When it comes to the healthcare technology landscape, “this is going to be a hell of a year,” says William F. Bria, MD, CMIO at the HCI Group in Jacksonsville, Fla., and chair of AMDIS.
AMDIS will be holding its 23rd Annual Physician-Computer Connection Symposium at the Ojai Resort and Spa in Ojai, Calif., June 17-20, and while “the number of themes and changes happening in the American health IT scene could use several weeks of discussion, we’ll try to get it done in less than a week,” says Bria.
As always, the meeting begins with an opening report from Jacob Reider, MD, chief medical officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), whose report will provide the background for a lot of what follows in Ojai. “It’s clear from a national perspective that regarding health information technology, progress has been less than what some people thought would be accomplished by this time,” says Bria. “What’s important to our members now is that we’re going to be doing a lot of clean-up, a lot of repair and a lot more intense examination of what we’re doing, how we’re doing it and how fast we’re going to do it.”
Bria uses the term “ennui” to describe what’s happening with healthcare IT. While the early adopters have adopted, the middle and late adopters are having difficulty, and it’s creating a feeling of dissatisfaction and weariness about the process. There's a feeling “that this isn’t happening the way we thought it would and that the process isn’t seamless and is interfering with what we consider to be the most satisfying, positive aspects of medical practice,” Bria says.
The report from ONC will certainly reference the recently announced Meaningful Use delays—something CMIOs should look at as an opportunity, Bria says. “CMIOs are always tasked with the problem of trying to better integrate IT into the process of care,” he said. “And now we have a year of opportunity to repair whatever problems we’ve had incorporating the best elements of IT into medicine, while emphasizing that the rush to market and the rush to adopt is much less important than effective adoption and effective integration of IT.”
This should set the stage for later sessions on that first day—“Meaningful Use: What is the good and how do we leverage it” and “The impact of EMRs on patient care,” as well as two sessions on clinical decision support. “For example, clinical decision support optimization incorporates a number of issues I mentioned,” Bria says, pointing out that “buying the best EMR money can buy” isn’t good enough. “Optimization is of these kinds of information tools is not a nicety, but a necessity, and that will be examined during that discussion."
Thursday's sessions will feature discussions on health information exchange, clinical documentation and practice, and analytics, while Friday's sessions will include a look at the role innovation should play in the CMIO world. “If we only comply with all of the requirements and needs of the American health IT scene today we will have done very little to move the ball forward,” Bria says. “Although Meaningful Use has all of the key elements to get us started, no believes it is the alpha and omega—it is just the beginning. So, the idea of innovating around technology and the legislation we are trying to comply with now is absolutely essential."
Bria also points out that the symposium will be preceded by a joint venture of AMDIS and the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). The CHIME/AMDIS CMIO Boot Camp will be held at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa June 15-17, and is designed specifically for clinicians embarking on CMIO and/or CIO leadership roles. It is modeled on CHIME’s Healthcare CIO Boot Camp program, and will taught by a faculty of successful CIOs and CMIOs. “Establishing that relationship with CHIME—a premier executive IT organization—is an important step for us,” Bria says.