by Gregg A. Masters, MPH

We’re all pretty familiar with the ‘big 3’ inner circle of C-suite culture, typically the CEO, COO (or CMarketingO) and CFO. Yet as organizations continue to grow in complexity and scale  – especially healthcare enterprises both institutional and professional – we’re seeing more and more ‘unicorns‘ – if you will, in or knocking at the door of the C-suite sometimes petitioning for peer standing (both authority and support) in vital decisions of enterprise viability and growth.

Most recently in addition to the ‘CMO’ (not chief marketing officer, but chief medical officer), we’re seeing the relatively new executive titles including ‘CMIO‘ (chief medical informatics officer), and even the more broadly cast ‘CHIO(chief health informatics officer). This trend comes as no surprise as ‘CXO’ (chief experience officers) and even ‘CINNOVO’ (chief innovation officers) ascend the strategic decision tree particularly as ‘retail medicine’ takes hold of an historically provider centric (vs. patient centered) enterprise and enabling culture.

According to IBM : ‘Exploring the inner circle
Insights from the Global C-suite Study’
 CEOs turn to CFOs 72% of the time as principal advisor on strategy or mission critical operational issues. The Chief Marketing Officer is next in line at 63% with a rapid cascading decline thereafter (I assume, no data-points here, but how many of you make it to page 2 of a Google search?).

C-suite individual responsible to report to Executive team (CMIO)My theory is while CIOs have for the most part ‘earned’ their standing at the C-suite table, the more recently minted CMIO role is very much still in a ‘proof of concept‘ mode even with very high stakes of enterprise success often laid at their doorstep – though only 2 in 5 (39%) occupy a seat at the table in that all important conversation (chart below).

Data for their (CMIO and CHIOs by proxy?) standing in the C-suite is sourced via the 26th Annual HiMSS Leadership Survey (thank you Joyce Lofstrom!). Note the gap or ‘bridge’ to construct between CMIOs and their C-suite colleagues if not Boards governing the healthcare enterprise.IT and teh Executive Team (CMIO)

Some ‘progressive’ health systems have adopted a ‘co-management‘ model where a lay CEO or series of division or subsidiary senior executives are teamed with a physician colleague/peer to incorporate a clinical work-flow culture in what has been an historically fee-for-service focused and production oriented revenue cycle management gene pool (i.e., no margin, no mission!). CMIOs may be a reflection of co-management aspirations or minimally a tangible expression of how clinical informatics are sourced, organized and incorporated into complex healthcare operational or market critical decisions.

So we launch ‘CMIO Chat’ (follow on twitter via @CMIOchat) to provide a social media enabled, peer support forum for CMIOs and CHIOs to show up and share their views, experiences and insights as this professional role evolves and responds to the exceptional big data and analytics challenges they must navigate more often than not without a playbook of best practices.

Our founding member CMIOs and CHIOs and their twitter handles is here.

So join us!



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