Sue Schade: How to make smooth CIO transitions


Having just finished up her post as CIO at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Sue Schade reflects on the keys to a successful leadership transition in an article at Healthcare IT News.

The bottom line, she says, is to onboard and support the incoming chief information officer to help him or her be successful.

“A challenge for the outgoing person is to provide all the needed information without biasing the new person. You need to let them know the ‘gotchas’ and the potential problem areas. You need to let them know who’s who and the most important relationships to nurture internally and externally,” she says.

RELATED: 7 secrets to successful executive succession planning

At University Hospitals, she and the new CIO had a 30-day overlap, which she says initially seemed to be too long. She had taken over a previous job with a one-hour phone call on the incumbent CIO’s second-to-last day.

In contrast, Mary Logan, retiring president of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (where Schade serves as a board member), spent her final year preparing a “bus book” of the information and background a new president would need to know.

RELATED: UMHS CIO Sue Schade: Culture change at health organizations takes time

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) in 2014 named Schade, then chief information officer at University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers, CIO of the Year.

After spending more than 30 years leading IT departments, she announced in January plans to focus instead on consulting, coaching and interim management work.