve healthcare and perhaps reduce costs. HIT platforms can help streamline patient lifecycle.

More than 100 attendees also weighed in by asking questions and sharing their own deployment experiences, making the event an excellent forum to exchange knowledge and best practices.

We look forward to seeing you in Orlando.