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10 Ways to Fill the MD-CIO Gap


It often seems like CIOs are from Venus and MDs are from Mars. But both need each other.

According to a recent poll, these are the top 8 concerns for sick care CIOs:

• Cybersecurity spend

• Optimization of IT systems.

• 21st Century Cures.

• Managing the data deluge

• Mergers and acquisitions.

• Talent gap.

• Apps, mHealth, and BYOD.

• Embracing the care continuum.

Here are my concerns as a doctor:

• IT time sink and workflow and productivity disruption

• User interface and ease of use

• Actionable information, not data

• Clinical value

• Reimbursement

• Cybersecurity

• How to work with data scientists

• Digital Health Education and Training: Stop piling on clinical and economic mandates. I don't know how to manage a population.

There appears to be a CIO-MD gap, so add that to the list of digital health gaposes. Here are 10 ideas to fill the MD-CIO gap:

1. CIOs and doctors need to get out of the office. They need to be more visible and approachable to each other. Doctors need to be receptive. Both need to understand where each other stands based on where they sit.

2. Rethink the role of CMIOs. Are they suits in the front office just trying to get the Epic rollout done or are there more important fish to fry?

3. Create better clinical digital health education and training programs.

4. Do a better job of working together on new product develop and digital health entrepreneurship.

5. Communicate and explain why there are barriers to digital health product testing and deployment in a given clinical setting and find a way to work together to remove them.

6. Create knowledge exchange programs internally where doctors and CIOs can walk in each other's shoes for a while.

7. Reward clinicians for their digital health entrepreneurial accomplishments.

8. Use the relationships to expand each other's networks.

9. Allocate dedicated time to work on the new instead of the now.

10. Listen.

We need to repair the CIO-doctor relationship. CIOs need to treat doctors more like internal customers instead of data entry clerks who manage patient data points to generate revenue or comply with regulatory IT mandates. Doctors need to treat CIOs like the professionals they are and not use them as scapegoats for a dysfunctional HIT ecosystem.

CIOs are from Venus and Doctors are from Mars. They are just not communicating or listening to each other and, as a result, the universe in not in sync. The two planets are in different orbits passing each other at thousands of miles an hour in the darkness and they seem to be revolving around different centers of gravity.

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