Advancing the Mission: A Conversation with Health IT CXOs

Advancing the Mission: A Conversation with Health IT CXOs Now…

March 02, 2022

Advancing the Mission: A Conversation with Health IT CXOs

Now more than ever, health and IT must advance together. In this session, panelists discussed fitting their agencies’ work into the larger goal of improving population health and individual patient outcomes. And to do it, they’re harnessing new technologies, advanced data analytics, and a digital workforce.


IT Leaders as Strategic Partners

Rajiv Uppal, CIO of Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and his team want to change the perception that when you go to IT, the answer is “no.” It is crucial, he said, that IT function as a part of the broader team, working together to fix problems. For example, while moving from on-premise data centers to the cloud, they saw that many systems in AWS used upwards of 100 different instance types. So, they formed a collaborative committee of center and office partners to inform their process of decreasing instance types. By operating as a combined force with the stakeholders, a more efficient model was born.

Kshmendra Paul, CDO of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, elaborated that while the VA has done a good job of pivoting to a remote workforce in response to the pandemic, IT enabled a robust and smooth transition. Quality data was key to making it work. The current climate has served to demonstrate the necessity of including CDOs and CIOs as partners across the government and healthcare spaces.


Bringing the Enterprise Lens to the Strategic Conversation

During the pandemic, bad actors seeking to defraud organizations and undermine cybersecurity proliferated. George Chambers, Acting CIO at HHS, shared that his organization rose to meet the threat by acting as “one.” The necessity to quickly transition work and systems put more demand on coordination expertise at the central headquarters than ever before. HHS utilized its technologies and capabilities throughout the enterprise to answer the need, creating a streamlined process for acquiring technology in a shared manner with help from CIOs and CDOs.

Through this partnership, they shared information with thousands of hospitals to provide timely data to the White House on the implications of the pandemic. According to Chambers, the focus now must be incorporating these innovations into standard operating procedure. “As agencies and organizations transition to the new normal, these improved capabilities must be institutionalized so that they may continue to inform the operating process,” he said.


Managing Data Sharing and Quality

Chief of Information Technology at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, Sam Michael, has seen an increased need for research that is collaborative and secure. To execute this goal, agencies need access to top talent and quality training. The quality of data gathered would benefit from more oversight. We also need standards for harmonizing the data—especially across HHS’s electronic health records. Common standards will make it easier to share data

Working together, we move forward together. IT innovators like those on this panel are increasing capabilities, enhancing workflows, and providing better data quality. Thanks to the panel members for sharing their insights, priorities, and strategies.


Thought Leadership