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Not all Healthcare CIOs are the same, nor should they be. They each have different jobs with different requirements. Let's explore.


 Today in health, it, we're going to talk about the fact that all CEOs do not have the same job. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creative this week health set of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current. And engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

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Alright. As you know, I put poles out there every week. This week's poll was on leadership. And it was interesting. , because, , there was an article that, , had a list of qualities that the healthcare CIO's needed to have. And I also did that article where we talked about the adjectives around the healthcare. CIO said some of the qualities that have said the healthcare CIO need to have were, , industry knowledge, technic tech, technology, expertise, leadership, strategic thing. And by the way, that leadership categories kind of a catchall strategic thinking, communication skills, problem, solving skills, business acumen.

Change management skills, customer centric, focus, ethical standards. And because of the way that LinkedIn is, is designed and the poll is designed, I would love to do a stack ranking poll. Of the different qualities that people would like to see. In a healthcare CIO, but for this case, you can only pick one, right? So I put which quality is most important.

In a healthcare CIO, 60% said leadership. And again, I think because it's a catchall. Leadership denotes a visionary leadership to notes, communication skills. It denotes a lot of different things. The next highest one was changed management skills, which I thought was interesting about 20%. And I think that's just the nature of the industry that we're in right now. There's an awful lot of change going on. And the ability to navigate that change either through new technology being added.

And the change that has the organizational change management that's required and the skills associated with that being so important, or just the change in the industry in general, and the ability to navigate that. , the next one was healthcare industry knowledge. And then the final one was technology expertise.

And as I was reading that, and I was reading some of the comments and there's some great comments in here, by the way. , , David. Corinne Karens. Has this say visionary leadership, a CIO needs to have a clear vision of how technology can be used to improve healthcare organization. They need to be able to articulate the vision to the rest of the executive team and to organize as a whole.

The healthcare CIO is responsible for building and maintaining a tool shop. Filled with resources for today's operations, with the flexibility to meet the ever-changing needs of tomorrow. And then he has to strategic thinking. CIO needs to be able to think strategically about how technology can be used to achieve the organization's goals.

They need to be able to identify the right technologies, to develop a plan for implementing them. And to measure the results of their efforts. , business acumen, a CIO needs to understand the business side of healthcare technology expertise. A CIO needs to have deep understanding of technology. And communication skills. So he does come back over some of the other things that we've said.

Then there's a. Let's see Shawna Coke. Michelle, M I S H a E L. Global head of healthcare for, I think. , data company that serves pharmaceutical and healthcare. Said in addition to the traits mentioned above it takes heart and passion to keep raising the bar despite grand historic efforts not being met with success.

It requires an unwavering dedication to a cause even when faced with unsolvable problems, perpetual motion, a concept within physic. Ruth in physics refers to a hypothetical device or system that operates indefinitely without an external energy source. However, based on the laws of thermodynamics, particularly the principle of conservation of energy perpetual motion machines are considered impossible to achieve. Despite this insurmountable obstacle, upskilling and reinvention of approaches in pursuit requires a deep understanding, a willingness to challenge, existing paradigms and a relentless drive.

And then she puts some other characteristics like scientists and other things. , the ability to experiment. Today Friday, I'm at one of our 2 29 events. And I'm hosting a series of CEOs and these CEOs are from very different health systems. We have some very small health systems representative. We have some larger health system represented.

And, , over the next two weeks, I have two of these 2 29 CIO round tables. And next week I will have some very large health systems represented. In in the room. And when I asked these questions, these poles I'm reminded and I come back to this often, but I'm going to really drive it home today around the CIO role.

The CIO role is very different depending on the organization and the community that you serve. If you are in a small single two hospital system and those kinds of things. It is much more important that you have technology expertise. This whole concept of you just need to be a leader and anybody can run it. You could take, you know, a great leader and put them over the technical side and they don't need any technology knowledge is, is.

True in some aspects. But the smaller the organization, the fewer resources you have to rely on. , the, the more you need to bring to bear your technical expertise. If I were in a small house, some or a board member for a small system or a CEO for a small system, and I were looking for a CIO, I would look with somebody who had technical chops. They would have to understand, , routing advanced routing techniques and, and data and data techniques.

, and they would have to understand technology at a pretty deep level because I am going to look to them to be the technology expert for the organization. That's not to say for a 16 hospital system. I don't want that same thing. But I can get it from a lot of different sources. I can take a physician with.

Very little technical expertise and put them in charge of a 600 person organization, because I'm going to be able to hire a security officer. Who is a security expert and a infrastructure person who is a network system, storage expert. And I'm going to be able to hire an applications person who really understands.

Cloud computing and the various paradigms. Around that kind of architecture. And because of that, the person has the ability to lean on those resources and pull them up. The other thing is in a 700 person, it organization. You're also going to have a fairly sizable consulting budget. So you're going to be able to bring in experts and the larger organizations going to be able to bring in experts around the technology. So again, that leadership aspect, the communication aspect, the ability to rally people while.

While consistent across all leadership positions. Is, , It is maybe, , Not as important in the smaller organization as in the larger organization. The technology expertise is much more important in the smaller organization. Than it is in the larger organization. I say this to say, I think when we sit in conferences,

And we hear other people speak, we think, oh, I need to be more like that. And the reality is you need to be what your health system requires. You need to be what your community requires of you. To move healthcare forward in those spaces. And again, if you're with a smaller organization, It is important to be a leader.

It's important to have good communication skills. It's important to build a narrative. All those things are important, but you're not talking in terms of, you know, changing healthcare you're talking and change of, , in terms of how to change the way healthcare is delivered and received within your community.

And so your scope is a little smaller. Which gives you the ability to move a little quicker? I think. But it also. Requires you to be more adept at the, at the tools of the trade at the hammers, the nails. And the screwdrivers associated with it. You have to understand how all that stuff comes together because you're not going to have the huge consulting budget and the ability to rely on it.

On a. , enough technical expertise within your organization. You, you are going to be. The one that people are looking to now, how do you stay current on the technology while improving your leadership skills? In those small organizations. And that's the million dollar question. I think the, the ability to improve your leadership skills. There's a lot of leadership material out there.

And I consume some of it every day. And, you know, when I was a CIO for St. Joe's. And again, I was working, I was getting there five o'clock in the morning. I was leaving very late. , had a lot of things going on, but every day I would consume multiple articles. I had different feeds that I went to on a consistent basis.

To , to consume some kind of article and in the role I'm in today, I consume a lot of articles and a lot of content. And there's a lot of things you can pick up and you don't have to it, the whole article doesn't have to be something that you pick up. Sometimes it's just a single thing that you pick up in the article, then you go, that's interesting. Let me, let me put that into a file. Let me put that into my leadership growth file or whatever I'm going to, I'm going to use that quote at some other time.

I'm going to use that concept at another time. The other thing I've found is with that content, bring your people along. A lot of times, the mistake we made is make is we think that leaders are grown individually. They're grown in isolation and I don't think they are grown individually and in isolation.

I think you could grow as your team. And you bring everybody together and you will, you review content together. This is why I think it's so valuable. The, the, this is why I'm doing what I do. And this is why I think it's so valuable. I think it's, I think it would be a great exercise to have your leadership team listen to this podcast every day and just have a five minute conversation about it.

And you can say, I think bill was smoking something today, or you could say that's a really interesting concept. And what does that mean for us and how are we approaching that? And it can create some conversations. In addition, I think you can look at your larger community outside of your health system and identify.

3 4, 5 additional peers that you're having an ongoing relationship with. I had that within healthcare. It was a fantastic in Southern California. I had the opportunity to have, , some, , really good relationships. Ken Lavonne down at sharp healthcare. , Darren Dworkin up at, , at Cedar Sinai.

, and, , , there were several others. If I expand it beyond that, that I had conversations with while I was CIO

and I had ongoing discussions with that were really helpful.

And it was interesting. Cause the first time I met Darren Dworkin was on a panel. Discussion and we disagreed on everything. And that was such a great opportunity because I didn't have a lot of people disagreeing with me and he didn't have a lot of people disagreeing with him. , and so we were able to, to sit down from time to time, have a cup of coffee and just talk about things.

And we would just go back and forth. And we had a different way of looking at things because I had come from outside of healthcare and he had spent a significant time within healthcare. He was educating me and helping me to understand why some of the things I was saying were a little out there. And I was able to say to him, I think you're not looking large enough because of being too far inside of healthcare.

And I think we pushed and pulled each other a little bit in, in either direction and it was helpful. So look for that group of people, three to five people is enough that you're talking to at least one or two of them a month. And just talking about things, talk about the industry. Talk about change, talk about some of the challenges that you have.

And just see where it takes you. So I just want to make the point. We have very different jobs. Be the CIO that your system and your community requires, and don't get caught up in the fact that you are not, you know, fill in the blank, whoever you're you have put up on the pedestal is. The great CIO leader.

, Be who you need to be for that organization. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week. Or wherever they listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, short test 📍 our site, parlance and service. Now check them out at this week off.

Dot com slash today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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