Marx, he adds, has a similar viewpoint. "He complements me from the standpoint of being very innovative, very focused on continually raising the bar. Those are the attributes that have contributed to our successful working relationship."
3. Must have a passion for IT
A CMIO should also have more than a passing interest in technology. Velasco says he has long been passionate about IT and using it to improve healthcare.
"Even back in the days when I was a medical student, I was doing research and finding ways to use data and information systems, as rudimentary as they were back then, to automate the research process or the clinical processes. And that's something that continued into my residency and in my fellowship," he says. "It was a natural transition to go from that into a formal role as the physician leader for informatics."
4. Must be part of a diverse team
If one clinician in the IT department is good, more than one is even better. At THR, 30% of IT staff members are certified clinicians—and the system recently added its first chief nursing information officer. A CNIO can help build a relationship between technology leaders and nursing leaders and, in turn, reach nurses, who are usually a healthcare organization's largest group of employees.
5. Must show results
At THR, physician engagement is particularly important—because most physicians are not employed, EHR adoption is voluntary. And although it didn't happen overnight, physician adoption is now "essentially universal," Velasco says. At the 12 hospitals with live EMRs, physicians document more than 90% of their progress notes, CPOE adoption exceeds 80%, and 65% of its order sets are standardized.