Healthcare CIO Marc Probst on embracing change

Alter is the new norm for healthcare, and navigating that improve can be equally a challenge and an option for healthcare CIOs.  

Marc Probst, vice president and CIO at Utah-based Intermountain Health care because 2003, claimed the solitary most effective piece of suggestions he had for CIOs now: Pay attention to all of it — from the technological innovation developments to the security threats — and find a way to engage in a strategic purpose in the firm. Probst was not long ago named the 2019 School of Health care Info Administration Executives and Health care Info and Administration Programs Society John E. Gall Jr. CIO of the Yr, which acknowledges exceptional management in the healthcare discipline.

In this Q&A, Probst, who plans to retire from his submit in July, talks about pending modifications with proposed interoperability policies and the expanding involvement of tech giants like Apple and Microsoft.

What developments, technologies and matters are crucial to you in health IT now?

Marc ProbstMarc Probst

Marc Probst: The most crucial issues I aim on proper now are expense reduction for the expert services and resources and the issues we provide at the firm. We will not endure as an marketplace or as a supplier if we cannot get our costs decreased for our patients and users. That is a huge region of aim. There are resources, technologies, corporations that outsource, all these issues we need to have to shell out attention to that we need to have to deliver into the firm — not wholly disrupt the firm — but completely continue to aim on expense and the way we produce.

Safety is the next region of aim. We’ve acquired a CISO, he’s a single of the most effective CISOs I imagine in the region in healthcare. That [purpose] reports to me and is something I have to remain abreast of.

Interesting new technologies — AI is coming into its personal and … it really is going to be definitely crucial in healthcare, so I do shell out attention to that. And I imagine consumer relationship administration is a area which is been underserved in healthcare and a single that I imagine as CIOs we need to have to shell out attention to.

Increased affected person obtain to information is a massive subject now, and we are looking at pushback from EHR vendor Epic and other health units on proposed interoperability policies from federal regulators that would aid improved information obtain. Do you imagine these policies should move forward?

Probst: We need to have to let information to move. If we want AI to operate, we need to have information to operate that AI. If we want to provide improved treatment with our remedies, we need to have to have that information so our clinicians have it in hand and our patients have it. If we want individuals to [have interaction], they need to have information to handle their personal health and healthcare. I imagine we need to have to expedite receiving these policies finished and the info flowing. With that claimed, we do have to shell out attention to privacy. I will not want my medical data just open up and quickly accessed by others. And we are looking at the poor guys, they are all above the position making an attempt to get to this information. But I imagine we should err on the aspect of expediency in receiving this out. I imagine there are a good deal of pieces in position that can support assure privacy.

What purpose will the CIO engage in in balancing affected person privacy with information obtain?

Probst: It is going to be particularly what it is now. We have to aim on privacy and security — it really is altering and it really is an region we need to have to continue to invest in. And we will. I imagine you can find a huge training piece [for] our individuals, if they are going to acquire their information and they are going to share their information and use it in applications we will not management. When it really is out of our fingers and in theirs, it really is now their responsibility to safe it, and we need to have to [support] them have an understanding of what they are performing and what could materialize to their information. So I imagine our purpose stays the identical, we have acquired to remain the class, but we do need to have some support from the feds to let this information to be shared and to support our individuals get that information.

What about tech giants transferring into the marketplace, like Amazon piloting healthcare jobs and EHR vendor Meditech partnering with Google Cloud Platform? What will be their affect on healthcare?

Probst: They are a huge risk to our existing EHR infrastructure inside the marketplace. They’re considerably additional adaptable in their potential to build applications. They’re so aligned with individuals of all varieties — clinicians, patients and users. They’re aligned with these individuals and have an understanding of the kind of applications that are going to be practical to them. I could see, rather quickly, an surroundings exactly where our substantial sellers are just transactional engines at the back again conclusion that very little by very little erode absent. They’re going to be replaced by units and applications developed on these massive platforms from Google, Amazon, Microsoft. I imagine which is extremely possible to arise, and it will improve our surroundings a good deal. It will also reduce our costs a good deal. I imagine which is going to be definitely enjoyable to see.

Is affected person privacy going to variable into how health units and CIOs operate with tech giants?

Probst: We are going to have to be knowledgeable of it. They’re discovering and knowledge what these demands are. But how a lot of hundreds of hundreds of thousands of pounds, perhaps billions of pounds, can Google set in opposition to securing information in comparison to what I can do with a $350 million price range? When they have an understanding of it, they have the assets to do a considerably improved career than any individual, frankly. Receiving to security and privacy, our purpose as CIO — our purpose as individuals — demands to insist that they do that.

What suggestions do you have for healthcare CIOs now as they navigate these modifications?

Probst: Pay attention. It is altering. I would be definitely focused on honing my technological abilities and my potential to handle individuals and the operation of IT. Which is what our corporations are going to need of us. They’re going to acquire on additional of the tactic and exactly where we want to go with units, but they need to have individuals who can completely handle it, move it forward, preserve the information secure.

Editor’s note: Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.