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Health system leaders split on this new C-suite role

April 4, 2024
Becker's Hospital Review
As the healthcare sector increasingly integrates artificial intelligence (AI) into its operations, the debate over the necessity of a Chief AI Officer (CDAO) in hospital and health system C-suites intensifies. Health systems like Richmond, Virginia-based VCU Health argue for the creation of a dedicated CDAO role to oversee data management and ensure the ethical and safe adoption of AI technologies, emphasizing that AI strategy requires focused leadership and expertise. Advocates from institutions such as the Mayo Clinic Arizona stress that a CDAO should be a visionary, navigating the shift towards AI with agility and a patient-centered philosophy. However, some leaders, including prophets from Renton, Washington-based Providence, argue that AI responsibilities should fall within the purview of a well-qualified Chief Information Officer (CIO), treating AI integration as an essential competency rather than necessitating a separate role. This division highlights the varied approaches to governance and strategy implementation as AI becomes increasingly central to healthcare delivery.
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