Inside CHIME: Changing CMIOs from Champions to Leaders


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2.2.17 by Amy McDonald, CHIME Communications

Marc Chasin, MD, VP/CIO/CMIO – St. Luke’s Health System, ID

The CHIME CMIO Leadership Academy provides a career-turning point for seasoned executives and newly appointed CMIOs alike.

In the mid 2000’s, Marc Chasin, M.D., had the foresight to see technology and medical care converging. He also recognized that to successfully drive change in an organization, he needed to acquire some new leadership skills.

“I tried to learn from and connect with mentors whom I felt displayed the appropriate leadership competencies,” said Chasin, vice president, chief information officer and chief medical information officer, St. Luke’s Health System, Boise, Idaho. “I did a lot of listening, but also made a lot of mistakes, which I learned from.”

Clinical leaders have always been called upon to champion IT initiatives, whether it’s CPOE or clinical decision support. As healthcare organizations move from deploying health IT systems to optimizing them for improved patient outcomes and support of organizational goals, clinical leaders must evolve, too. But how do you go from being a champion to a change leader? Much like Chasin did – seek out mentors, listen and learn.

Chasin is proud to be part of the exceptional faculty teaching the 2017 CHIME CMIO Leadership Academy, April 8-10, in Chicago. The intensive two-day seminar will give clinical leaders insights to grow and refine their skills, as well as experience new ways of collaborating with the next generation of aspiring CMIOs.

“Physicians are leaders in their own right, leading a clinical team, but they lack the ability to politically navigate a complex organization that has its own ideas,” he said. “They need to learn a little bit between strategy, culture, as well as tactics.”

One of the greatest challenges for CMIOs is striking the precarious balance between the goals of other executives and the needs of the medical staff. Often the CMIO acts as the mediator in what can feel like a clash of interests, but there are ways to bring both parties to a satisfying agreement. Even if there is a proposed strategy, there is a great leap between an idea on paper and its successful execution.

Using real-world scenarios, the CHIME Leadership Academy explores ways in which CMIOs can navigate difficult situations and truly bring people together by capturing their hearts and minds. The academy also reinforces practical skills needed to improve job performance. Through the interactive exercises, CMIOs will work with fellow students to quickly assess a situation, confidently ask appropriate questions that are clear and concise, and deftly move toward a resolution that best meets the organization’s needs.

Equally as valuable, says Chasin, students will build a new cadre of trusted advisors. The academy allows like-minded physicians to build a tight-knit network of peers whom they can turn to in a moment of crisis or to seek advice. “In my experience, relationships and partnerships that I have built have lasted well past a conference,” Chasin said. “I still stay in contact with a mentor and others as colleagues (from the Leadership Academy).”


More Inside CHIME Volume 2, No. 4: