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Information Management in the CIO-less Office

Nov 27, 2017 03:47PM ● By The Hood Magazine

By: Alex Strauss

Chief Information Officer (CIO) - A job title commonly given to the most senior executive in an enterprise responsible for the information technology and computer systems that support enterprise goals. - Wikipedia

At a time when information technology is playing and increasingly important role in healthcare, the job of CIO is also becoming more critical. But what about organizations that are too small to justify the expense of a dedicated CIO position? We spoke with Golden West Sales Manager James Van Loan about the challenges and the opportunity.

MED: What do you see as one challenge for organizations that don’t have a CIO?

JVL: What we find is that some organizations think their network admin can take on that role. But normally they don’t have that person as a top-level part of the team. So there is often a gap between the C-level and the IT group. The IT person may not understand the top goals of the organization. They are a steward of the IT infrastructure, but they may not fully understand where the organization is trying to get to.

MED: What is an example of something that should not be turned over to a non-C-level IT person?

JVL: Most of the C-level people that we work with don’t have an understanding of things like compliance and other things that they see as the IT manager’s responsibility. At the same time, we find that the IT person may have a list of 20 to 30 priorities, but when we ask them what are the primary goals of the organization, they struggle to answer. So it is really critical to the success of an organization that these two groups find a way to work together.

MED: How should an organization start to make that happen?

JVL: They need to be asking what information across all areas of the organization - financial, operation, clinical, etc. -  is most important to them. Anything they are inputting data into, they should be asking, what kind of data can we get that will help us to make strategic decisions? How are our reimbursements? Are we staffing the right way? How many patients are we seeing? What does all of this data we are gathering actually mean?

Making sure that there is someone in charge of information who understands the high level goals will make is easier for everyone to be on the same page and will have the most payback for the organization.