The session description for an education session at HIMSS14 is rather stark and blunt: “If you have not experienced a 100 percent Grade A bona fide public-affecting health care I.T. crisis, your day is coming. It will be something from which you cannot hide.”

Consequently, the I.T. leader and public relations/marketing staffs at any hospital need to be ready, says Andy Crowder, CIO at Maine Health. Anchored by Maine Medical Center in Portland, the organization had a rocky launch of its Epic electronic health records system in December 2012, with resulting negative media coverage. Seven months later, the incumbent CIO was out and Crowder was in and became a spokesperson for the organization as it continued to make improvements to the system.

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