What’s next for the CMIO? Ten leaders weigh in.

As electronic health records became mainstream tools, the job of the CMIO changed drastically – and quickly. So, what lies ahead for this role?
ehr workflows

In the beginning, a health system’s Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) had the daunting task of guiding the transition of medical records from paper to computers. But today’s CMIO now juggles a host of new responsibilities that may include strategically improving and optimizing their institution’s technology, managing provider satisfaction, liaising between departments, and harnessing electronic data for large-scale initiatives – just to name a few.

Given how much has changed in a few short decades, we decided to seek out the opinions of leaders who currently hold the title and get their thoughts on the future of the position. To that end, we asked 10 CMIOs from across the country to reflect on a single question: How will the role of the CMIO change in the years ahead, and what challenges or opportunities will this present? Here’s what a few of them had to say:

CMIOs will become more specialized over time as they develop skills and demonstrate their value in particular domains. EHR switching, optimization, and change management requires a different skill set than AI training and governance or big data analytics and predictive modeling.

Steven Lane, MD, MPH, FAAFP

In a post-meaningful use era, CMIOs are focused less on implementation of electronic workflows and more on optimization efforts — including updating legacy software platforms; promoting interoperability; and integrating advanced technologies to improve the patient and physician experience.

 – Andrew Burchett, DO

Organizations have more resources now that can handle the technical aspects that CMIOs often handled in the past. But as we move to address complex issues involving social determinants of health such as education access, economic resources, and social supports I see CMIOs as key drivers for those initiatives. 

Amanda Heidemann, MD

Whether they’re navigating the role of artificial intelligence in EHR workflows; understanding the capabilities of personalized medicine; or spearheading patient engagement initiatives, it’s clear that the CMIO – both present and future – has a lot on his or her plate. Download our latest insight brief, What’s next for the CMIO?  for more on what tomorrow may bring for the profession.  

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