When it comes to partnering with vendors, there’s one thing a CIO needs to keep in mind: if it isn’t working, you must be willing to walk away. Skip Rollins has done just that, but he’s also been involved with co-development projects that have been very successful for both parties. The key, he says, is putting trust in each other. In this interview, the CIO of Freeman Health System talks about the pros and cons of partnerships, along with the major decision his team faces in selecting a core EHR vendor, one that he believes can’t be made in a vacuum, and can’t be rushed.

Rollins also opens up about his past experience in consulting and why he decided to return to the CIO world, how his organization is dealing with recruiting challenges, and why he believes continuous learning is a critical component of the health IT leader’s role.

Chapter 2

  • Patient flow initiative: “It’s been very successful.”
  • 500-600 referrals per month
  • Leveraging a community Access portal to “take the burden off our scheduling office.”
  • The “pivot point” with moving the cloud
  • Vendor partnerships: “It just made sense.”
  • Pros and cons of co-development
  • “There has to be a lot of trust on both sides.”

Click here to listen to the 10 minute podcast by Kate Gamble from Health System CIO.

Chapter 1

Bold Statements

We’re not getting negative feedback from our users about taking too long to do things now. So, from an IT perspective, it’s been very successful. But from a patient-care perspective, it’s been great, because we’re getting the right people in contact with the patients more efficiently.

Pulling that workload off the people that work in that particular office and having a large part of the information they were gathering in a manual way done in an automated way has been a win for us, because it just makes us more efficient.

There’s always hesitation when you give up control, and so selling the concept of the soundness of the solution, the security of the solution, the reliability of it was something that we spent some time doing with our leadership team.

There has to be a lot of trust on both sides to do it, because it’s a leap of faith for both of us — for them, it’s trusting that we will provide the resources and we have the skill sets necessary to do that. And for us, we’re making a commitment to a product that’s not really there yet.