For many, it’s the event that serves as the kickoff to HIMSS, and this year was no exception. The CHIME-HIMSS 2018 CIO Forum set the tone for the conference by recognizing the excellent work being done in organizations across the country, and calling on CIOs and other leaders to continue to play an active role in moving the industry forward.
“We have the power to drive change,” stated Cletis Earle, CHIME Board Chair and CIO at Kaleida Health, said in his remarks.
Two industry leaders — Russ Branzell and Randy McCleese — were commended for their efforts. Branzell, who is president and CEO of CHIME, received the 2018 Baldridge Foundation Award for Leadership Excellence in the Cybersecurity sector.
“There are so many people doing such important work promoting the quality field and the Baldrige principles, and Russ Branzell has been a critical proponent of the development and promotion of Baldrige principles applied to cybersecurity,” said Foundation President and CEO Al Faber in a statement. “Russ has been an important partner to the Foundation and continues to advocate for widespread adoption of the Baldrige Cybersecurity Excellence Builder.”
Cybersecurity is a top priority for CHIME’s Public Policy Steering Committee and policy team, as well as the Association for Executives in Healthcare Information Security (AEHIS). Both organizations support members with education, career development, networking, and advocacy resources and opportunities.
Branzell noted that the recent WannaCry and Petya attacks underscore how critical it is for all organizations to have a robust cybersecurity program. “In healthcare we need to be especially vigilant because it is not only money at stake, but patients’ lives.”
McCleese, who serves as CIO at Methodist Hospital in Kentucky, accepted the CHIME-HIMSS John E. Gall Jr CIO of the Year award in recognition of the many years he has spent advocating for rural health. He called out several people who have inspired him, including CHIME colleagues Branzell, Chuck Christian, Rich Correll, Cindy Cahill, Marc Probst, and David Muntz, along with both current and past policy leaders.
McCleese talked about how his upbringing as one of 10 children to parents who were farmers, and not able to attain much education, helped shape him as a leader. He encouraged those in attendance to “Find your passion, get involved, and make a difference.”
Also of note was an announcement that CHIME will now oversee the Most Wired benchmarking survey, and will launch it by the end of this month.
“We are thrilled to continue Most Wired’s long tradition of celebrating the accomplishments of healthcare organizations that meet the highest standards in heath IT,” said Earle, noting that although CHIME has retained many of its features, it is also making some changes. Namely, CHIME plans to name a board of governors (that doesn’t include any current CIOs), streamline the application process, and add an auditing process.
CHIME expects to inform survey participants of the results and provide reports by the end of August, and will honor Most Wired recipients at the 2018 CHIME Fall CIO Forum in San Diego.
Finally, CHIME Board member Liz Johnson, CIO, Acute Care Hospitals & Applied Clinical Informatics at Tenet Healthcare, talked about the progress that has been made on the policy front, and stressed the importance of advocacy — now, more than ever.
“It’s important that our voices our heard by those who impact our organizations and our patients,” she said.