According to SSi-Search’s findings from its annual chief information officer (CIO) survey, hospital IT has made recent efforts to direct greater focus toward the mission of an enhanced overall health system, playing a larger role in healthcare than ever before. The results of the survey, which were published in Healthcare IT News, reveal how the position has changed over the years. More and more, CIOs in the healthcare sector are now engaging with key executives regarding the role technology plays in patient safety and the overall success of the health system.
What the Numbers Reveal
Many CIOs view themselves as the facilitators of better collaboration between departments, a role that is helping to support improved connections across the healthcare facility as a whole.
Most CIOs surveyed said they were, for the most part, happy with their career path. Yet, despite this general satisfaction CIOs report in their jobs, there are still areas where some would like to be more involved. Of the survey’s 169 participants, 39 percent reported they would like more influence in population health, while 29 percent said they want a bigger part in analytics initiatives and 15 percent would prefer to be more hands on in consumer projects.
If you’re interested in advancing from the role of a healthcare IT manager to that of a CIO, it’s important to consider a number of factors. Keeping up with the changes that are constantly occurring in the healthcare field is essential to furthering your career, no matter your desired position.
Improving your education through various degrees and other knowledge-building avenues is an essential step. In fact, almost all individuals currently working as CIOs possess a college degree, and two-thirds have completed graduate studies. With these advanced degrees come greater compensation, experience and satisfaction with the position. Hands-on IT experience plays a crucial role in career advancement as well, with the average CIO possessing at least a decade of experience, so it’s beneficial to have both knowledge and know-how in your tool box in order to advance.
CIOs fulfill an array of functions, making it a dynamic position within the healthcare sector. As a healthcare CIO you need to be able to handle large workloads, have significant communication skills in order to reach out to different people in various positions across departments, and possess adequate technical experience to aptly handle the data you will work with each day.
What Skills Make a Good CIO?
Those who are able to create information systems will likely be in high demand as the healthcare field expands and there becomes a greater need for CIOs. And while a technological background and adequate education is important, other factors can affect landing a position as a CIO as well.
Understanding and guiding the business operations of the facility are essential abilities in addition to the more technical aspects of the position, such as staying ahead of the latest innovations and using them to make key improvements. Other qualifications that an ideal CIO candidate might possess include:
- The ability to comfortably handle technology issues as well those facing clinicians.
- A business mindset with the financial savvy to contribute to profits.
- The capacity to be a strong leader as well as a team player.
- A wide range of communication skills—CIOs must be able to express themselves effectively while also listening well in order to better resolve issues.
- Skills as an educator and recruiter—A successful CIO will be able to educate his or her staff, as well as recruit and train any potential candidates.
In order to put your best foot forward when advancing to a career as a CIO, it’s crucial to be strong in the traditional IT skill set required for the position as well as possessing a wide range of strengths.