A few weeks ago I wrote about Yousuf Ahmad making the jump from CIO to CEO at Cincinnati-based Mercy Health and noted that it is still quite rare for CIOs to ascend to that position. Ahmad told me that other CIOs interested in this career path should think about how to prepare themselves by really understanding the industry as a whole and not just from a technology standpoint.
Well, yesterday I came across two more examples of CIOs moving up the corporate ladder, so perhaps it’s not as rare an occurrence as I supposed. In this case, it is CIOs taking on the role of president and/or chief operating officer. First, I noticed that Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota recently named Dave Overman president and chief operating officer. Overman adds president to his title after serving in the role of chief operating officer since 2008. Overman joined the organization as CIO in 2005 and led the installation and implementation of two-hospital Children's EHR system. A press release from Children’s noted that Overman oversaw the development of a medication management system that is reducing medication errors by wirelessly transmitting data between patients' infusion pumps, wristbands and electronic medical records. Children's is the first pediatric hospital in the country to implement this new technology.
Meanwhile, Miami Valley Hospital in Ohio promoted Mikki Clancy from CIO to chief operating officer. Clancy was made CIO in 2002 and guided the integrated of clinical information systems and implementation of the electronic medical record systems at Miami Valley Hospital and Miami Valley Hospital South, Good Samaritan Hospital, Upper Valley Medical Center and Atrium Medical Center as well as outpatient sites across the Premier Health System and over 300 physician offices.
Perhaps what these promotions illustrate is that healthcare organizations are starting to appreciate the project management and people skills demonstrated in large IT implementations and their importance to core business operations. If you can manage that successfully and understand the business’ needs, why not move from tech into top leadership positions?