Lee Carmen was appointed associate vice president for information systems in July 2007. Carmen oversees information technology services, including technical support, applications development, and clinical applications across the University of Iowa Health Care enterprise
As a CIO, what are some of the recent trends that you see in the healthcare space?
As the CIO of a large Midwestern quaternary care medical center, I have expertise in varied domains from electronic medical records (EMRs) and clinical systems to security, networking, data management, and analytics. As far as the recent trends are concerned, with the advent of technologies like artificial intelligence, healthcare organizations are highly interested in partnering with companies that have experience in managing and analyzing large data sets.
How do you keep abreast of the innovative technologies entering the healthcare space?
Fortunately, the information architecture at Iowa is quite similar to the architectures at peer institutions. They not only have the same EMR solution but also analytics tools, nurse call systems, clinical monitoring systems, allowing us to collaborate, inform and advise each other on new technology advances and implementations. To leverage more from this professional networking, we interface with our key vendor partners for EMRs, or clinical equipment and our ERP partners. We engage the early adopters of emerging technologies to reap the benefits of the services today as well as in the future. Being an academic medical center, we have many nationally recognized researchers, who share new technologies of interest or value with us. To gain more insight into the ever-evolving technology landscape, we keep an eye on the new patents being released, the venture capitalists’ funding, and the IPOs from a business angle.
What is your checklist for choosing technology vendors?
Many IT companies today have limited experience in healthcare operations, so one of the first things we check is the vendor’s experience in the space based on the customers they are currently working with. Since we operate with 850 beds, generating yearly revenue of $2.5 billion, a vendor for a 100-bed community hospital might not be a match. However, we further look at their viability, operational tenure, and funding model. Our team of security, data architecture, data networking, and user design experts works closely with the vendor, to ensure they both are on the same page of design, scalability, and architecture.