The Health information technology promises tremendous benefits for both the patient and the health care provider organization. These technologies offer improved quality of patient care and patient safety. But health care provider organizations may resist embracing these technologies due to the large expense and high complexity of these projects. Most of the information technology projects fail due to projects not meeting requirements, late completions, budget overruns, and not having sufficient buy-in from clinical staff. The Chief medical information officer (CMIO) plays a critical role in health information technology initiatives and implementations and helping to enhance the relationship between IT and the clinical business.
The major challenge in the clinical information systems success is the physician resistance due to its complexity. CMIO encourages physicians to adopt changes by ensuring adequate and right training for clinicians on clinical information systems like electronic medical records, and computerized provider order entry. Hence supports effective delivery of medical care through technology adoption as well as manages the expectations of end-users.
Every organization differs in terms of organization’s structure and the stage of IT implementation. CMIO understands the requirements of the organization and is involved in the planning, selection, and implementation of clinical information systems. CMIO bridges the gap between the clinical medicine and information science domains in a health care delivery organization by coordinating the services between medical staff, IT and senior leadership.
The role of CMIO has evolved and requires project management and business skills and is responsible for ensuring effective information management and assisting in achieving mutually accepted targets for clinical IT systems. CMIO reviews the clinical information system to provide order sets and protocols for such systems.
CMIO serves as a liaison with various domains in a health care delivery organization. Some of the key traits for CMIO are listed below
· Strong background and experience in clinical practice with knowledge in informatics and business skills.
· Strong communication and leadership skills to form strong relationships with executive leadership, IT and medical staff.
· It is essential for a CMIO to continue clinical practice as that may help in gaining trust among the medical staff.
· Project management skills for effective implementation of the health information technology.
CMIOs need adequate support and resources to fulfill their responsibilities. Inadequate cooperation from the medical staff or physicians’ resistance to IT is the major challenge for a CMIO. For the implementation of health information technology requires support from senior leadership. Unwillingness of the senior leadership to lend support or their lack of approachability will pose further challenge to CMIO.
CMIO has multiple roles, as a practicing physician, in project management, and in business development. This might overburden the officer and he may have not enough time to fulfill CMIO responsibilities. Therefore there is a need to clearly define the position and responsibilities of the CMIO. Inadequate resources directed toward clinical IT initiatives support staff to fulfill CMIO duties are another barrier to implement change. CMIO plays a crucial role in implementation of health information technology, but if there is no real authority to enact change these implementation becomes difficult.