One CIO's Answer for Improving Healthcare IT

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As senior VP and CIO of Yale New Haven Health System and Yale School of Medicine, Daniel Barchi had the formidable task of integrating three separate IT teams while lowering healthcare costs and providing tools that facilitate quality services for patients.

The Health System generates $2.2 billion in annual revenue, has more than 5,100 medical staff plus another 13,000 employees, and in one year handles 90,000 patient discharges and 1.2 million outpatient visits. CIO magazine caught up with this accomplished healthcare CIO (he previously served as CIO of Carilion Health System) to learn how he managed the transition.

What do you find to be the biggest challenge with healthcare IT? It's critical to know your customer. When CIOs make a change to the system--implement a new tool, for example--it impacts the end user. In the case of a healthcare system, the end user may be a patient who is logging in to see an important lab test result or it could be a surgeon in the middle of an emergency operation. In all cases, we know our services are being used to care for sick people. It makes the concepts of customer service, response times, and even planned maintenance very challenging.

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