Highlights from Ed Marx Hospital CIO Strategy Talk at #CHIME12

Posted on October 19, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I was really excited when I found out that Ed Marx’s, CIO of Texas Health Resources, talk at CHIME 2012 was one of the encore presentations since I’d missed it earlier in the week. Thankfully he didn’t disappoint. Here are some tweets I sent during his talk with some additional commentary on what he said.

I loved his comment on the need for hospitals to have a strategy when it comes to mobile health. He acknowledged that even with a strategy in place it’s a pretty crazy environment right now, but he said that he couldn’t imagine where they’d be if they had no strategy. It’s a good acknowledgement that mobile health is here to stay and it’s better to have a proactive approach to mobile health.

Great advice. Far too often I see people trying to swing for the fences instead of being happy with a single. Many hospital organizations could use a quick win for morale sake. Then, with that confidence they can work on the bigger, longer term goals.

There are a lot of ways to learn. Ed Marx pointed out that every hospital CIO should be on social media. I’d argue that the reason they should be on social media is to learn. Learn from customers. Learn from colleagues. Twitter is an amazing platform for learning and listening. You don’t have to broadcast on social media if you don’t want.

I love the transparency that Ed strives to achieve. Putting your performance review for all to read is a brave choice. Although, he made a good point. His performance review wasn’t just a reflection of him, but was a reflection of the entire organization in many ways.

Such a great way to describe the idea of getting out of the office and working with people from other departments. The challenge with this is that many people aren’t very good at this type of social interaction. Some people have this naturally, but others have to work really hard to make it happen. This type of description can help some who have this challenge I think.

I was amazed that he said this was the most important thing. I’ve always loved the value of looking to multiple sources for inspiration. Very important and useful!

Ed suggested that most CIO’s could identify the CEO’s top priority, but not the top 10.

I think it’s true that many hospital CIO’s live in partial fear for their jobs. I guess we all do to some extent. I’m not sure this tweet is going to change things, but hopefully it’s a challenge for many who have avoided risks. Thoughtful risks can work out very well if done right.

Beautiful description of leadership, but hard to achieve.

One other major point that Ed made that I didn’t tweet about had to do with the idea of a project not being an IT project. Ed described the need for IT to make themselves open and available to lead those projects. Although, in order for that to happen, they have to create a trusted leadership role within the organization.

For example, instead of talking to the CEO, CFO, board, etc about project timelines, projects completed, and missed schedule, talk to them about ROI and improved patient care. However, to do so takes a real focus on measuring the costs and benefits of each project.