In a rapidly changing world, the healthcare industry is experiencing sweeping changes and new challenges. To meet the emerging issues head-on, the roles of healthcare C-Suite executives are evolving; each leader now has new responsibilities and expanded expectations. For Chief Information Officers, the days of managing servers and system updates are long gone. Their seat at the C-Suite table is now well established as both strategic and critical. Forward-thinking organizations understand that future success and innovation is dependent upon having the right person with the right skills in this key position.
The Crucial Role of the CIO
In the early days of the Chief Information Officer role within the healthcare industry, the position largely centered on technology-focused responsibilities. This included hardware and software implementations, help desk management and troubleshooting internal systems. With the mass implementations of EMRs across the country, hospitals and health systems elevated the CIO position to a more strategic level. The increased focus on clinical IT further expanded the scope of the role. Within the last five years, the CIO position has grown to include cybersecurity, telehealth, and patient billing platforms. Today, the chief of information is a resource to all other C-Suite executives, and holds a variety of emerging responsibilities:
- Strategic optimization
- Digital strategy
- Telehealth solutions
- Patient experience
- Provider communications
- Purchasing decisions
- Data and analytics
New Demands in a New Decade
In today’s fast-changing healthcare environment, CIOs wear many hats. They must have the foundational knowledge to remain on top of the technical aspects of their role, but must also stay in front of IT innovations and maintain a big-picture view of the opportunities presented by digital transformation. To achieve success, today’s healthcare Chief Information Officers must possess a new set of skills, including:
For 2020 and beyond, the CIO role is becoming a leader in business strategy. Through successful IT leadership, healthcare organizations can identify redundancies, optimize technology and reduce inefficiencies. This breeds opportunities to create new services and generate new cost centers. Additionally, Chief Information Officers are now expected to play a major role in purchasing and vendor decisions, as well as cost allocation for operational services.
As a change agent, CIOs must lead new initiatives, support a culture of process improvement and drive education efforts to keep all team members on the same page. In their expanding role as an operational executive, IT leaders of the future will integrate technology solutions into daily processes and the overall culture of the organization. Successfully embedding the use of data and analytics to support business goals, patient safety initiatives and advance care practices will move the organization forward, reduce costs and create the opportunity for improved patient outcomes.
Evolving technological knowledge.
Serving as the technology leader for the organization has always been a major part of the role of a healthcare CIO. However, with the fast-changing pace of technology today and the expansive selection of tech tools and systems, CIOs must be continually learning. In order to be a successful advisor to the organization, the Chief Information Officer needs the knowledge to find the best products and services to support the business and patient care goals of the hospital or health system.
In healthcare and across all industries, the CIO role is fast becoming one of the most critical positions to fill. With the many facets of this role that touch so many aspects of business, operations and strategy, selecting the right leader for this position will set your organization up for success in the long-term. In healthcare, considerations around new regulations, advancements in care services and the shifting culture of the industry overall will also impact the process of identifying the right technology leader.
With this complicated, yet critical, situation, it is more important than ever to have a network of experts to guide you in the process. To learn more about CIO recruitment best practices, connect with the Cejka Search team here.