Chief knowledge officers manage ACO, IT data

With the final rule for accountable care organizations (ACOs) released and the traditional fee-for-service payment method transforming to one that rewards quality, hospitals and healthcare organizations have a lot of data to manage.

Who should lead the charge of assembling and interpreting increasing amounts of healthcare data: a new member of the C-Suite, the chief knowledge officer (CKO), according to presenters at the AHIMA 2011 Conference & Exhibit in Salt Lake City earlier this month.

"[CKO] is an emerging role that we are starting to see talked about in newsletters and literature in health care because--as hospitals and providers and health care organizations become more information-based--there's a need to do something with this abundance of information," said Cindy Zak, health information management director and privacy officer at Milford (Conn.) Hospital.

The CKO reports to the CEO and turns raw data into knowledge--by sharing information, understanding how it is used, and applying it in innovative ways, according HealthData Management.

Hospitals would benefit from such an exec, as the CKO uses knowledge to create new treatments and workflows to improve outcomes, enhance efficiency, and cut costs, Zak said, according to SearchHealthIT.

For instance, the CKO examines how several surgeons perform the same procedure and why some have better outcomes than the others, notes HealthData Management.

And as hospitals try to meet Meaningful Use and convert to ICD-10 coding, the need for a CKO to lead the organization through such changes is becoming more and more pressing.

For more information:
- read the article at SearchHealthIT
- here's the HealthData Management article