Key Insights from the Healthcare CIO Panel at CHIME’s Fall Forum

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Author: John Lynn

This week I had the chance to spend time at the CHIME Fall Forum in San Antonio.  It was great to be back together and it is still the best place to find healthcare CIOs.  This year CHIME was celebrating their 30th anniversary at the event and they held a CIO panel that included a mix of CIOs across the generations:

  • Andrea Daugherty, CISSP, Interim CIO, Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas
  • Theresa Meadows, Senior Vice President and CHIO, Cook Children’s Health Care System
  • John Glaser, PhD
  • Liz Johnson, MS, FAAN, FCHIME, FHIMSS, CHCIO, RN-BCMS, Retired Chief Information Officer (moderator)

Here’s a look at some of the key insights they shared with some commentary.

Seeing as CHIME was celebrating it’s 30th anniversary it was fascinating to hear how far we’ve come since John Glaser first started. Maybe we shouldn’t hammer ourselves too bad.

John Glaser offered this interesting perspective about what he wouldn’t have predicted as well. This really illustrates how the thinking was for many years and how much it’s changed.

Glaser offered a kind of 4 stages we’ve been through in the evolution of IT as well. I slightly missed the way he phrased the last stage, but it was essentially technology being ubiquitous in the care that’s provided. Think about how big of a mindset change that is for IT leaders from the original backend process efforts that IT led.

A big chunk of the conversation centered around some of the big challenges healthcare CIOs face right now. Daugherty offered this positive opportunity.

Plus, Glaser pointed out how CIOs and other staff have more on their plate than ever just like others in other industries (he used teachers as an example). Hard to see this changing anytime soon.

Meadows suggested that doing a survey to hear from your staff would be well worth the effort.

Glaser also offered some great universal advice for CIOs.

All 3 chimed in on what skills CIOs should be cultivating to be ready for the future.

The conversation then proceeded to disruption and innovation. Glaser offered this fascinating look at how we may be overusing the term.

Meadows then offered what she thought may be a controversial take as part of the build vs buy discussion of innovation and disruption.

Plus, she suggested it was about understanding your core competency (it’s not coding at her organization).

Hitting this from a different angle Glaser suggested that it’s about innovation and knowing where to say no since you can’t do everything. Plus, even the most innovative solution implemented poorly (including cultural acceptance of the product) can lead to disaster instead of innovation.

Meadows also offered this great suggestion to make sure your organization isn’t an echo chamber of the same ideas. It’s good to be challenged by someone to expand your thinking.

Glaser put into perspective the reality of working with vendors. He’s right that it’s going to be part of your life and needs to be a competency and partnership that you build with the right vendors.

Wrapping up the innovation, Glaser offered this fascinating insight into what innovation and disruption really look like.

Wrapping up with a discussion of burnout, staffing, and the mission of the work we do, Liz Johnson offered this idea that her staff loved.

Daugherty wrapped up the session with an incredible personal story about her experience with healthcare and her family. She described what I think applies to most of us in healthcare.

Lots of great insights from this panel at the CHIME Fall Forum. It was great to be there to celebrate the 30th anniversary. Luckily, none of them had a blue screen of death like experience on stage like the previous day’s keynote by Sophia, the Humanoid which taught us that robots replacing us is still a long way away. At least Sophia said upfront that she wasn’t meant to replace us, but augment us. Given that idea, we still need great CIO leadership for a while to come.

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