By Hillary RossWith the successful implementation of electronic health records at most hospitals and health systems, many Chief Medical Information Officers are evolving into even more pivotal and strategic leaders. The EHR and other clinical systems are never fully implemented. There will always be upgrades and enhancements and thus a need for the expertise that a CMIO provides. As responsibilities of the CMIO shift, new titles are emerging, such as Chief Health Information Officer (CHIO), and these leaders will have broader strategic and operational system-wide responsibilities.
I had the opportunity to speak about these titles recently with writer Akanksha Jayanthi of Becker’s Hospital Review, for her article titled, “CMIO 2.0: Meet the Chief Health Information Officer.” The article sheds light on the state of trends for the CMIO position that began a few years ago. Now that most hospitals and health systems have functioning EHRs and other clinical information systems, informatics leaders can take a more strategic view of these tools and prioritize optimization. Each organization may use the data differently, which results in slightly differing job responsibilities for the CMIO, and the shift in responsibilities can be seen across the healthcare industry.
For example, the CMIO and CHIO will provide leadership in the areas of population health, clinical research and new areas of transformation. The strategic use of data by a visionary leader can enhance healthcare on every level. Informatics can also be used to spur technological advances, improving patient quality care, clinical research and the overall management of hospital efficiency.
The field of medical informatics is continuing to evolve and mature, and the CMIO and CHIO will lead innovation and integrate new capabilities to transform healthcare.