April 23, 2012
For over a decade, I’ve been talking about the need to “reinvent” your financial functions and the role of your CFO (see The New Role Of The CFO In Behavioral Health And Social Services: Evolving Financial Management Role Driven By Changes In External Environment and Reinventing The CFO: The Enhanced Role Financial Officers Play In A Shifting Market ). As the role of financing in the field has changed from cost-based and retrospective, to market-based and prospective, this had to happen for organizations to succeed.
Now we are at a parallel place with technology –we need to think about reinventing the role of chief information officer (CIO). Why? Because technology has moved from an administrative support function to an integral part of enterprise management (see Using Technology To Transform Your Business Model & Preserve Your Mission: Finding The Opportunities In A Changing Health & Human Service System ).
Technology – already integral for managing reimbursement and financing – is now also integral to delivering treatment and to generating the metrics you need to assure your business model is on track. We took a look at this expanding role earlier this month (see ‘Must Consider’ Technology all members), with this list of ten “must consider” technologies:
Electronic health recordkeeping systems (see Successful EHR Implementation: Managing Complex Software Implementation, Planning & Execution )
Computer-assisted treatment planning and clinical expert systems (see The Lesson From 2011: Innovate Or Dwindle all members)
Telehealth and web-based treatment management (see Eased Telehealth Regulations Mean Expanded Services all members)
Remote monitoring and smart homes (see Smart Homes = New Consumer Choice all members)
Web-based consumer self-management (see Emerging Models For Using Web-Based Tools For AfterCare & Consumer Support Services all members)
New diagnostics – scans, biologic testing, web-based assessments, etc. (see New Diagnostics in the Pipeline all members)
Computer-based cognitive retraining (see Expanded Use For Cognitive Rehab all members)
Novel pharmacological delivery systems (patches, injectables, microchips, etc.) (see Remaking Sleeper all members)
Predictive clinical analytics (see Using Data Analytics to Generate ‘Predictive’ Clinical Information all members)
Integrated performance metrics – clinical, HR, financial – for your organization and your delivery system (see Is Your Organization High Performing? all members)
The CIO needs to function as the “tech advisor” to the executive team – both providing the executive team with expertise on the broad array of technologies available, and assuring that the technology platforms used across the organization function efficiently and effectively. In this role, it is important that your CIO have a broad working knowledge of technologies and an in-depth knowledge of your service lines and how they operate. It is less important that they understand the details of hardware and software. Much like the changes in the CFO function (where administrative functions like payroll and accounting are now outsourced), CIOs’ roles should be largely strategic (with administrative functions like hardware maintenance and custom software changes outsourced).
The question for the decade ahead – does your organization have the CIO bench strength you need? But, before you answer that question, let me pose one more. Does your CEO have the understanding of shifts in technology that your organization needs? While the CIO may be advisor on tech issues, the CEO is the “decider” on tech issues. As technology decisions become more strategic, “the buck stops” with the CEO.
Monica E. Oss
Chief Executive Officer, OPEN MINDS
For another free resource, see: The Perfect Tech Storm all members
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