Answers for a Healthier World

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Sarah Shillington has more than 20 years of solid healthcare IT experience with particular expertise in developing strategy and tactics in the areas of executive level operations, professional services, consulting, and account management. She has more than 16 years of EHR services implementation experience, providing strong and effective leadership to clients and partners. She has assisted over 70 EHR installations and is the recipient of McKesson’s prestigious Pinnacle Award for innovation in early customer distance learning programs

The benefits of skilled portfolio management are vast. If done properly, portfolio management can add visual control of an organization’s enterprise and unit level application portfolio to their Information Technology (IT) space. More importantly, portfolio management empowers organizations with analysis and visibility into the current state of their operations, whether that is vendor product management or application management, customer satisfaction or operational performance levels.

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Collaboration is a main ingredient to successful execution within population health management. Recently, C-Level leaders within the health industry- such as CMOs, CMIOs, CIOs, Population Health VPs- met during a Population Health Exchange to discuss the strategic priorities of the population health field. The exchange is a yearly event run by HealthLeaders Media Exchange, a provider of healthcare business intelligence.

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Depending upon who you ask, population health may not be too popular. Some of the apprehension concerning population health concerns stems from the ability for Big Data to provide actionable insights that improve the level of care. Additionally, some apprehension around population health comes from the fear of a disconnect between quality care and financial success under new reimbursement models.

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EHRs have profoundly impacted the healthcare industry. The EHR was initially seen as a way to digitize the patient’s chart and record, but by doing so EHRs have impacted the healthcare industry through the exponential increase in the amount of data that is now available to clinicians. The healthcare community is at the early-stages of trying to figure out how to use this onslaught of data to change and improve patient care. Organizations are trying to leverage the EHR as a database, not only for quality improvement and safety, but also for general population health.

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Strategy is everything in healthcare. If you think about it, regardless of your industry, strategy is what makes every company function across the board. The foundation of successful strategy is effective leadership - particularly in the healthcare industry when dealing with optimizing and managing an electronic healthcare record (EHR).

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Strategic planning is essential in healthcare- particularly when implementing and operationalizing an EHR. One key extension to proper strategic planning is project and portfolio management. According to the Project Management Institute, 89% of high-performing organizations value project management and 81% of high-performing organizations actively engage sponsors.  An overall Portfolio Management Framework, however, is a necessary component to effective project management since it can instill a programmatic but practical approach towards implementation and optimization initiatives. To sum it all up, portfolio management helps projects align with overall enterprise strategies.

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Many of the technologies as well as the business processes and even best practices that have been a bedrock for industries are being washed away by a phenomenon called digital transformation (DX). Cleverism.com defines digital transformation as the use of digital technology in every aspect of human society and living. They see digital transformation as the third step of a long process, coming after achieving digital competence and then becoming fully digital literate. This definition, however, doesn’t address what this means for hospitals.

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