Jan 29 2017

Data, IT and Patient Experience Fuel C-Suite Evolution

Analytics and service are among the valued traits for next-generation leaders.

Growing priorities for data security, population health management and patient satisfaction are beginning to shape the next generation of healthcare leadership, as providers begin to see the value in adding some new talent and expertise to set them apart from the competition. To that end, expect to see more of these new roles at the IT decision-making table.

Data Drivers and Defenders

As data goes “big” in every industry, including healthcare, its storage, accessibility and security have become vital. In fact, 57 percent of healthcare organizations implemented or plan to implement clinical data analytics in the near future, according to a CDW Healthcare report. Thus, chief data officers — focused on managing data and leveraging analytics tools — have become a popular addition to the healthcare leadership team. The ideal CDO possesses both industry expertise and a decade or more of experience in data.

Chief health information officer roles serve similar functions, tackling the interoperability problem and lending strategic direction to better harness data that impacts patients. Because data is so dispersed across healthcare organizations, these roles centralize control to allow for better data management and ultimately the ability to leverage health information for population health and improved outcomes.

IT Power Players

While the chief medical information officer/chief nurse information officer role has existed in larger health systems for a while now, it’s starting to become more common across the board and evolve into a more strategic position in the overall leadership structure.

CMIOs/CNIOs serve to bridge the gap between medicine and IT. Their strong IT backgrounds give them a solid technology foundation, but because they’re usually also physicians or nurses, they can easily interface with healthcare providers to help gain buy-in, implement new solutions and effectively drive improvements in outcomes.

Patient-Experience Champions

Patient experience is closely linked to the quality and safety standards of a hospital, so it’s no surprise patient care and experience roles are taking center stage. Often reporting to the chief operating officer or CEO, these roles have responsibility for the service side of hospitals. Their end goal is to make patients feel good about their choice of provider by ensuring that a high standard of care and positive interactions are delivered at all levels of the organization.

Chief nursing officers often have an MBA, Ph.D. or DNP and bring business and financial expertise to the patient-care experience. Chief experience officers (CXOs) come from a wide range of backgrounds — many providers prefer the credibility of having a doctor or nurse in the role; other systems look outside the walls of healthcare to employ individuals from service industries like hospitality and marketing. Similar to CXOs, chief transformation officers aim to think outside the box and take organizations to a new level of value-based care. Individuals who fill this role need both a strong understanding of healthcare and an innovative, future-state mindset.

Initiatives developed by these roles vary and can include training on patient interactions, recommendations for technology solutions and improvements to access. With both reimbursements and new business on the line, providers that establish an executive-level position dedicated to the delivery of care initiatives send a message to employees and consumers that they take this responsibility seriously.

Dive Deeper

Check out CDW's Health Tech Summer Report 2015 to learn more about:

  • Converged infrastructure and the cloud for IT management
  • Changes to the healthcare C-suite
  • Investing in analytics

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