Most health system CFOs lack agreeable cooperation with CIOs, survey finds

Nearly all hospital and health system chief financial officers face organizational barriers to working closely with chief information officers, despite the crucial need for collaboration between the roles, according to a recent Black Book report.

The healthcare-focused market research firm surveyed 200 CFOs at hospitals and health systems of varying sizes. Not only did 93 percent of CFOs from financially struggling facilities describe facing barriers to agreeable cooperation with their organization's CIO, but so too did 84 percent of CFOs from successfully performing health systems.

One of the primary barriers is organizational: Though most CEOs also surveyed by Black Book disagreed, 85 percent of CFO respondents claimed the structure of their system prevents CFO-CIO collaboration. Another 82 percent of CFOs said they were excluded from their CIO's technology selections and approvals in recent years due to a lack of knowledge about technology issues.

Additionally, 90 percent of CFOs surveyed said their success has been greatly limited by the absence of key performance indicators that would link the CIO's IT agenda to financial performance.

"Technology is changing, expanding and blurring the roles of CIOs and CFOs in the healthcare industry," Doug Brown, president of Black Book, said in a statement. "In a noticeable shift since the acquisition of enterprise-wide EHR systems led by CIOs, CFOs have become the executive charged with digital transformations to improve competitive advantages, strategic growth and innovation across all customer touch points, while measuring the technologies' ROI."

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