What NHIT week means for me: reflections from a former hospital CIO

By Aaron Miri

National Health Information Technology Week (#NHITweek) is taking place this week, September 26-30, 2016. For more than a decade, I had the pleasure and honor of serving as an IT senior leader for hospital systems in the Dallas area as a Chief Information Officer and a Chief Technology Officer. During my tenure it became quickly apparent the massive role that Health IT plays in positive patient outcomes and how crucial it is for the technology to really work for the clinicians.  

I will never forget one of my earliest roles in Health IT as a clinical project manager. I had the audacious project of installing an electronic fetal monitoring system for multiple hospitals that were a part of a large health system. This was a fetal surveillance system that monitored the vitals of unborn babies still in the fetus and communicated real time to the OBGYN doctors monitoring every kick or heart beat so they could take appropriate urgent action in case of any abnormalities. No big deal.

Sure enough, the fetal monitoring system go-live day came, and the very moment that had kept me up many nights came to light. The system went live, and dozens of expecting moms suddenly heard and saw visually the vitals of their little ones in the womb. I'll never forget the joyous statement from one mom who saw her baby kick on the monitor - "oh wow!” she exclaimed. That totally made it all the worthwhile for me, and I was instantaneously hooked on the high of helping other people. 

Fast forward many years, and now I'm proud to say that I worked in the hospital provider IT world and am now working for one of the best health IT companies in the world that secures those same technology systems that I helped to install and helps CIOs, like me, across the country to secure patient data.

Needless to say, If you see one of the millions of HIT Professionals who work behind the scenes every day to support clinicians' use of technology to positively change patient outcomes, please thank them. 

Happy #NHITweek!  

Aaron Miri is Chief Information Officer at Imprivata