The healthcare IT responsibilities of today’s CIO are widening across the health system, into the regions, out across the states, into neighboring states, even into international realms. The CIOs required to lead and manage such complex enterprises need to be creative, be innovative, and be “out of the box” thinkers and doers.
Integrating data with other health systems and medical providers is not a new idea (think CHINs, RHIOs), but because of federal dollars and government initiatives, the sharing of data has matured and become more operational with the advent of accountable care organizations (ACOs), health information exchanges (HIEs), cloud computing, advanced cyber network infrastructures, integrated shared services and community connected electronic medical records.
The key issues related to the widening of healthcare IT outreach are budget, security and resistance to change. These challenges are familiar territory for today’s health system CIOs, but now they are more complicated with legal, political, cultural issues, and more financial and human resource constraints.
What are the CIO “Big Thinker” attributes?
The health system CIOs who will be successful as the healthcare IT landscape broadens will need to have these attributes as part of their career tool box:
- Innovative, creative and “out of the box” thinking
- A variety of experiences in the vendor and consultant worlds, and even in non-healthcare business
- Possessing an advanced degree, certain applicable certifications in CHCIO, ITIL, CHIMS, PMP, etc.
- Speaking and writing experience on a national level
- A passion for healthcare and its mission to improve the patient experience
- Experience as mentor, coach, and successful recruiter and retainer of IT talent
- Clinical and informatics knowledge and the ability to collaborate well with physicians
- Vendor and consultant contract management
- A positive, ethical and high-integrity nature
Let’s all strive to be bigger thinkers in 2014. I wish you all luck and prosperity in the New Year.