From our vantage point in healthcare operations, it seems the office of the hospital CIO is getting an extreme makeover. But this one has nothing to do with drywall or new carpeting.

It involves rapid change from a cost center to a revenue-generator.

As healthcare reform takes hold, we see healthcare IT evolving from its traditional functional role to one involving strategic business operations, healthcare outcomes and operational efficiency.


From the CIOs we speak with, we learn that it’s certainly placing more pressure on IT executives, but it is also presenting them with a terrific opportunity. With all the technology available, CIOs are confidently positioned squarely in the middle of hospital mission—better outcomes.

In fact, earlier this year, InformationWeek Healthcare published 25 CIOs Transforming Healthcare, its second list of IT executives whom they consider thinkers and doers who are moving patient care forward. The common thread: passion, and dedication to improving patient care. The list of life-saving changes that passionate health IT leaders are making goes on and on.

To continue these advances in care, the next goal will be adopting technologies which boost the hospital margin so it can continue that mission. While many stakeholders in healthcare organizations still see IT as primarily a support rather than a strategic function, technological advances are changing that perception.

Life saving care will always be the #1 mission of healthcare, but for the administration and the board of directors, technologies which deliver greater operational efficiencies, and therefore greater savings, are intrinsically linked to that mission. And, IT can also lead the effort to cut costs and increase efficiency as healthcare reform progresses.

All in all, the direct impact to both mission and margin are profound. It seems like a great time to be a healthcare CIO – don’t you think?


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