By Terry Wilk, Senior Vice President | Coker Group
Recruiting a healthcare Chief Information Officer (CIO) with the right blend of leadership, business, clinical, financial, and technical experience, and whose personal chemistry blends well with an organization’s culture, can be extremely difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. This difficulty is especially true for regional, community, and rural hospitals, medical groups, physician practices, Federally-Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), and other healthcare organizations that may not have the time and resources to recruit a seasoned CIO. Information technology (IT) has moved to the forefront in many healthcare organizations. Therefore, having the appropriate talent available when needed is critical as the demand for effective, functional, and interoperable electronic health records (EHRs), revenue cycle, advanced analytics, population health, and value-based care systems quickly intensifies.
Healthcare organizations are turning to a “CIO-on-Demand” (CIOoD) approach to meet their immediate short- and long-term need for a CIO, or to supplement their current IT leader’s experience and capability with specialized CIO strategic or operational knowledge and skills. This innovative tactic is designed to help these organizations address their immediate and pending business and technology challenges, issues, and questions to ensure that IT remains or becomes an enabler for, and not an obstacle to, moving the organization forward. The CIOoD approach enables organizations to secure a professional healthcare CIO for a fraction of the cost by using them only as needed. For example, an organization can purchase CIOoD services for a specialized need, in economical blocks of time (i.e., a set number of hours, days, weeks, or months), on a retainer basis, or under another arrangement, to meet a need and generate a particular deliverable or set of deliverables,
CIOoD services commonly include placing a seasoned CIO on a full- or part-time basis to:
- Interim CIO. Drive change or hold the status quo while the organization searches for a new CIO.
- IT Strategic Planning. Introduce a fresh, unbiased perspective on industry and IT trends to plot the organization’s IT future and help align organizational strategies, plans, and goals with current and future IT plans and investments over a designated timeframe.
- New Technology Evaluation. Research and recommend new information and communications technologies that help the organization innovate operations, improve quality, reduce cost, and/or expand and provide new services.
- Contract Review and Negotiations Strategy. Review an existing or new IT contract, offer suggestions to improve services or reduce costs, and prepare and help execute a win-win strategy to negotiate the most favorable terms, conditions, and pricing for the organization.
- IT Health and Wellness Check-Up. Examine all aspects of an organization’s physical IT infrastructure and operations including data networking, cabling, in-house file servers, software, backup and recovery, data security and confidentiality, virtualization, and cloud strategies.
- Legacy System Support and Retirement Strategy. Develop and implement an approach to decommission older IT systems and data that have been superseded by new systems or inherited as a result of mergers or acquisitions.
- System Conversion Planning and Execution. Develop and implement a strategy to convert complex core application systems to a set of new application systems including mapping, testing, and migrating data from the old to the new IT systems.
- IT Department Assessment. Evaluate an organization’s IT department including its structure, roles and responsibilities, people, processes, governance, current IT portfolio, knowledge and skills needed, and determine the value realized from the current IT spend.
- IT Leadership Development, Team-Building, and Mentoring. Generate and execute tailored plans for developing and mentoring up-and-coming IT leaders and staff, building more effective teams, and improving IT customer service.
- Executive, Physician, and Board Education. Inform executives, physicians, and board members on various healthcare IT topics including pivotal industry trends, EHR, and other IT vendor marketplace developments, and present opinions on both the organization’s current use of its IT systems and opportunities for improvement.
Coker’s CIOoD Strategic Services
Our experienced healthcare CIOs are highly skilled professionals with backgrounds that span decades of strategic, technological, and operational experience and excellence. These individuals hit the ground running and quickly begin adding value to your organization in one or more of the areas noted above. We also tailor specific services to meet an organization’s precise needs. Coker’s CIOoD Services include a free 30-minute introductory phone consultation to discuss an organization’s situation, needs, goals, objectives, desired timeline, and most importantly, what the organization intends to accomplish by retaining our CIOoD Strategic Services.
For more information on how Coker Group can help your organization through our CIOoD Strategic Services, please contact us here or call 678-832-2021 to speak to Terry J. Wilk, MBA, FCHIME, and Senior Vice President.