The simple powers of a cell phone: HSHS CIO on his first 6-months strategy and what he would invest in now

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Ray Gensinger, MD, was named CIO at Springfield, Ill.-based Hospital Sisters Health System in July 2014. At the time, the CIO, with 20 years of experience behind him, was transitioning the health systems to a new EHR platform.

Today, Dr. Gensinger appreciates the little and simple technologies, like smartphones. But that doesn't mean the CIO has simple plans for HSHS.

Below, Dr. Gensinger answers questions about his career evolution at HSHS and what he is willing to spend big bucks on.

Editor's note: Responses are edited for clarity and length.

Question: If you were given $10 million no strings attached, what technology/innovation would you invest in? 

Dr. Ray Gensinger: If I were given $10 million, I would put it toward a data scientist and data analytic infrastructure.

Q: What is a simple piece of technology that often gets overshadowed among fellow executives, patients and staff? 

RG: Often times a cell phone’s capacity to carry voice and the power of conversation goes overlooked.

Q: During your first six months in your role, what was your No. 1 strategy? If you could go back and change it, what would you do differently? 

RG: My first strategy was to establish enterprise wide support and enthusiasm for a major EHR platform shift. Ideally, the organization and I could have embraced a much larger and comprehensive data strategy. However, I am not sure that the organization would have been ready to take on that much change. More or less had to accomplish the latter under the guise of the former.

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