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Cultivating the Successor CIO

10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0%

0.0% 89.3% 85.7% 67.9% 89.3% 39.3% 14.3% (A) Special

exec. training / coaching

67.9% (B) Involving

successor with budgeting


implementations planning 85.7%

(C) Leading projects /

special 89.3% (D) Involving

successor in strategic

(E) Attending / presenting at board

meetings 39.3%

(F) Other 14.3%

The second in command behind the CIO varied considerably by size of organization, including regional and associate CIOs, some vice presidents and a few chiefs of security or technology. But number twos also gathered in directors of applications, directors of clinical information systems and senior analysts. A trend worth watching, while the war for talent heats up early in the meaningful-use era, will be how organizations work to retain key staff in this tier of their IT staff. Many organizations have begun establishing bonus potential for these key positions. In fact, 41.6 percent of survey respondents reported that the number-two posts were eligible for bonuses. As in the case of their own CIO bonus potential, the extra compensation could be signifi cant, ranging as high as 35 percent and averaging 13.6 percent.

include CMIO positions, up from 44 percent who had installed CMIOs by 2009. There is, however, a shift occurring in the department in which the CMIOs reside, and the executives to whom they report. In just over half the reported structures, the CMIO reports to the CIO, down from 66 percent reporting to CIOs just a couple years before. Now, in 26 percent of the cases, CMIOs report dually, to both CIO and CMO. And, in close to 13 percent of organization structures, the CMIO reports only to the CMO, the traditional quality leader for a health system.

Compensation is rising again According to almost every human resources expert you hear

via survey, speech or article, compensation never ranks as the “most important” factor in attracting candidates to jobs, nor in their job satisfaction or employee retention. It may not rank at the top, but salary is always near the top in job considerations, and executives do seek good information as to where they stand amongst their peers.

Beyond the personal reasons, knowing the industry pay scale can help when it comes to hiring and retaining IT leadership. So, what’s the scoop in 2011? CIO salaries are increasing, even if slightly, despite the recession fl attening that occurred from 2008 to 2010, signifi cant budget challenges from state reimbursement rates and zero cost-of-living adjustments in federal programs for two years.

The overall base salary for healthcare CIO respondents in this survey was $231,020, with the total cash compensation before benefi ts and perks of $262,438, when taking into ac- count the bonus or incentive pay. Of the survey participants, 70.4 percent of them indicated being eligible for bonus pay. The bonus incentives spread evenly across a wide range, from a low of 1 percent to a high of 45 percent of base salary, with an average potential bonus of 20.9 percent of base salary. Per- haps more important, most eligible CIOs (94 percent) report receiving some portion of their bonus.

8 September 2011

Another way organizations are working to keep their team on board and content: identifying CIO successors. A strong 52 percent of organizations indicated they have a CIO successor in place. Moreover, they seem to be active in cultivating their next CIO leaders. As might be expected, the primary ways organizations are acculturating their future top IT executives are including them in department budgeting, fi nancial planning and strategic planning: 89 percent of identifi ed successors are part of these processes. But signifi cantly, two-thirds of the apparent heirs have also been involved in special executive coaching or training, and almost 40 percent are participating in their health system board meetings.


It’s not that CIOs need anything else to keep them tossing and turning at night. After all, there have always been pretty strong pressures on IT departments, from supporting clinical information systems and decision support, to the headaches earned while guiding some of the most costly projects their health systems have ever seen (EMR and CPOE). But, being one full stride into the era of health reform defi nitely had its effect on the marching orders for healthcare CIOs. Working on meeting meaningful-use objectives and deadlines soared to the top of the technical issues priority list for CIOs, ranking either as fi rst (65 percent) or second (31 percent) to rule the day in their IT shops. The next overall priority was patient safety and medical error reduction, with 70 percent of respondents indicating this to be very high or high priority; followed closely by assisting physician practices with electronic medical records or information technology (68 percent) and improving data security (66 percent). We didn’t ask, but CIOs told us what else is showing up on their radars. As unprompted write-ins, 9 percent of our survey respondents shared with us several additional challenges and projects that are commanding increasing and immediate atten- tion in their IT departments. They named some everyday work, such as new patient towers, new data centers and house-wide wireless network upgrades. And several identifi ed projects that lurked under the surface for a while that are now front and Continued on page 10

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