Another was Tim Stettheimer, CIO at St. Vincent's Health System in Birmingham, Alabama, and also a senior vice president and regional CIO of Ascension Health Information Services.
Stettheimer revealed that the CHIME board last month decided that CIOs who may choose to serve in a COO capacity, or some other executive function, will now be able to retain their CHCIO status. "We were seeing a greater movement between executive roles," Stettheimer says.
As I think about the disruptive nature of IT in healthcare, this makes sense. An innovation like the remote-control Polycom camera can alter the nature of healthcare work. Suddenly, on-site providers can pull in primary care physicians or specialists from anywhere. And they are more than mere voices on the other end of the line. They are hands-on participants in the care team, even though they may be geographically dispersed.
It isn't enough to have a top-notch CIO on the team. Your COO, CMO, and CMIO need to be aware of the capabilities of the new technology to assemble care teams on-the-fly from an ever-wider pool of talent. Some doctors heading for the exits may find that these new technologies provide them with the freedom to continue to practice without being physically present, on their own schedules.
It might not fit the high-touch Marcus Welby, MD, mold of doctoring, but more and more physicians are now part of a healthcare team, and may not necessarily be willing or able rush to the office as in olden days.