At a roundtable discussion held at HIMSS12 in Las Vegas, the moderator, Anthony Guerra, editor-in –chief of, enumerated a few of the issues spiking health CIO workloads: computerized physician order entry, electronic health records, electronic medication administration and the now-delayed implementation of ICD-10. Taken individually, each of the issues is a challenge in its own right--taken collectively and combined with staffing issues common throughout the industry, they may be too much, too fast for CIOs to handle.

“The load on the CIO position is untenable,” Guerra said.

While the use of outside consultants can help ameliorate the effects of scarce internal resources, some audience members expressed concern that the supply of trained professionals to perform critical technology related functions is drying up.

Attendees also expressed concern about their ability to secure proper funding for future technology initiatives in light of the ICD-10 delay, saying the delay has damaged their credibility. “Now that we’ve cried wolf we won’t be believed the next time we ask for resources,” one fumed.

While the delay is no doubt not unwelcome in some circles, Guerra agreed that the delay perversely punishes the companies that were most aggressive in readying for ICD-10. An audience member seconded this notion, noting that she had diverted resources from other vital initiatives in order to be ready for ICD-10. “Why didn’t we have this delay six or nine months ago?”




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