After four years as senior VP and CIO for St. Joseph Health System, a $4.3 billion California-based healthcare system, Larry Stofko is taking on a new challenge as executive VP of the health system's Innovation Institute. The institute, which has internal and outside funding, is designed to introduce health IT products, services, investments, and partnerships. Stofko's 25 years of experience in healthcare IT made him the obvious choice to be part of the institute's executive leadership team.
As CIO at St. Joseph, Stofko has spearheaded several progressive initiatives, including the deployment of wireless smart IV pumps, remote ICU monitoring, medication bar codes, RFID, and a physicians' portal.
Since moving to the Innovation Institute, Stofko has launched its Innovations Lab, which is tasked with "mining and harvesting ideas from employees and physicians," he said. As administrative and IT staff, and physicians and other clinicians detect problems and come up with potential solutions, the lab will bring these to technology partners to prototype, pilot, and commercialize them.
Projects on the drawing board focus on breakthroughs in the areas of mobile health, personalized medicine, consumer technologies, and gamification. One project, for instance, uses IT tools to coordinate and standardize pre-op and post-op care based on personal health records and evidence-based medicine.
These new tools and platforms will be built to scale rapidly across healthcare organizations nationally, and, in some cases, internationally.
The rationale for the Innovation Institute was pretty straightforward, said Stofko: Traditional third-party reimbursement of medical services is shrinking and the institute is an important way for St. Joseph to innovate and explore growth opportunities.