ClickCare Café

Why We Make It (Almost) Impossible for Health IT Administrators to Innovate

Posted by Lawrence Kerr on Fri, Jul 10, 2015 @ 07:30 AM


We've worked with a lot of extraordinary healthcare CIOs and health IT administrators in our time. Both at our hospital, and at the hospital systems of iClickCare users, we see tireless, creative, passionate people working to ensure that IT supports excellent patient care.

And the field is growing: A Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society workforce survey found IT hiring "consistent" even with the economic downturns we've been facing. But that growth largely doesn't represent innovation, and with a fast-changing landscape, lack of innovation can actually mean getting farther behind.. According to the survey, "hospital CIOs spend little of their time innovating. 63% said they devote between 0 and 10 percent of their time to innovation. 

We have seen how much of an uphill battle it is for health IT folks to do a great job and innovate. Just a few of the challenges include: 

  • Failure is unacceptable in the work (while innovation requires acceptance of some level of failure as new ways of doing thins are found)
  • Most health IT departments are understaffed
  • There is not enough time for innovation built into the job.

How important is innovation to CIOs and hospitals? According to Gretchen Tegethoff, a member of College of Healthcare Information Management Executives's board of trustees, "Healthcare has been in the slow lane for years and it's time for us to catch up. [For instance, a doctor told us] 'I work in healthcare during the day, and then I go home to the 21st century.'"

It may not be reasonable to expect hospital IT departments to be innovating quite so much, though. Perhaps most CIOs and IT departments in hospital systems need to cultivate stability in the IT system as their primary job, and innovation needs to be outsourced (through savvy sourcing) to outside providers.

iClickCare is joined by many other innovative providers of products and services for the medical world. We're happy that there are CIOs and great hospital IT departments that can collaborate with us, be experts in their own patients, and leave (some of) the innovation to us. 


If you're interested in telemedicine innovation, we can help with that. Click to learn more:


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Tags: healthcare IT,, CIOs

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