When one discusses business acumen, it is usually applied to individuals. What I plan to discuss is business acumen that hospital administrators should have when considering implementation of IT and mHealth technologies.
It is well-known that one of the biggest priorities of hospital administrators today is implementing IT technologies that will have their institutions meet Meaningful Use (MU) standards. The most important step in this process in my view is having the right CIO in place. Many hospitals did not invest or invest wisely in CIOs. Good ones are now hard to find. There are presently hospitals that are actually outsourcing this position. The job is one taking on increasing importance, not only because of the focus on MU, but because of the role of the CIO in implementing even more complex projects including wireless technologies and strengthening IT security (a daily headline grabber). Along with the CIO are other IT employees. Many IT workers wanting to get into healthcare are getting formally trained but are being turned away being told they do not have enough clinical experience. These people might thrive under the right administrator and support.
Good business acumen is always planning for the future. That includes budget planning and care coordination around outcomes-based and patient satisfaction driven reimbursement. Out of the box thinking is required for this. Wireless health technologies including remote monitoring, patient adherence, diabetic, COPD, telemedicine, and others will be adopted by those with a superior vision, I believe.
The above points may seem simplistic, but are quite critical. The basics include the right leadership and vision. A good CIO who adopts technologies which are game changers is the formula. Understood in this discussion is the administrative and financial support given the CIO by the CEO, who likewise needs to share this vision. It is a difficult road for hospitals that plan on weathering the storm ahead. Let’s plan carefully and invest wisely in key personnel and technologies.