HIMSS Analytics: Roles of Chief Medical Information and Nursing Officers Evolve to Support New Technologies

Andover, Mass., November 8, 2011- Identifying the changing roles and responsibilities of Chief Medical Informatics Officers and Chief Nursing Officers, HIMSS Analytics announced today the results of Medical Device Integration: CMIO and CNO Perspectives, a research report sponsored by Capsule, a  leading provider of medical device connectivity. The study gathered the opinions of CMIOs, CNOs and senior nursing executives about their roles within the healthcare organization, their influence on IT decisions, and their top IT priorities such as medical device integration. The data, collected during two separate focus groups, revealed interesting trends in terms of responsibilities and the role of medical device integration technology in helping drive EMR adoption and Meaningful Use.  

The study found that the roles and responsibilities of CMIOs will continue to evolve as new technologies are developed.  Their role will also be important as the healthcare industry is driven by federal initiatives such as healthcare reform, Meaningful Use and the adoption of ICD-10 diagnosis and procedure coding.  CMIOs will undoubtedly have an immediate and distinct impact on decisions related to clinical roles and information systems, bridging the gap between clinical knowledgebase and technical know-how. Senior nurse executives will also continue to have involvement in the lifecycle of IT in any future decisions such as medical device integration, but will need to find a balance with the plethora of non-technology driven responsibilities. 

The Evolution of the CMIO and CNO

The roles of both positions continue to evolve and change, with both groups reporting increased responsibility overall. Key findings include:  

  • CMIOs indicated that their most basic job function is to bridge the gap between clinical needs and IT; CNOs and senior nursing executives cited that their roles have evolved to be more inclusive of departments outside of nursing.
  • Senior nursing executives also cite that they are involved in more strategic organizational meetings, which provide them with the opportunity for input at a higher level, however, it also impacts their ability to accomplish day-to-day tasks.
  • CMIOs recognized the important connection with senior nursing executives and physicians and indicated that they have frequent contact with other C-level executives within the hospital.

Goals, Priorities and the Impact of Medical Device Integration

Many respondents noted that medical device integration is a key solution on the road to achieving a fully functional, integrated EMR environment and a major priority in the next several years. Other priorities and goals, as well as opinions on medical device integration, include:  

  • When it comes to medical device integration, both groups of executives cite the important role of the technology in driving EMR adoption and effectiveness. Executives noted that EMR implementations without device integration are "foolish" because increasing workload among nurses can result in decreased adoption of EMR.
  • In the next one to four years, some CMIOs suggested that in addition to implementing EMR solutions, their goals and priorities will shift to include device integration.  The general feeling among CMIOs is that attaining a complete electronic record is not possible unless data generated from devices is included. 
  • All executives cited the explosion of data - highlighting that when it comes to EMRs, it is no longer only about data collection and management, but also about how to synthesize the data into useable information.
  • Medical devices play an important role in meeting nurses' priorities of improving patient care as with proper data validation, improved data accuracy and data collection, devices will allow more time for frontline nurses to interact with patients which can positively impact overall patient care experience.
  • Respondents reported that integrating medical devices is a priority in order to ensure that documentation is more comprehensive and reduce the likelihood of errors.
  • CMIOs in particular recognized the pressing need of medical device integration and the value it will have on improved patient care (and patient care experience which can impact overall patient satisfaction scores), clinical data collection, increased patient safety and improved EMR adoption. 

"The results of the HIMSS Analytics research study echo what Capsule espouses to our clients everyday -with medical device connectivity, hospitals have a solution that improves patient care, enables nurses to spend more time with their patients, reduces medical errors and drives the adoption and success of EMRs," said Susan Niemeier, CNO at Capsule, "It is clear from this study that the CMIOs and senior nurse executives share a similar outlook on what they consider a top priority when it comes to IT - and medical device integration is a huge priority. We will continue to work closely with both of these key constituents to deliver the cutting-edge technology they need to do their jobs effectively and ensure optimum patient care.   After all, it's really about the patient."  

For this research study, HIMSS organized an in-person focus group with CMIOs at the 2011 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Fla.  This group included a variety of healthcare organizations, including national integrated delivery systems (IDS), single hospital systems, an academic medical center, an HMO, ambulatory centers and the military health system.  HIMSS also developed a second focus group which included senior nurse executives and took place via conference call.  All of the nurses in this group worked for a hospital with a minimum of 200 beds.  Facility types represented in this group included both hospitals that were part of a regional delivery system and single hospital health systems.  This group was hosted in March of 2011. 

"Nurses are an integral part of successfully achieving improved outcomes, optimal wellness and overall population health management," said Joyce Sensmeier, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS, FAAN. "Because of the breadth and depth of nursing engagement in all aspects of healthcare, nurse leaders are in a key position to influence advances in technology and the multidimensional needs across all care settings."

Download the report (reg. required)

About Capsule

Capsule is the leading global provider of medical device connectivity solutions for hospitals. The company's software and hardware products seamlessly connect virtually any medical device to any information system in any department. Through its innovative technology, Capsule enables hospitals using electronic medical records and other common information systems to reduce costs, increase efficiency and improve patient care. Capsule's enterprise wide products are vendor-neutral, flexible and scalable - allowing hospitals to start small and expand as their needs grow. Founded in 1997, the company has established strong partnerships with leading medical device manufacturers and installed enterprise-wide solutions in over 800 hospitals in 30 countries. For more information, visit www.capsuletech.com or call +33 1 5334 1400 (France) or 978-482-2337 (US).  

About HIMSS Analytics

HIMSS Analytics is a wholly owned not-for-profit subsidiary of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).  The company collects and analyzes healthcare information related to IT processes and environments, products, IS department composition and costs, IS department management metrics, healthcare trends and purchase-related decisions.  HIMSS Analytics delivers high quality products, services and analytical expertise to healthcare delivery organizations, healthcare IT companies, state governments, financial companies, pharmaceutical companies, and consulting firms.  Visit www.himssanalytics.org for more information.