FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tim Tolan, CEO of Sanford Rose Associates® – The Tolan Group, Featured in Healthcare Informatics, In the HIT C-Suite, Priorities are Changing—And Titles, Too
By: Rajiv Leventhal
Dallas, TX | 12/14/2016
Alistair Erskine, M.D., has held various roles within healthcare leadership throughout his career. As he has been practicing hospital medicine for nearly 15 years, Erskine has also been climbing up the clinical leadership ranks, becoming chief medical information officer (CMIO) at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Health System, before being appointed associate dean of medical informatics there. Now at the Danville, Pa.-based Geisinger Health System, Erskine, who is also board certified in clinical informatics, holds the role of chief informatics officer—different from the CMIO and different from the CIO (chief information officer).
Regardless of the reporting structure, collaboration among individuals is what’s most critical, attests Tim Tolan, senior partner at the St. Augustine, Fla.-based Sanford Rose Associates’ healthcare IT practice. “In the way [these positions] work together, there has to be collaboration or it won’t work,” he says, speaking to the CIO/CMIO relationship. “Either way, the CMIO has to have a seat at the table. With the way healthcare is now, with analytics, population health, and all of that, there is not enough time for people to sit on an island on their own. It simply won’t work,” Tolan says. Sanford Rose is currently working on a search for an organization in which the CMIO reported to the CIO, which Tolan says has been fairly typical based on the organizational chart and where the CMIO fits on it. “But in this case it didn’t work. More and more CMIOs today, and going forward, are going to report to the CMO, someone who has the clinical leadership. The role is becoming very strategic,” Tolan says.