With only 17 percent of CIOs indicating they are “totally” content in their jobs, the industry seems poised for a round of executive musical chairs during the next few years, according to the results of the July healthsystemCIO.com SnapSurvey.
Of the 83 percent who are not skipping to work every day, only 11 percent are actively looking, but a whopping 60 percent are open to reviewing choice opportunities that come their way. And what are they looking for? The majority, 57 percent, say it’s all about running a larger manor, specifically selecting “increased purview/sphere of influence/larger health system, etc.”
Interestingly, some are seeking a home where the powers that be demonstrate more consistency in their direction setting, while a few other frustrated individuals indicated they did not have sufficient organizational power or resources to get their jobs done.
(SnapSurveys are answered by the healthsystemCIO.com CIO Advisory Panel. To see a full-size version of all charts, click here. To go directly to a full-size version of any individual chart, click on that chart)
1. How content are you at your current job?
- However, that does not imply that the organization is equally content with me!
- Great salary and I’m controlling the growth of a new EMR transformation. Terrific team and dedicated clinicians/administration for best of patient-centric care.
- While I like the work, the pace is killing me.
- I think most folks get to a point in their careers that they are either settled in until the last move (retirement), that is, if all is going well. Or they may ask themselves if there are other new challenges that need to be addressed.
- For now, but feel that I have one more big move to make before I find a nice beach.
- I recently moved. I was very content at my last organization — there were the usual frustrations, but nothing terrible. Things were largely repaired. I could have sat there and run the machine endlessly, most likely. I was the early inning relief pitcher; I got a badly broken game back under control, and could likely have sailed through the rest of the innings.
- I love my current job – I’m in line to take on my boss’s position when he retires.
- I’m generally happy, but would like a warmer climate.
- I’ve reached the limits of current position.
- I am still adjusting to what the expectations are for this position, and they are far less than I am used to. Like many of my colleagues, I would rather be redlined on the CIO Tach than at idle or in first gear.
2. If less than totally content, what is the greatest factor?
- Not so much that the salary is insufficient, but this current time is a golden opportunity for CIOs who have shown success in the past.
Lack of ability to make/influence decisions
- Not reporting to the CEO and not being part of the most senior leadership team most likely has the greatest impact. Given that, I won’t force issues upward and will communicate appropriately to fit in the culture. I will say, they are not getting their money’s worth, and I feel a bit guilty taking this level of pay for lower expectations of the role, not my abilities. Call me crazy… but whatever you do, don’t start singing that song!
Lack of budget/staff to get things done
- Given the financial challenges that many healthcare organizations are facing, particularly smaller to medium-sized organizations, there is always the push to do more with less. My organization does indeed invest in IT when a solid case is made, however; so overall I am content. But having to defend staff size periodically can be wearing to morale.
Excessive hours I have to work
- The demands are huge — and have been for several years. I personally am doing OK handling the pressures, but the impact on my team is taking its toll.
- I really don’t think there is one single greatest factor. It may be that I’ve been behind the same desk for too many years, or I see healthcare moving into a place where it may struggle for some time. I know the rate of change is exhausting, and I have to wonder if I can continue to keep in front of the wave.
- Report to Chief Nursing Officer who has a bias and mainly seeks out and supports nurses.
- General Insanity of the current environment — What I believe is the biggest job/life quality issue is just the complexity of the current environment and the massive amounts of work and change that are being required. The pace is incredible; the work is complex; resources are not unlimited; and very few people are able to grasp the totality of all the competing factors making it hard to both do the work and constantly brief/update all the key stakeholders.
- Lack of engagement from some key leaders in clinical and financial IT initiatives. And, yes, some of the silly conflicts with particular physician groups are wearing.
- I would like to take on additional responsibilities but I do not think that there will be opportunity.
- Lack of accountability and consistency of senior leadership.
- Lack of clear strategic plan from CEO.
- Hard to define. I’m a life-long learner. I’ve done DoD at hospital, regional, and Pentagon-level, run hospitals under combat conditions (twice), worked with the VA, done a California IDN with all those messed up California rules, a Pediatric medical center (largely paid via Medicaid) with clinics across five states, a research institute, and an academic medical center. I’m a relief pitcher. I do well when the team is in trouble…when it’s going well …
3. If less than totally content, which best describes your view of new employment opportunities?
Actively seeking, researching and reaching out
- I am at an age where I have a lot of career runway left before I hang it up, if that day comes before assuming room temperature. One thing I have learned is that we all have career shelf lives. I won’t let the best years of my career pass by in low gear.
Happy to look at something if it falls in my lap (recruiter calling, etc)
- I would not say that I’d be “happy” to look at something that falls in my lap. But I think it’s wise, as a CIO, to understand what the labor market looks like, especially in one’s own locality. This is what I tell recruiters who contact me. So yes I do “look” at things that fall in my lap but, overall, I’m content with my current employer.
- Even if you are content, it is important to stay in touch with the recruiters. Most new opportunities present themselves when you are not looking.
- I may get bored, make a mistake, and lose the game. I’m not the world’s best caretaker. In my case, I wasn’t actively looking. Recruiters called regularly. The guys I went with just happened to have a new team, a new learning opportunity, and a game that was in trouble. That was enough to start the discussion.
- I’m within a couple of years of retirement and do not want to make a change.
- I’m staying put until youngest kid graduates from high school next year and our current major EHR project completed. Then we’ll see.
- I have no desire to change employers or geographic locations. In 2015, I will be retiring.
4. If you were to consider a move, what would be the number one criteria you’d be looking for in a new position?
Increased purview/sphere of influence/larger health system, etc.
- This is the best one that fits. To be honest, I’m not certain what would pull me away.
- Improved senior leadership team focus.
- I would add geography to this list and fairly defined expectations and goals for IT so I can assess if the next gig will keep me challenged at a level I want.
- I’m not sure that’s exactly the right answer, but I took my recent role to gain whole new categories of experience: for-profit, Pioneer ACO, a company in high-speed acquisition mode. It’s messy. They need my help. Discipline. They need a turn-around. That’s me, I think.
- More cohesive organizational direction.
- Location and organizational stability.
- Honestly, insurance … although the current organization remains committed to me and the direction we are taking, it just seems that things can change VERY quickly and CIOs seems to be easy targets.
- I would want a clear commitment from senior leadership to strategic planning.
5. If you were to consider a move, to what degree are you willing to relocate?
Within my general area of the country
- There are some parts of the country I just would not move to. No offense to them, but I have learned a lot about culture in our country and there are some areas I just would not get along.
- The best possibility would be to move closer to my immediate family. The loss of my mother over the past month has increased this desire.
Anywhere in the country
- Would consider moving, but the location must have appeal.
- I don’t want to relocate but, if I had to, there are many great places in this country.
- It really depends on the location. Quality of life would be important in relocation.
- I’ve never been motivated by location, really. I’ve lived in Indiana, Tokyo, Louisiana, Texas (twice), Alabama, California (twice), DC, and Seattle, with two side trips to Southwest Asia. My new city is great too. I’m lucky. I know that.
- It depends. There are some places that I would like to live, but I have adult children that I’d like to be reasonably close to. I sure that they would like me to move to some exotic place that would make for great vacations. J
- There are particular areas of the country that I would consider.