Why 1 health system created a new C-suite role

Richmond, Va.-based VCU Health is creating a new C-suite position: chief data and AI officer. 

"VCU Health recognizes data as a strategic asset, critical for decision-making and foundational for emerging technologies, including AI. We see AI-enabled workflows as essential for health system growth and transformation," Ellen Wiegand, senior vice president and CIO of VCU Health, told Becker's. "That's why we created the new chief data and AI officer position."

Ms. Wiegand said this new role will oversee data management and will be responsible for AI adoption across the health system, ensuring safe and ethical use. 

"The new CDAIO will lead our data, analytics and AI strategy and infrastructure to enable our organizational goals of patient-centered care, health equity, workforce wellness and innovation across the health system," she said. "The CDAIO will champion data-driven decision making across the organization, ensuring we have the tools we need to make informed decisions and deliver measurable clinical and operational improvements."

The CDAIO will also collaborate with other health system executives to explore ways to leverage AI and emerging technologies to enhance patient care and team member experience.

"Our vision is to harness the power of AI to accelerate innovation in healthcare. We are at the start of this journey, and the CDAIO will be critical in making this vision a reality," Ms. Wiegand said. 

VCU Health has been on a journey in order to prepare for the advancement of AI in the healthcare industry. Most recently, the health system completed an Epic, Workday and ServiceNow implementation, allowing the organization to position itself to implement AI tools delivered by its enterprise vendors.

Additionally, in 2023, VCU Health formed an AI workgroup to promote the use of emerging technologies. According to Ms. Wiegand, this team built a framework for AI evaluation and decision-making so that VCU could identify and capitalize on opportunities while reducing risk. 

"The workgroup has developed responsible AI principles, policy and procedures to appropriately govern the use of AI at VCU Health," she said. "In doing this, we have an engaged group of leaders working to move us forward."

But Ms. Wiegand said that while crafting this workgroup, VCU Health realized that analytics and AI strategy cannot be an "other duty as assigned" added to a group of leaders' existing jobs. 

"It requires dedicated time and subject matter expertise," she said. "Establishing the new CDAIO role provides leadership, focus and specialized expertise to drive progress across the health system."

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars