Survey: CMIOs paid less, not happy about it

Chief medical information officers earn, on average, between $200,000 and $300,000, according to CMIO magazine's 2012 Compensation Survey. But fewer CMIOs are making that rate now (43 percent) than they did in 2010.

The discrepancy is making CMIOs a bit disgruntled, as nearly 25 percent of respondents indicated dissatisfaction with their salaries, up from just 19 percent in last year's survey.

One reason may be the changing role of the CMIO. "Some CMIOs are now being held accountable for the fiscal responsibility of attaining the Meaningful Use dollars that organizations are counting on to contribute to their bottom line," Maureen Gaffney, CMIO for Winthrop University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. told CMIO. "This is new ground for CMIOs."

Other interesting findings from the survey included:

  • More women are becoming CMIOs: Female CMIOs now make up 13 percent of the profession, up from only 8 percent in 2010.
  • More CMIOs expect to earn bonuses this year: The numbers aren't huge, but 24 percent expect to receive a bonus this year of 1 to 2 percent, while 27 percent say they'll be getting a 2 to 4 percent bump. Those numbers are up from 20 percent and 25 percent, respectively, in 2010.
  • CMIOs are getting younger: The demographic skewed downward this year, to 40 percent (the largest group) between 41 and 50 years old. Last year, the largest group was 51 to 60.

"This is definitely an attractive role for those who are younger," Brian McDonough, CMIO at Wilmington, Del.-based St. Francis Hospital told the magazine. "For those who are young and familiar with technology, there is an opportunity to take an active role in improving the quality of patient care."

What's more, most CMIOs are maxed out. Only about a quarter of respondents said they expected their CMIO workload to increase in the year ahead.

This surprised Donald Levick of Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pa., who said "with ICD-10, meaningful use, and ACOs [accountable care organizations], a lot of pressure is being placed on the clinical information systems, and therefore, the CMIO."

"However," he added, "it's possible that respondents already have experiences increases in their workload and are now just maintaining that high level."

To learn more:
- here's the CMIO survey

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