The Evolution of CIOs, CTOs, & CMOs in Healthcare

Clearstep Media
Clearstep Team

In the past, the CIO, CTO, and CMO roles in a healthcare system were niched and siloed, requiring little interaction with the rest of the organization.

However, after the pandemic and as we move into value-based healthcare, these roles have evolved to respond to a changing marketplace.

Here's how these roles are evolving, and how they will dramatically affect their healthcare systems.

Related: Moving Beyond the “HealthTech Hype Cycle” to Improve Digital Health Strategies

The Evolving Healthcare CIO Role

The healthcare Chief Information Officer’s (CIO) role in the past focused on providing computer and software support. Today’s CIO must provide their organization with cutting-edge technical knowledge and strategic business leadership

Typical modern CIO responsibilities include: 

  • Overseeing the day-to-day operations of the healthcare system’s IT division.
  • Evaluating the current and future IT needs of the healthcare system.
  • Providing senior leadership with strategic recommendations for IT security issues and operations.
  • Evaluating IT partners and vendors and negotiating contracts.
  • Overseeing the financial activities of the IT department and developing the annual IT budget.

Renewed Focus on Information Science

Another important role the CIO plays in a healthcare system is collecting, maintaining, and securing patients’ sensitive health information. CMOs must become adept at data warehousing and management to better equip patients with their healthcare records.

To accomplish this, CIOs ensure IT systems comply with all legal and regulatory requirements related to the privacy of a patient’s personal health information as defined by HIPAA.

Other activities focused on information science include:

  • Improving the flow of information 
  • Assessing emerging technologies and system enhancements
  • Overseeing software implementations and integrations
  • Developing processes and standards for protection against cyber attacks.
  • Analyzing and optimizing IT systems

In a modern healthcare system, the CIO helps to protect against security risks and data vulnerabilities that could severely impact their organization’s trustworthiness and reputation.

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The Evolving Healthcare CMO Role

The days when the Chief Medical Officer’s (CMO) primary role was to act as a liaison to the medical staff and deal with governance issues have passed.

The current business landscape for healthcare systems requires delivering better patient outcomes at lower price points, while also providing better patient experiences.  

Today’s CMO role requires them to act as growth strategists, create policy, develop their organization’s culture, and act as the patient/consumer experience steward.

CMO As a Growth Strategist 

CMOs act as growth strategists for their healthcare system by focusing on corporate development and building strategic partnerships

The role also requires identifying opportunities through product and service extensions like clinics, and pharmacies, increasing digital health capabilities and gaining market access. 

CMOs ensure that healthcare systems provide a modern online experience with optimized mobile websites. And the most progressive ones leverage AI chat technologies for a better patient experience.

CMOs use data insights to help foster growth through mergers and acquisitions as they try to build and refine more integrated service offerings

Related: AMGA IQL22: Unlocking Access to Specialty Care with AI-Enabled Routing & Self-Scheduling

Creator of Policy and Developer of Culture

CMOs must be versatile enough to concentrate on their patients' and employees' health and well-being

Their responsibilities have traditionally revolved around monitoring their health system’s compliance and health statistics. And ensuring that patients and employees have a safe, positive experience during and after treatment.

CMOs are now concentrating on setting policies for their employees’ health by focusing on their wellness, mental health, and overall job satisfaction. They also search for additional employee benefits and activities that could help improve the organization’s culture.

Steward of the Patient/Consumer

As value-based healthcare initiatives take hold, CMOs will need to emphasize the positive outcomes and experiences of their patients/consumers.

CMOs will help their health systems develop their overall clinical value proposition. They will also work to craft the brand and messaging for their organization to focus on treating patients more like consumers. 

They’ll look to promote high-level clinical performance across the healthcare system while minimizing costs by seeking out new partners and technologies. 

CMOs are in an excellent position to help address environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues. They can do this by ensuring their organizations collect the correct data and use the right metrics to promote diversity and health equity.

The Evolving Healthcare CTO Role

The Chief Technology Officer’s (CTO) role in today’s healthcare systems is wholly immersed in their technology stacks and the need to use new software and hardware to improve the efficiency of their day-to-day workflows.

CTOs also need to help define the long-term technology roadmap for the organization and ensure that it aligns with their long-term business strategies.

Fully Engaged with Healthcare Providers & Their Tech

As medical care is moving towards more patient-oriented, self-service models that allow patients to manage their experience by scheduling their own appointments or filling prescriptions, CTOs need to ensure the interoperability of different systems. 

The CTO has to be the architect of an infrastructure stack in the cloud and on-premises that can be deployed quickly and securely, easy to access, and cost-effective. 

Furthermore, CTOs need to be innovative in discovering and implementing transformational technologies that help improve the experience of patients, clinicians, and staff. 

CTOs must develop relationships with hospital administration and clinical leaders to understand the challenges they are facing today and anticipate future ones.

Want to know how Clearstep’s Smart Care Routing™ helps increase patient satisfaction and retention? Click here to learn more about our patient-centric approach!

Modernize Your Healthcare with Clearstep

A great way to modernize your healthcare system is by using AI chat technology like Clearstep’s Smart Care Routing™ to convert healthcare consumers into patients by providing them with a patient-centered digital experience. 

Tailor each patient’s experience with SSO and seamless integrations with your existing technology stack, including CRM and EMR databases.

Smart Care Routing™ can help empower your organization’s strategy and operations by gaining helpful insight into patient behavior. 

Healthcare systems can use Smart Care Routing™ to help significantly reduce staff burdens and burnout by optimizing your system’s capacity and resources. 

Patient-centric healthcare is the future of healthcare and something that every CIO, CTO, and CMO needs to invest in and make part of their overall business strategy.

Related: Optimizing Digital Customer Experience: What Healthcare Consumers Really Want

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