How 3 health system CIOs recruit and retain top talent

Top talent in the health IT field is highly sought after by healthcare providers as well as technology companies and start ups.

Three CIOs from across the country discuss how they build and maintain personnel for their teams.

Tom Andriola. Vice President and CIO of University of California System and CIO of UC Health (Oakland, Calif.): There will always be competition for the best talent. However, the key is in creating the right type of environment and having a reputation for excellence and growth opportunity. It is a competitive talent landscape; we feel like our approach is not only yielding positive results but also positions us to evolve as does the healthcare environment.

Ed Marx. CIO of Cleveland Clinic: We don't really think about competing with other organizations for top talent. We believe leading with our vision and culture helps us attract that kind of people we desire. If someone is driven primarily by salary, they won’t be a good fit. Once you are part of our team, we will invest in you.

Every caregiver (employee) has a development plan. We have a rock star HR division with many resources to help everyone get to the next level of their capabilities and grow their career. Inside of IT we have formal mentoring programs and numerous adjunct intensives. Everyone learns Agile. Everyone gets certified in IT Service Management (ITIL/ITSM). Everyone spends time with clinicians. What keeps caregivers here goes back to what I shared earlier: having a compelling vision that answers the why and serving in a culture where patients are first, and every caregiver is treated as family.

Jordan Tannenbaum. Vice President, CIO and CMIO of Saint Peter's Healthcare System (New Brunswick, N.J.): IT departments consist of highly educated personnel with specialized skills and degrees unique to the field. We treat our department as a non-clinical professional department and regard each department member as a valued IT professional.

Our organizational culture is very positive and inclusive, and our faith-based mission attracts IT personnel from all cultures and backgrounds. These people are motivated to ensure that the front-line clinicians can deliver the best in patient care, and that the revenue cycle and support services can work efficiently to support effective hospital operations.

We encourage each employee to own their projects and for managers to encourage the growth of skills and education of their employees. We encourage open communication, transparency, and innovative thinking to create a vibrant workplace.

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