• David Chou

Are you ready for #Himssanity?


We wrapped up the J.P. Morgan's 38th annual Healthcare Conference a couple of weeks ago in San Francisco. The event is tailored more towards pharmaceutical and life science industries, medical devices firms, technology vendors, emerging start-ups, and members of the investment community. I believe that the contents at the upcoming HIMSS Global Health Conference will resemble the related discussions from San Francisco with a technology focus.


Themes from #JPM20

  • The shift to value-based care starts with price transparency.

  • Consumers want to be in charge but, are they really in control?  

  • Massive investments to lower drug prices.  

  • There is still a focus on digital, but are we building the culture or talent.


Focus for CIO at #HIMSS20

  • Technology platform to incorporate virtual care offerings and define the desired digital experience.   Healthcare providers must define their consumerism strategy and what does that look like for the patient experience. We expect the expansion of telemedicine services by every organization, and CIOs are on the hunt to help define the digital patient experience while looking for the ideal technology platform. 

  • CIOs need the right information security solutions to safeguard assets.  CIOs and CISOs are working to build a comprehensive information security program while investing in a variety of tools to combat sophisticated external and internal threats. Specific products such as Identity Access Management (IAM), internet of medical things (IoMT) protection and management, and Data Loss Prevention (DLP) are top of mind for the executives during the conference. Pervasive security will mature as the new normal.

  • They are exploring the right partner for their back-office transformation using Cloud ERP. Healthcare systems are in the process of an aggressive change by utilizing technology solutions such as ERP and revenue cycle. Unfortunately, many health systems have antiquated ERP solutions, and the CIOs will be looking for the next generation cloud ERP solution as a trend for the upcoming years.

  • Clinical communication.   Effective clinical communication is a core competency for patient engagement. Physicians, nurses, and every clinician must be on the same page when they provide care for the patient. The clinical communication technology provides the platform; it is the transparent tool that can be used by every clinician for delivering patient care. The communication technology is more than a secure messaging platform; it should also be the platform for a clinician to document patient interactions, and it provides notes on a patient as the clinician administers care.

  • We want a "digital front door." - The digital front door requires a mass personalization for the patient. The solution starts with the contact center as the first interaction for a patient/consumer for scheduling appointments or any questions related to care. CIOs will explore next-generation contact center technology as a standard to establish the digital experience. 

  • API orchestration using low code platforms.  Interoperability is still a hot theme on the radar for CIOs, and they are looking for the low code, easy to use platform that can decouple data from the various applications while stitching them together using microservice architectures.

  • CIOs discuss 5G, but they are not convinced yet.  The fifth-generation global mobile telecommunications standard, which is expected to become broadly promises much faster speeds through a higher-frequency millimeter-wave band. 5G requires building out more infrastructure and CIOs for the impact while exploring their wifi infrastructure strategy. With a mature 5G network, can this replace the hospital wifi infrastructure? 

Healthcare Provider Goals:

Here is what is happening for the healthcare provider space.

"Our main challenge is that we are working to lower the cost of care while managing the population health so that we can get paid for value, however, we must also protect the "money maker" aka inpatient care.  

We will see many Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreements with competitorsOutpatient pharmacy chains like CVS are not looking to build hospitals. They will partner with a health system to drive inpatient referrals. Another example is a non-profit and a faith-based system in California that come together to create a joint venture that will own and operate a medical center. 


2020 is about blocking and tackling. CIOs must focus on reinforcing the IT foundational building blocks. Infrastructure must be up to date; enterprise applications in the portfolio should be reevaluated to ensure that the departments are utilizing them effectively while removing redundant systems to drive efficiency. CIOs must focus on cleaning up the core technology stack as a starting point before they jump into leading the digital initiative. 

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ABOUT David Chou

David Chou serves as the SVP/CIO for a public academic health system.  Chou has held executive roles with the Cleveland Clinic, Children's Mercy Hospital, University Of Mississippi Medical Center, AHMC Healthcare, and Prime Healthcare.  

David is a dynamic keynote speaker and industry commentator working with clients to transform their business models using technology. He has spoken around the world at healthcare tech-related conference including keynotes for leading industry events and intimate executive settings. Chou is also one of the most mentioned CIOs in the media and well quoted in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Modern Healthcare, HIMSS Media, ZDNet, CIO.com, Huffington Post, and Becker's Healthcare.  David is an active member of both ACHE and HIMSS while serving on the board for CHIME. 

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