25 CMIOs to know

The role of the CMIO is gaining importance in healthcare as hospitals and health systems seek to marry clinical processes with information systems. Health IT is emerging as a priority for many healthcare providers, largely bolstered by federal initiatives and a push toward interoperability and data exchanges.

The following 25 CMIOs are leaders in their field, offering their hospitals and health systems expertise both clinically and technologically.

Note: The following leaders were collected through peer nominations and editorial research. There are no fees involved and no one can pay to be included on this list. They are presented in alphabetical order.

Gregory Ator, MD. CMIO of the University of Kansas Hospital (Kansas City). Dr. Ator's tenure has been characterized by using patient data to improve the hospital's clinical and financial performance, and developing and implementing systems that give providers access to relevant and actionable information at the point of care. He is also an advocate for engaging physicians in the health IT implementation process.

Colin Banas, MD. CMIO of Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center (Richmond). Dr. Banas has been a hospitalist at VCUMC since he completed medical school in 2002. In July 2010, he took on CMIO duties as well, and since then has led the development of several tools that help VCUMC clinicians use data to provide better patient care. These include a dashboard that pulls EHR data to alert nurses to high-risk patients and an early warning system that displays a "sickness score" using vitals to flag deteriorating patients before alarms go off.

O'Neil Britton, MD. Chief Health Information Officer of Partners HealthCare and Executive Director of Partners eCare (Boston). Dr. Britton is in charge of Partners eCare, the organization's health information system, currently on track to be completely implemented by the middle of 2015. The new information system will link all facilities' clinical records and billing systems to help Partners reach its goal of "one patient, one record, one team, one statement." Previously, Dr. Britton was CMO of Brigham and Women's Faulkner Hospital in Boston, where he was responsible for clinical quality, physician engagement, IT integration and the implementation of various strategic initiatives.

Bimal Desai, MD. CMIO of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Desai, a pediatrician, has been at CHOP his entire career. He became CMIO in 2010 and is currently overseeing a multi-year comprehensive EHR implementation project. He is also an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and is on the clinical informatics board review course faculty with the American Medical Informatics Association. In addition, he is currently the CMO of Haystack Informatics, developer of solutions to help hospital officials monitor EHR access data to detect potential breaches.

Stan Huff, MD. CMIO of Intermountain Healthcare (Salt Lake City). Dr. Huff has been CMIO of Intermountain since 2006 and is responsible for the architecture and functionality of all of the organization's clinical information systems. He has been a pioneer in the medical database architecture field for 20 years and is currently the chair of Health Level Seven International, the interoperability and standards committee, and a member of HHS' Health IT Standards Committee. He is also a professor in the biomedical informatics department at the University of Utah School of Medicine, focusing on medical vocabulary and data exchange standards.

Christopher Jaeger, MD. CMIO of Sutter Health (Sacramento, Calif.). As CMIO, Dr. Jaeger led the development of a health information exchange that connects Sutter hospitals and physicians with neighboring, non-affiliated providers, improving care coordination in the communities Sutter serves. He joined Sutter in 2007 as physician director of EHR hospital clinical applications and assumed his current duties in 2008. Prior to joining Sutter, Dr. Jaeger was the EHR physician-lead at Sutter-affiliate California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He also was an assistant clinical professor at the University of California at San Francisco School of Medicine until April 2014.

Liz Johnson, RN. Chief Clinical Informaticist and Vice President of Applied Clinical Informatics at Tenet Healthcare (Dallas). Ms. Johnson is the leader of Tenet's Improving Patient Care Through Technology Program, which focuses first on the meaningful use of EHRs across the health system and then using the data from the EHRs to improve care and lower costs. She is also a member of HHS' Health IT Standards Committee and a co-chair of the implementation workgroup, working to influence federal policy around health IT. In September, she received the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives' second annual Federal Public Policy Award for CIO Leadership for her efforts to educate lawmakers on the importance of health IT.

Brent Lambert, MD. CMIO of Carolinas HealthCare System (Charlotte). In 2010, Dr. Lambert joined Carolinas HealthCare System as its first CMIO. He was previously CMIO at the seven-hospital Carilion Clinic system in Roanoke, Va., where he oversaw an enterprisewide EHR implementation as vice president of informatics.

Donald Levick, MD. CMIO of Lehigh Valley Health Network (Allentown, Pa.). Unlike many other CMIOs, Dr. Levick has avoided moving his health system onto a single IT platform, preferring best-of-breed solutions and combining products to make the optimal infrastructure for LVHN's specific needs. It's worked — In May, the health system was recognized with HIMSS Analytics' stage 6 award. Dr. Levick is also on the board of the Pennsylvania e-Health Initiative, an advocacy group, and the Delaware Valley chapter of HIMSS.

Christopher Longhurst, MD. CMIO of Stanford (Calif.) Children's Health. As CMIO, Dr. Longhurst led the organization through an implementation of a comprehensive EHR system. In 2010, he used data in this EHR to publish the first study showing a correlation between the implementation of computerized physician order entry and a drop in hospitalwide mortality rates. He is also the co-author of the first published use of aggregated EHR data to influence a patient care decision in real time. In addition to his CMIO duties, he is a pediatric hospitalist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and a clinical associate professor of pediatrics and biomedical informatics at Stanford University.

Davin Lundquist, MD. Vice President, CMIO of Dignity Health (San Francisco). Dr. Lundquist has been CMIO of Dignity Health since July 2013. One of his most interesting projects has been incorporating Google Glass into patient care using an app from Augmedix that puts information pulled from the video stream of a patient encounter directly into the EHR, allowing physicians to keep their attention on patients. He also works to engage the system's affiliated physicians with Dignity Health's IT efforts, including a health information exchange that currently has 7,000 physician members.

G. Daniel Martich, MD. CMIO and Associate CMO of UPMC (Pittsburgh). In his 15 years as CMIO of UPMC, Dr. Martich has been a driving force behind the systemwide adoption of EHRs and other technologies. He is also the clinical leader of the health system's interoperability efforts, for which he and his team received a 2009 award from the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. He is also the author of many articles on EHRs and IT systems.

Arun Mathews, MD. CMIO of Medical Center Hospital (Odessa, Texas). Under Dr. Mathews' leadership, the 400-bed regional referral center has attested to meaningful use stage 1, is on track for stage 2 and has reached stage 6 on HIMSS Analytics' EMR Adoption Model. In addition to his CMIO duties, Dr. Mathews is also a clinical assistant professor and hospitalist fellowship training program director for the Texas Tech Department of Family and Community Medicine.

Troy McGuire, MD. CMIO of Seattle Children's Hospital. Dr. McGuire, a practicing pediatrician, has been with Seattle Children's since 2011. During his tenure he has focused on improving both the safety and efficiency of care within the large, tertiary organization. In January, he was named a finalist for AMIA Provider Innovation in Informatics Award for a system that uses real-time data to reduce emergency department length of stay by identifying safety risks and using real-time data to adjust throughput as necessary.

Dennis R. Niess, MD. CMIO of Wheeling (W.Va.) Hospital. Dr. Neiss has been Wheeling Hospital's CMIO since 2009. Board-certified in family medicine, Dr. Neiss is respected for his ability to work with physicians from disparate specialties. His excellent rapport with clinicians has allowed him to modify the hospital's EMR system in a way that improves physician workflow while improving quality measures and patient outcomes.  

Eric Poon, MD, MPH. Vice President and CMIO at Boston Medical Center. From 2007 to 2012, he was the director of clinical informatics and information systems at Brigham and Women's Hospital, also in Boston. Dr. Poon also is an associate professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and previously held the same position at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Poon is board-certified in internal medicine.

George Reynolds, MD. CIO and CMIO of Children's Hospital & Medical Center (Omaha, Neb.). Dr. Reynolds has been CMIO of Children's Hospital & Medical Center since 2004; his CIO title was added in 2010. His tenure has been marked by a flurry of awards — he won the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems' award for applied medical informatics in 2007, and under his leadership the hospital has been recognized three times as a "Most Wired" hospital by the American Hospital Association and twice as one of InformationWeek's top innovators.

Luis Saldaña, MD. CMIO of Texas Health Resources (Arlington). Dr. Saldaña was promoted from associate CMIO of Texas Health Resources to CMIO in August 2013. He is an expert on clinical decision support implementation, and was a co-author of "Improving Outcomes with Clinical Decision Support," which won HIMSS' annual Book of the Year Award in 2012.

Joseph Schneider, MD. Vice President, Medical Director of Clinical Information and CMIO of Baylor Scott & White's North Division (Dallas). AfterDallas-based Baylor Health Care System and Temple, Texas-based Scott & White Healthcare completed their merger in late 2013, Dr. Schneider, who was the CMIO and medical director of clinical informatics at Baylor, took on the same role with the new system's north division. Before Baylor, he was CMIO at Children's Medical Center in Dallas. He is also a former chair of the Executive Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Clinical IT, where he helped to lead the development of the Continuity of Care Record Standard, still widely used today.

Dirk Stanley, MD. CMIO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital (Northampton, Mass.). For more than five years, Dr. Stanley has served as CMIO of Cooley Dickinson Hospital, now a part of Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital. He is responsible for meaningful use compliance, data analytics and physician EHR engagement and use. He is very involved with health information exchange efforts; implementing an exchange at Cooley Dickson and working closely with the statewide HIE, Mass HIway. He was named Clinician of the Year in 2010 by the New England chapter of HIMSS.

Andy Steele, MD. CMIO of Denver Health. After more than 14 years as Denver Health's director of medical informatics, Dr. Steele was promoted to CMIO in February 2014. Dr. Steele is a board-certified internist.

Robert Warren, MD, PhD, MPH. CMIO at the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston). CMIO since 2011, Dr. Warren oversaw major EHR upgrades across the four-hospital system and orchestrated a successful "big bang" go live of new enterprisewide patient access, revenue cycle, inpatient clinical systems and analytics and research systems all on July 1, 2014. Dr. Warren is board-certified in pediatrics, allergy and immunology and internal medicine with a specialty in rheumatology.

Lynn Witherspoon, MD. System Vice President and CMIO of Ochsner Health System (New Orleans). Dr. Witherspoon has been CMIO of Oschner Health System since 2009. He is the leader of several innovative, patient-centered projects, including O Bar, which helps patients download appropriate health-related apps that will eventually be able to send data to the health system's EHR, and a robust disease registry tool that gives providers across the continuum a more comprehensive view of a patient's history.

Chris Wood, MD. Vice President and CMIO of Loyola University Health System (Maywood, Ill.). Dr. Wood was appointed CMIO of Loyola University Health System in July, tasked with helping physicians leverage data to improve care quality. Previously, he was medical director of information systems at Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City, where he was responsible for incorporating physician input during the design and implementation of Intermountain's new Cerner EHR system.

Sajjad Yacoob, MD. CMIO of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. After six years as the director of medical informatics at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, Dr. Yacoob became the hospital's first CMIO in 2007. His tenure has been marked by efforts to bring more clinical information to the point of care. Dr. Yacoob is also the assistant dean for innovation and technology and the assistant dean for student affairs at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine in Los Angeles.

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