Thank you for Subscribing to CIO Applications Weekly Brief
Improving Population Health via Non-traditional Partnerships
Onyeka Nchege, Chief Information Officer for Novant Health
He has also served as CIO at Toyota Industries Commercial Finance, CIO at The Cooper Institute, CIO at Interstate Batteries, and CIO at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. In these roles, Onyeka has been accountable for fulfilling the corporate purpose while modeling leadership and stewarding talent, culture, and strategy to create sustainable value. Additionally, he has led transformations through the development and implementation of digital strategies resulting in successful IT and digital business transformation in varied industries and organizations.
In an interview with CIO applications magazine, Onyeka Nchege, Chief Information Officer for Novant Health, talks about challenges and trends impacting the healthcare space.
What are some of the most recent trends in the healthcare industry?
One of the recent changes affecting the healthcare industry is the emergence of nontraditional companies. The primary driver of this transformation is growing consumer demand. Disruptors who are able to meet consumer’s needs can make money as there's a huge market to gain consumer wallet share serving even a small portion of the population. Furthermore, through this approach, companies can enter the market through a health or wellness offering and then extend well beyond the bounds of health and wellness. Although it leads to more fragmentation of our space, it creates an opportunity for us to observe and sometimes even leverage these new capabilities that might resonate with consumers' patients.
Partnerships in healthcare are one of the ways we're going to improve the experience for the communities we serve.
Could you brief about the latest projects that you’ve led at Novant Health?
We've helped millions of patients gain access to care by implementing cutting-edge virtual health features, including high-volume virtual visits with increased sensor capabilities. For instance, we helped patients use third-party technology to upload vitals as well as images of their external organs like ear, nose, and throat into our medical records.
We have collaborated with the medical organization to give regular virtual visits with primary care and have delivered care incorporating schools, retail venues, and other locations care in different settings. These capabilities allowed millions of patients to continue getting care throughout the COVID-19 closure, notably in the first half of 2020, without having to rush to ramp up the volumes in onsite health facilities.
Furthermore, our teams developed digital upgrades to traditional healthcare settings, such as AI-based inpatient routing for emergency departments to reduce patient wait times. As a result, we were able to aid our new cancer center in Charlotte, North Carolina, which was designed without infusion center waiting rooms.
What are some of the technology trends that will shape the future of healthcare industry?
After a year of working in the healthcare industry, I believe that devices and sensor capabilities are likely to be the future of the healthcare field. As sensors get better and better, we can anticipate monitoring many of the things that would ordinarily necessitate our going to the hospital from the comfort of our own homes. Furthermore, the ongoing monitoring of chronically ill patients by compact handheld devices has transformed the way we think about healthcare. Often, patients with chronic conditions, who aren't at the level of acuity to be in the hospital but still need a closer watch to keep track of their condition, need to be monitored more closely. Using these monitoring tools gives us unprecedented access to data which helps us to make quicker decisions.
Partnerships in healthcare are one of the ways we're going to improve the experience for the communities we serve. In order to evolve, it's important that we continue to look outside the box and get the best solution. With the help of our partners, we can also outsource services that we may not have the time or resources to perform ourselves or that are not essential to our business. As a result, working together with third parties to deliver what patients need will distinguish us from our competitors. Moreover, by cooperating with universities, incubators, investment fund managers, and venture groups, we can utilize their internal work and move swiftly to implement new technology.