HEALTHTECH: How do you see the health IT landscape changing now due to the pandemic?
SIARRI: I feel like health IT is undergoing a massive push now, where before it felt like you were pulling people along, you were trying to bring people in and integrate them with health technology.
There were a lot of issues. For example, telehealth was an issue as far as reimbursement and repayment. And now, since the pandemic, there’s been a big push for telehealth.
So, I’ve been working with a lot of different clients doing a lot of education, whether it be telehealth or something else. I’ve been doing telephone consults with patients a lot more than before as well. So, I would say those are two biggest things I’ve seen right now with the push for technology.
HEALTHTECH: What would you say is the most pressing challenge facing healthcare IT teams today?
SIARRI: Whether it’s software that’s rolling out or a medical device, everyone’s learning how to do those things anew. At the start of all of this, the challenges were more around equipment supplies. I was helping nurses find masks so they could go visit the patients that they needed to see.
Now, because we can’t do everything that we used to before the pandemic, people are starting to ask, “Where is our place in this whole physical realm, and what technologies should we use?”
So, like I said, it was a big push for me to get people to even use technology before the pandemic, but now people are adapting really quickly to using things like videoconferencing, whether that’s Zoom or Google Hangouts. People are looking for anything that can help them avoid having to do things face to face.
HEALTHTECH: As a nurse advocate, how important is it to you that nurses are included in the technology decision making process?
SIARRI: I think it’s paramount. The way I see it, it was — and it is — our table, and we’re inviting other people to it and working as a team. As for me, as far as nursing informatics, we’re the translators. We’re this person that could talk to the administration, talk to IT on the business piece and explain why this data is important and why nurses are asking for it. We can say, “This is the value.”