As the field of medicine becomes increasingly dependent on technology, the need grows for clinicians who have the capabilities of a chief information officer. A chief medical information officer job description calls for an individual who performs at the juncture of medicine and informatics.
As the field becomes more dominated by digital health systems, understanding how those systems work and what data they collect is of the utmost importance. To this end, an individual trained as a chief medical information officer will be able to both operate and troubleshoot these digital systems, as well as garner insights from the data they provide.
What the Chief Medical Information Officer Does
Chief Medical Information Officers assume the task of liaising with both the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and individual IT teams. The objective is to bring adaptable, agile, cost-effective technology solutions to improve the health care system overall. Additionally — due to their unique position as both an IT professional and a medical professional — Chief Medical Information Officers can offer insight into how technology can be used to make health care systems more efficient. The end goal, of course, is to improve the daily lives of patients and improve the operations and reputation of the medical organization.
Among the responsibilities of a Chief Medical Information Officer is the implementation of new IT measures, as well as the drafting of strategic plans for the long-term development of IT infrastructure across the organization. Chief Medical Information Officers can use their knowledge of IT systems and their training within the medical field to not only improve patients’ health but advance the work of health care staff within their institution.
Skills Required of a Chief Medical Information Officer
Any chief medical information officer job description will include key skills that are necessary for the job. Generally, candidates seeking a position of Chief Medical Information Officer should have the following:
- Training as a Clinician: Chief medical information officers should have at least a basic knowledge of IT skills, but also need to be trained as a clinician. Additionally, they should be willing and able to consult with specialist physicians whenever needed.
- Working Knowledge of IT: A Chief Medical Information Officer does not necessarily need an in-depth knowledge of coding or troubleshooting IT systems. Instead, they should understand what the IT system can and cannot do. By knowing these capabilities and having an understanding of current technology, they can better inform and lead IT teams.
- An Understanding of Informatics, Data, and Statistics: The Chief Medical Information Officer is, at its heart, a job that deals with data. Facts and figures form the basis of the role, and the Chief Medical Information Officer must know what the data suggests. Moreover, they should know when a particular data set is reliable or unreliable in informing the decisions of managers and other relevant stakeholders.
- Knowledge of Organizational Data Acquisition: As more medical organizations expand their data-gathering methods, the chief medical information officer should know how to handle that data in a way that does not compromise the patient’s privacy. When data acquisition processes are non-intrusive, the patient can feel confident that their privacy remains secure and practitioners are able to collect a larger amount of samples for the data set.
- Proven Communication and Presentation Skills: The significance of statistics can be difficult to communicate, so the Chief Medical Information Officer must be able to present complex data in a form that anyone within the organization can understand.
Job Outlook for the Chief Medical Information Officer
Within most clinical organizations, a Chief Information Officer (CIO) is an essential role. The Chief Medical Information Officer is also likely to advise an organization’s CIO.
As companies continue shifting their operations into the digital space, the demand for Chief Medical Information Officers is projected to continue to rise. Payscale, the compensation website, notes that the median expected salary for a Chief Medical Information Officer is $158,050 annually, with the top 10% of earners making as much as $249,000 per year.
Education to Become a Chief Medical Information Officer
The field of medical information is a relatively new one. As a result, many organizations tend to promote existing staff who show an ability to lead others and an aptitude for business administration, into the role of chief medical information officer. The University of Illinois at Chicago’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics is a great starting point for students who are interested in pursuing this field after they graduate. Some key courses in this degree program include:
- Health Care Data: Dealing with the data that is generated by patients is key, as is learning how to manage it effectively.
- Health Information Systems Analysis and Design: To implement new systems, a professional must first learn how to design them and what factors to take into account when creating or adapting them.
- Healthcare IT Vendor Management: Organizations may need to outsource the implementation of their informatics system, and this training gives graduates the tools to manage the process.
- Essentials in Data Science: Data science is a complex field and navigating it requires a thorough understanding of its tools and concepts.
- Health Care Data Analytics (Elective): Allows students to generate insight using collected data in line with the best IT practices.
If you are interested in combining the skills of an IT professional with the impact of a medical practitioner, if you are passionate about using data to help advance human health and the medical field, then the UIC Master of Science in Health Informatics may be your ideal degree program. Learn more today.
Applied Clinical Informatics, The Chief Clinical Informatics Officer (CCIO)
CIO, What is a Chief Clinical Information Officer? | Job description and salary
Forbes, Why Tech Companies Hire Chief Medical Officers
Payscale, Average Chief Information Officer (CIO) Salary
University of Illinois at Chicago, Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) Curriculum