• David Chou

Post #covid19 action for the healthcare provider CIO



The corona virus has impacted businesses across the world, and we are adapting to the future working environment. Here are the areas where we need to improve and focus on once the situation settles.


  • Adopt a one to many conversation system. Social media communication is everywhere around us, but many organizations have not transitioned to a social organization. Utilize the tools within your portfolio of products such as Microsoft Teams, Yammer, Slack, Facebook at work, and others to have a strategy for mass communication during a time of crisis. It is time to move away from using the email system as an announcement tool.  

  • Virtual desktop as the standard.  The adoption of virtual desktop infrastructure has increased, but it is still not a standard. Take the opportunity to prepare for the impending workforce working remotely and establish VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) as the standard for the future. This standard creates a consistent user experience that will allow the IT department the ability to centralize system and security updates.

  • BYOD takes center stage. Bring your own devices to work should be a standard for the future. How many times have you complained about the bulky laptop provided by your organization that you do not even want to use it. What about a MacBook and iOS user forced to work in a Windows standard IT standard. BYOD is what the employees want, and the model can save the organization on device expenses. An example of the new operating model may be giving the employee a device stipend to use every 2-3 years. Of course, this model only works well, assuming that the infrastructure such as VDI and other remote connectivity infrastructure are in place. 

  • WaaS - Wearable as a Service - CIOs and health systems have to start integrating the patient wearables device data thoroughly. Clinicians will all agree that integrating temperature, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure will help assess a patient's health status. We should take the integration a step further to integrate the individual's travel history. Now, I do understand the privacy concerns of providing the data to the health system. Still, if the patients consent to provide the data, it is another data element that is beneficial. We can also take a reverse approach as the ONC declared the final ruling on interoperability, where the patients have to be able to download their medical record information. An app such as Apple's healthkit on the apple watch will ingest the data so that the patient will have all of their medical information, and the healthkit app can alert the patient with a recommendation on their next steps for care during an epidemic. The integration of wearable data is valuable to help identify potentially infected patients without visiting the hospital. 

  • Chatbot becomes mainstream.  Health systems should implement and enhanced the chatbot experience while treating the technology as an extension of your clinician. The majority of chatbots deployed currently on the provider side are focused on bill payment, appointment reminders, and symptom checking. Providers can take the opportunity to enhance the chatbot so that the patient experience is on par with speaking to a live clinician.

I have highlighted five areas to think through as a CIO. I am sure that there are pockets of these solutions implemented, while some organizations have emphasized the bullet points above as a strategy. What solutions have you deployed today?

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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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