Last week we attended the 2014 Physician-Computer Connection Symposium sponsored by AMDIS, the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. It was our first time attending the event, held this year in Ojai, California. The conference is geared toward the needs and concerns of Chief Medical Information/Informatics Officers (CMIOs), and we learned a great deal about the issues that are top of mind for today’s CMIOs. This is a relatively new role within hospitals, health systems, and corporations. In the past, the CMIO was primarily seen as a liaison or bridge between providers and IT; more recently, however, the role has transformed into a leadership position that plays a key role in IT decision making, managing people, and even managing its own budget.
The symposium lasted two and a half days and featured speakers from several leading HIT organizations, including Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), KLAS Research, Health Level 7 International (HL7), and the Gartner Group. Talks included policy updates from ONC and CMS, Meaningful Use updates, and case studies from a variety of organizations. There were also several panels on topics such as clinical decision support (CDS), analytics, the evolving role of the CMIO, and even a discussion of what employers are looking for in a CMIO.
The top issue concerning CMIOs today is Meaningful Use (MU). As of June 1, 2014, only eight hospitals and 440 eligible providers (EPs) have successfully attested to Stage 2 of MU compliance. Although these numbers are up from May 1—four hospitals and 50 EPs—the low numbers are clearly a cause for concern among CMIOs and their organizations. Only a few years ago the main issue facing CMIOs was EMR implementation. Now they seem to have progressed and are tackling the best ways to leverage their EMRs. Analytics and decision support are the “next big things” that CMIOs and hospitals have in their sights.
It will be interesting to see how events unfold in organizations’ efforts to leverage their clinical data. As always, 3M HIS will be their facilitating these efforts wherever and whenever possible.
Kasey Poon is a Physician Informaticist, Clinical Terminology, with 3M Health Information Systems.