Hospital CIOs share insight on experiences, challenges

The roles of chief information officers in healthcare are growing, and as technology advances they will continue to face new struggles, making the insights they can offer one another all the more important.

That was the impetus behind this year's Scottsdale Institute Fall CIO Summit, where eight CIOs from leading healthcare organizations spoke about their experiences and the troubles they face.

Most of the participants said security remains their greatest concern. Threats and breaches have been growing and the industry is increasingly having to think of ways to prepare for and fight cyberattacks.

"We are all vulnerable to cybercriminals both foreign and domestic," Jon Manis, CIO at Sacramento, California-based Sutter Health, said. "Absolute security will never be a guarantee. We all must understand that we live in an escalated threat environment and this threat environment has become the new normal."

John Delano, CIO at Integris Health in Oklahoma City, said the best way to prepare for attacks is through creating security standards.

The health leaders also advised other CIOs to:

  • Embrace new leadership roles and multidisciplinary strategic planning and decision making
  • Hire mid-level leaders to be translators who can bridge the gap between business and tech
  • Know every facet of the business--from technology and operations to finance and clinical
  • Learn from other industries to learn how to be more consumer focused

In addition, passion and balance are some of the keys to being a successful CIO, according to Stephanie Reel, vice president for information services at Baltimore-based John Hopkins Medicine.

To learn more:
- read the summit report (.pdf)