CIOs are dealing with more changes, expansion, turmoil and explosion of clinical applications than ever before. Their roles are expanding as more demands are placed on their time, staff and resources. Faced with increased challenges, successful CIOs are not backing down, but gladly adding “new hats” to their roles in health systems to accommodate the new needs. Even though the “CIO” title in healthcare has been around for over 25 years, today’s CIOs have talents and skills never seen before. How many of these roles do you have?
1. Agent of Change – When the health system goes through any major change such as clinical transformation projects, EMR/CPOE implementation, or expansion of facilities, it looks to the CIO to be the leader, to help facilitate all parties to work together.
2. Champion of Disaster Recovery – Between weather, earthquakes and other natural or man-made disasters, keeping IT systems up and running is a high priority for health system CIOs. Off-site and backups are mandatory for mission critical applications and communications.
3. Designer, Planner of Facilities Expansion – Merging, building, expanding and consolidating facilities is becoming the norm for health systems, and the CIO is a key point person of the design team as these projects move to completion.
4. Leader of Ancillary Departments – The CIO is acquiring more departments outside of IT and telecommunications, some of which include: HIM, Biomed, Pharmacy, Laboratory, PACS, Radiology, Revenue Cycle, Transcription and Medical Library.
5. Marketer of EHR services – Marketing IT and EHR services to independent practices and community physicians is a new role for many CIOs. It has proven to be a competitive advantage to many health systems.
6. Project Manager of Meaningful Use – To qualify for the Obama Administration stimulus funding, CIOs are leading and project managing all of the EHR Meaningful Use initiatives.
7. Promoter of iPad and Cloud Computing – Innovative use of the iPad and cloud computing can put the CIO’s health system ahead of others, and provides CIOs with opportunities to promote and publicize their achievements.
8. Professor of HIT – Everyone wants HIT, but few in the organization and senior management understand it. The CIO becomes the resident expert, trusted advisor and educator of HIT. Coaching and mentoring has increased as more staff and departments report up to the CIO.
9. Sponsor of ICD-10 – Implementation of ICD-10 will take time but functions need to be in place in order to meet the deadline of October 1, 2013. CIOs can lead and be an executive sponsor for the successful implementation.
10. Visionary for HIE and ACO – Being proactive in building relationships and partnerships in the community and surrounding areas allows the CIO to lay the foundation for HIE participation and ACO initiatives.
There is high demand for IT services across the enterprise, and it has caused an unprecedented increase in the health system CIO’s responsibilities. CIOs have transitioned their organizations on many levels and positioned them for massive change in technology and workflow. As the expansion of CIO roles continues, make sure your resume includes all of your responsibilities.