Another Analyst Joins Chilmark

by | Jan 8, 2013

Founder’s Note: I started talking to Rob in the fall of 2012 and we quickly hit it off due to our mutual belief that IT can play an extremely important, if not vital role in improving the delivery of healthcare. We also have been in the IT analyst business for quite some time and know that we can provide a valuable service to this industry sector by leveraging the knowledge and experience we both share having worked in other sectors that are frankly far more advanced in the effective deployment and use of IT to run their operations. Lastly, we share a passion for objectivity that is often difficult to find in this industry. Rob is also one sharp analyst who has seen a lot, has done a lot and knows where many a skeleton of the past is buried. A great resource for Chilmark and an even greater resource for our clients – welcome Rob.

Some Thoughts on my Role & Objectives at Chilmark Research
By Rob Tholemeier

I want to thank John for bringing me on to the Chilmark Research team. I have a real passion for any industry that is adopting information technology (IT) to drive productivity and improve results. Healthcare is clearly at the very beginning of the process.

Overall Theme and Universe:
My research is focused on IT adoption and best practices from other industries that can be applied directly or adapted to healthcare that will dramatically improve productivity – basically drive down unit costs (allocated and unallocated). What we pay for healthcare is the price; what it costs providers to provide the services is the real cost.

There is an attempt to drive down (or stop the growth) of the aggregate price of healthcare by reducing services – not sure if that will work or not, or if it is even a good idea. The other side of the economic equation is to get costs down with the assumption prices will follow and available services will actually expand, of course through smart deployment of IT. There are tons of examples of how this works outside of healthcare, question is: How do we apply those practices to the care delivery model? This wil be one aspect of my research focus at Chilmark.

New Paradigm for Clinical Documentation Capture and Access
The current crop of EHRs is a horribly inefficient and productivity robbing method for capturing clinical information and presenting it back to clinicians. There are many technologies in other industries that are used to simplify data capture and information retrieval. My research in this area will uncover and report on examples of technology in use, and under development, in and out of healthcare that makes it easier for clinicians to do their jobs and delivery quality care to their patients. With the analyst team at Chilmark, we will work with vendors on the “cutting edge” of reforming how clinical information is captured and accessed. We will also advise providers on how to deal with what is coming in the future, not just what has been used in the past.

The ACO and Required IT Infrastructure for Success
As providers of all sizes march down the path to becoming an ACO and subsequently assume risk, the IT infrastructure required to support such will be significant. However, what I have seen to date is very little in depth discussions and/or reports that clearly articulate what an organization will need from an IT infrastructure perspective to support such new care delivery business models.

Beginning with my research note for the January Monthly Update (note: Monthly Updates are exclusive to CAS subscribers) that will look at the core IT needs for an organization’s CFO (contract management, activity based costing, revenue cycle management, etc.), I will continue to expand upon this theme of IT requirements to enable a successful ACO.

Infrastructure for Analytics
Just exactly what does it take to create a professional and effective analytic environment? There is a lot more to it than piles of raw data and a few statistical tools. Over the last 30 years the analytics world has developed a large suite of infrastructure products and best practices out of necessity. These technologies include dozens of products for information consumers to make sense out of the data, software that prepares data for analysis, and several new and old data storage and retrieval technologies.

There is also a robust body of knowledge on how to plan and manage analytic projects, which are quite different from how other IT projects are selected, implemented and supported.

This research looks at all the components and best practices that insures analytic success.

The Art and Science of the IT Purchase
Healthcare IT needs are exploding and the Healthcare IT budget is under pressure at the same time. Getting the biggest bang for the IT buck is more important than ever. The vendors, as a core competency, spend a lot of effort getting the most money from their customers. Meanwhile IT has many other pressing items on their agenda, all the while new pricing and paid support models are being invented by the vendors. Our research tracks pricing models and purchasing strategies so that IT gets the most IT for the IT dollar.

I am delighted to get feedback and research ideas from you. Contact me at



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