Six Steps that Turn Health Care CFOs into IT Champions

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Set Up Charge-Back Mechanisms

Consider working with your CIO to set up chargeback mechanisms for IT consumption by clinical and administrative departments. Chargeback enables business users to understand the true costs and business value of what they request from IT. Health care business leaders presented with "good, better, best" price and performance options (as opposed to only performance) when selecting technology are more inclined to not choose the "best" option every time, but to consider the best price/performance ratio for the particular business need. This forces business leaders to be mindful of costs and be better financial stewards since these IT purchases affect their department's financial performance.

CIOs aren't the only leaders concerned about rapid changes in health care technology. According to Logicalis Healthcare Solutions, the health care practice of Logicalis US, an international IT solutions and managed services provider, regulatory changes and declining reimbursements have caused health care CFOs to adopt a "survival of the fittest" stance in order to keep their organizations healthy and growing. Mergers, acquisitions, and affiliations are on the rise in today's health care market, and with regulatory and reimbursement uncertainties in the air, experts predict M&A activity will only increase this year.

"All of this has put enormous pressure on hospitals and health care systems to better manage costs, particularly when it comes to capital expenditures like information technology," says Ed Simcox, health care practice leader, Logicalis US. "For health care providers to maintain their status as a competitive provider, they need an IT infrastructure that can quickly adapt to changing administrative and patient care needs, plus increasing regulatory requirements, while offering the interoperability necessary for smooth affiliation integrations as they take place."

Logicalis has identified six ways health care CFOs can facilitate IT cost reductions while protecting and improving service-level expectations. With a little creativity and a few sharp pencils, these steps can help transform the relationship between CFO and CIO into one where both execs are working in tandem, finding ways to make IT, at best, a much higher performing business function and, at least, much less costly.


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