Becker's CEO + CFO Roundtable 2019: 4 Questions with Tom Andriola, Chief Information Officer at University of California Health

Tom Andriola serves as Chief Information Officer at University of California Health.

On November 12th, Tom will serve on the panel "Telehealth and Leadership" at Becker's 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place November 11-13, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Tom's session, click here.

Question: What is the single most important thing you need to do in your role?

Tom Andriola: Coming up through the executive ranks, I was taught that executives need to protect their time to stay focused on what is truly important, and those top two things there are always strategy and talent. Strategy in the context of the CIO means that you are really looking and working hard to ensuring the alignment of IT resources and capabilities to the strategy of the business. The second item is to make sure we are developing/securing the talent we need for the organization.

Q: There is a lot to improve upon in healthcare. Of the many issues that hold your attention, what is the one you consider exceptionally imperative and urgent?

TA: The one I would like to tackle is making healthcare provider organizations truly consumer-friendly. The consumer companies have done such a better job at this, and now those expectations generate a lot of frustration for people when they interact with healthcare. Healthcare organizations that are doing a better job here I truly believe are creating a long-term competitive advantage for themselves as the industry continues to change and patient expectations change.

Q: Healthcare leaders today need skills and talents that span beyond those emphasized during formal training and higher education. What is one specific competency that you learned or sharpened in real life?

TA: The ability to harness the potential of the organization that you’re a part of. When you look at employee engagement and productivity numbers, they are abysmal. We complain about the talent war, and that by some magic way if we can attract new talent to our organization we somehow will fix our ills. What about the talent that’s already in the organization and being starved for investment & optimization. How are we challenging them, developing them, assembling them into cross-functional conversations to take broad, diverse perspectives for out-of-the-box problem solving. Most organizations don’t have a talent problem; they don’t have a strategy problem. What they really have is a leadership and culture problem. Why don’t we start addressing that.

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