5 CMIOs on responsibilities & evolution of the role

Five chief medical information officers at hospitals and health systems across the U.S. share how their CMIO positions have evolved over the past few years and what their responsibilities look like today.

Question: How has your role as CMIO evolved over the past two to three years? How have your responsibilities changed since you took on the role?

Steven Magid, MD, CMIO at Hospital for Special Surgery (New York City): My answer to this question is strongly influenced by the fact that [Hospital for Special Surgery] implemented Epic in January 2016. My responsibilities progressed from EHR selection to design to implementation to stabilization to optimization. By all accounts, the implementation was very successful — we received HIMSS stage 7 certification in November 2017 and the HIMSS Nicholas E. Davies Award of Excellence for Information Technology in 2018 — and has allowed me to focus on utilizing the large amount of data and turning it into actionable information. For example, as a musculoskeletal-surgical hospital, applying risk stratification and pathway development will lead to improved surgical outcomes.

To read the full interview, click here. 

William Hanson III, MD, CMIO at UPenn Health System (Philadelphia): Where previously the work involved deciding upon and implementing an enterprise EMR, my team and I have been involved in EMR optimization and the workflows associated with its use in the clinical environment more recently. My work also includes a growing portfolio of mobile health, telemedicine and predictive analytics projects.

To read the full interview, click here. 

Ryan Walsh, MD, Vice President and CMIO at The University of Texas Health Science Center (Houston): When I first started in informatics in 2002, the quintessential role of the CMIO was implementer and champion in chief, or, in a nutshell, change management revolving around implementing new technology. Change management is still the name of the game, but now we're more focused on how the healthcare environment is changing and incorporating technology in a more expansive way. It's our job to manage and facilitate change around process, technology and people so our clinicians can focus on what they trained for, which mostly is caring for patients. When we can't do that, we are focused on the consequences, suboptimal care and physician burnout.

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Brian Patty, MD, CMIO at Rush University Medical Center (Chicago): My first CMIO roles in 2002 and 2005 were primarily focused on designing order sets for [computer physician order entry] and convincing physicians to use CPOE. Meaningful Use changed the focus to utilizing all aspects of the EHR, aligning the EHR with quality initiatives and getting physician and nursing workflows completely off paper. About the same time, I began to focus more of my time on aligning the EHR with the strategic initiatives of the organization. Today, my focus is primarily strategic.

To read the full interview, click here. 

Rod Tarrago, MD, CMIO and Medical Director of Medication Safety at Seattle Children's Hospital: After two years as associate CMIO, I moved into the CMIO role about 17 months ago. Our organization has begun the journey toward a single, integrated EHR platform, and it has become our major clinical IT priority. At the same time, we continue to engage our clinicians in daily improvements of our current EHR. As CMIO and medical director of medication safety, my daily work always involves helping our clinicians and patients in these efforts.

To read the full interview, click here.

To learn more about clinical informatics and health IT, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

To participate in future Becker's Q&As, contact Jackie Drees at jdrees@beckershealthcare.com.

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