The Evolving Role of CIOs in Healthcare Management

The Evolving Role of CIOs in Healthcare Management

Healthcare Tech Outlook | Thursday, October 10, 2019

CIO in HealthcareA CIO will also need to inspire, motivate, and influence people around them. Predominantly in healthcare, technology ought to be there to support the medical practitioner and positively affect the health of a patient.

FREMONT, CA: Today, the Chief Information Officer (CIO) is an increasingly important member of the C-suite in healthcare organizations. Because of the multifaceted IT problems that the hospitals and other medical organizations face, the role of a CIO has become an evolving one. Instead of merely offering software and computer support, the contemporary CIO must also provide strategic business leadership. Alongside, they should also ensure the collection, safety, maintenance, and privacy of patient health records.

Safeguarding, maintaining, and leveraging the sensitive health data is not only crucial to the success of the institution, but there are also legal privacy concerns associated. So, healthcare organizations shield themselves against all manner of risk upon hiring efficient CIOs.

CIO in Healthcare

CIOs are in a distinctive position to comprehend how the organization delivers care and how they can be used as enablers in doing so. Ultimately CIOs want to achieve valuable and best patient outcomes. If one grabs the opportunity to be an officer then they will be placed in a privileged position to drive the potential of the organization and shape the future of how healthcare is distributed.

As healthcare is in continuously in state of flux and transition, the CIOs own a chance to deliver success by leading the change. The instance is when CIOs will need to have a subtle change in their skill sets to make a shift from everyday technical challenges and problem solving to focus on larger strategic objectives and vision of the medical enterprise.

A CIO will also need to inspire, motivate, and influence people around them. Predominantly in healthcare, technology ought to be there to support the medical practitioner and positively impact the health of a patient. Additionally, a healthcare CIO should bear in mind that a clinician is there to do one job—improve the health of a patient. So, changing clinical processes and care pathways must offer benefits for the patient and doctor alike, otherwise no technology implementation will succeed. Besides, changing the processes needs constant perseverance and collaboration, therefore IT needs to be part of what the medical practitioner does and must enable the process and not hinder it.

Healthcare CIOs Offer Vision and Leadership

The CIO should also be a strategic team player along with the cutting-edge technology skills and knowledge to serve the medical institute. Also, a CIO leading toward the path of success will have the vision to build solutions that meet the business requirements of clinicians, rather than just pushing the latest technology and software. The CIO will align IT objectives and programs to the strategic priorities of the whole C-suite. Some of the key responsibilities of the CIO comprise:

To provide leadership for the IT department of the medical organization.
To assess present and future information and technology requirements of the institute.
To communicate planned recommendations with regard to implementation, operations, and security issues to senior leadership.
To partner with peers.
To develop processes and standards to safeguard information systems against cyber attacks.
To administer the day-to-day operations of the IT department.
To direct the financial activities of the IT department like the development of the annual IT budget.

Technical and Legal Elements

In addition to offering leadership, healthcare CIOs have intricate technical demands to meet. Employing an information officer who is well-versed in IT security is significantly important due to the ubiquitous risks of breaches and cyber attacks of patient data. Furthermore, they must be responsible for designing and executing information systems architecture and more, including:

Assessing the new technologies and system enrichment.
Overseeing the software integrations.
Evaluating vendors and negotiating the vendor contracts.
Making sure that the service level agreements are being met.
Enhancing the IT systems in the organization.
Advancing the information flow.

Moreover, the role of healthcare CIOs is also to ensure that the organization’s IT systems abide by all legal and regulatory requirements like those related to securing protected health data as defined by HIPAA.

The Developing CIO Role

The developing role of the CIO in healthcare management touches upon several distinct aspects of an institution and will be definite to every individual organization. A person’s transition to the role can be chiefly challenging if they have grown or developed within the organization. Furthermore, CIOs should also understand what their roles are. For instance, the CIO is not in the meeting to fix a broken projector. They are there to bring novel ideas using technology to strategically enhance the organization and its future goals.

It is important, wherever possible; one should speak to other CIOs and learn from their experiences. Information officers should not undervalue the worth of making connections and networking at events or conferences, and even through social media. Learning and listening to people will galvanize a person on the shared issues of making the CIO job part of the C-Suite and the business.


It is also required of the CIOs to not separate their roles from that of the organizations and function independently altogether. In fact, technology needs to be a seamless part of the organization. Ultimately, whether one is a new CIO, aspiring to be, or have been in the role for a while, it is essential that they believe in themselves and the vision for their organization. Also, it is important to take risks, listen to others and take other people’s suggestions and opinions on board.

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