Difference between revisions of "The Role of the CMIO"

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Revision as of 07:38, 21 February 2008

Please help improve this article or section by expanding it.

This page has been put up as a result of a discussion at AMIA's cis-wg mailing list.


CMIO stands for either "Chief Medical Informatics Officer" or "Chief Medical Information Officer".

This is a post title that is increasingly prevalent, however it seems that often the exact role of such a person is not clear either in the minds of the hiring organization or the person taking up the job. What is most damaging is when the hirer and hired have different views on this.

The informatics community sees the CMIO as a person with a clinical background, who speaks the language of clinicians. The CMIO oversees the selection, development and implementation of computerized patient record systems. The CMIO focusses on issues of quality, safety, usability, process improvement and seeks to ensure that clinicians are fully engaged in the entire process.

This article will allow the informatics community to put forward a case for what CMIOs should do, and what is needed to support them to perform their jobs effectively.

Sample job descriptions

Roles & Functions

The potential scope of the CMIO position is extremely. Following are some of the possible areas

Strategic planning

  • Developing strategic plans regarding clinical systems and information management
  • Alignment of clinical system capbilities with organizational needs
  • IT Governance
  • Ensure that developments are in line with global trends in medicine, informatics and information technology

Systems development & implementation

  • Clinical systems portfolio management
  • Systems selection or design
  • Demand management - manage requests and expectations of clinical users
  • Risk management - use informatics to support the reduction of risk in clinical operations whilst minimizing additional risk arising from IT systems
  • Workflow integraton - work closely with users so that the clinical and organizational needs can continue to be met in a manner that closely integrates with clinical workflow and enhances effectiveness and efficiency of clinical staff
  • Architectures and frameworks - work closely with IT on architectures and frameworks to maximize the effectiveness and longevity of development work
  • Policies and standards – develop, maintain and enforce information standards and policies to support the above.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Engage stakeholders (clinical leaders and frontline, executive management, IT, patients) through a clinical systems governance process to ensure strategic and tactical alignment of clinical systems with clinical and organizational needs
  • Change management - develop change management strategies to allow successful implementation of policies or initiatives that require informatics support.

Capacity building

  • Build up internal informatics capabilities in the informatics team, clinicians, management and IT department
  • eHealth advocacy - broader advocacy to build up wider support for informatics at the local, regional or national levels

What an effective CMIO needs

The portfolio of a CMIO is a complex and wide-ranging one, but often they are not given the resources nor authority to execute effectively. This section will attempt to flesh out what an effective CMIO needs (thanks to Larry Ozeran for the initial points from the cis-wg mailing list)

The CMIO must be in charge of

  • ongoing communication with all clinicians regarding the effectiveness of existing computerized processes
  • prospective discussion with all affected clinicians and any affected support staff in the selection and implementation of proposed computerized processes
  • managing needs and specifications for software
  • developing and maintaining information standards
  • identification of need, selection of staff, and responsibility for content of all training related to computerized clinical processes

The CMIO must have

  • adequate numbers of support staff as direct reports to manage all responsibilities
  • decision-making control over a budget adequate to support all responsibilities
  • the ability to ensure the needs and specifications are implemented properly, and in accordance to standards set by the CMIO's office

Cheungnt 22:27, 27 February 2007 (CST)