In Their Own Words: 4 HIT Experts Advise CIOs

Stay up to date on our latest blogs and content


By CereCore | Jul 21, 2023

3 minute read EHR/EMR| Blog| Client Perspectives

ICYMI, we’re recapping some of the best advice shared on The CereCore Podcast by industry leading HIT executives and a physician, too.

What could make PACs better? 

Marrying, as we did in the PAC (Physician Advisory Committee), somebody who is in the trenches with someone who's on the sidelines or in the C suite is so important for each of these conversations. Things that make complete sense to the C suite are so detrimental to those of us in the trenches. I can think of 50 examples off the top of my head where there was a disconnect between what was intended versus the actual issue.” — From L. Austin Fredrickson, MD at Salem Regional Medical Center (podcast episode: A Physician’s Perspective: How Healthcare IT Bridges Gaps and Helps Patient Care  

How do you make the most of your core competencies? 

Sometimes as an organization you have to take a step back. If we don't have a core competency here, should we go develop it or should we leverage a partner that's already solved for this and can do it at scale so that we can focus on areas we do want to be our core competency.” — From Varun Gadhok, CIO at Surgery Partners (podcast episode: Scaling an IT Department to Support Growth (and Why Managed Services Makes Sense) 

Once you set aside one of the biggest obstacles, which is a loss of control. Once you can resolve yourself to—well, let's put a partnership together where we still have equal control. A help desk is not a core competency of our IT organization. We realized it was hard to recruit, it was hard to retain, and our service wasn't stellar to begin with as we started to grow. So, that was a key point for us is to first acknowledge—this isn't what we do best. Let's find someone who does.” — From Rick Keller, SVP and CIO of Ardent Health Services (podcast episode: Big Healthcare Transitions that Deliver ROI and Physician Satisfaction) 

How can you balance growth and technology goals? 

In our implementation year saw a 26% growth in our net patient revenue, and the year after go live, we saw a 12 or 13% growth. So, we did not as an organization put our institutional objectives aside to focus on an EMR implementation. Nor were we interested in doing so. We knew that we had to have additional resources in order to complete that. Resources is only one piece of the puzzle though.” — From Thomas Kurtz, Chief Administrative Officer, Memorial Healthcare (podcast episode: A Look Back: Decisions that Led to a Unified EHR with MEDITECH Expanse) 

What words of wisdom can you share? 

I tell my team quite often if you tell me, ‘That's the way we've always done it.’ That's absolutely the wrong answer to give me, because that's not a rationale. Tell me why it applies this time, because it may not.” — From Al Smith, SVP and CIO of Lifepoint Health (podcast episode: Healthcare CIO Advice on Leading Through the Complexities of Change) 

I grew up in a world of operations and having clean running operations, to me, is the foundation to allow you to execute on your strategic vision. So, that has always been a major platform of mine. If I have built the foundation of operational excellence, then I get to do the strategic and innovative activities. So, for the CIO's out there — don't take your eye off the ball of operations.” — From Kevin McDonald, CIO for HCA Healthcare’s South Atlantic division (podcast episode: The Promise of Technology and On-the-Go Patient Care) 

More from CIOs 

2023 CHIME CIO Survey Results which show the following: 

  • Data is valuable, but so are the anecdotal comments from CIOs when asked about industry pressures of the day.  
  • Perhaps it’s surprising that 2023 is the first time cybersecurity has ranked the top priority for healthcare IT leaders, and attention is now splintered when it comes to EHR and operational optimization.   
  • For the majority of CIOs who responded, their list of top challenges has doubled from what was reported in 2022.  
  • Areas of improvement for HIT drive home the need to make progress on today’s biggest challenges.  
  • Newfound capacity from partial or full IT outsourcing makes it possible for IT teams to move forward on strategic projects and have satisfied care providers. 

See Also: Network and Cloud Services (Blogs) 

About the Author:

CereCore® provides IT services that make it easier for you to

Put Us to Work

Let us know how we can support your initiatives and take some of the heavy lifting from healthcare IT.