3 lies hospital CIOs tell

It's not always easy for hospital CIOs to get funding for IT projects, particularly at smaller or rural hospitals. Bending the truth could be the key to securing necessary resources, according to Kirk Kirksey, vice president and CIO at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. 

In a  tongue-in-cheek blog post published to healthsystemCIO.com this week, Kirksey discloses several "lies" CIOs tell. Here are three:

  • "The system is dying." Systems don't just die, Kirksey says, but saying so often will grab the attention of fellow executives with more spending power. "The subject of death," he adds, "gives people the willies." If questioned about specifics, Kirksey says CIOs often will "follow up with some incomprehensible techy mumbo jumbo."
  • "We need to buy a new system--and it will be expensive." Although re-installing an existing system and tapping into unused functionalities could save lots of time and money, Kirksey says, most CIOs never suggest taking that route after workflow re-designs. "[T]hat wouldn't do anything for a person's resume, would it?" he writes.
  • "We need to hire a consultant to give us an unbiased view of the problem." The real reason CIOs prefer hiring consultants? They need a scapegoat in case something goes wrong, Kirksey says. "We need an unbiased view of the problem like we need a hole in the head."

The satirical nature of Kirksey's post aside, in this year's HIMSS annual leadership survey, lack of adequate financial support was among the top barriers to implementing IT, respondents said.

What's more, network security and infrastructure upgrades were listed as top priorities for healthcare CIOs early in 2013, according to a study from Level 3 Communications.

To learn more:
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