What did CIOs achieve in 2018—and what’s on the docket for 2019?

Technology has become a critical component of healthcare delivery, but some organizations are finding it difficult to manage their IT environments. Healthcare CIOs have an important role when it comes to digital transformation and helping shape the future of their organizations.

In a 2018 Spok survey of CHIME CIOs, health IT leaders told us about their top priorities for the year. We released the results in our first-ever CIO priorities infographic: What we heard was that EHR integration, patient experience initiatives, and mobile secure messaging adoption were top of mind leading into 2018.

We were curious whether CIO predictions became reality. To find out, we analyzed several industry reports and asked a handful of CIOs to recap their experiences. Here’s what we found: 

The Truth About How CIOs Support Care Team Collaboration Infographic


Digital transformation is shaking things up for healthcare CIOs. In fact, we found numerous articles about the changing role of the health IT executive. It appears the traditional role of the CIO is shifting, from managing IT infrastructure and purchasing decisions to that of a strategic business leader. According to Doug Brown, president of Black Book Research, hospitals are expecting CIOs to be, “more consultative-type executives who can orchestrate integrations, strategies, business goals, digitalization opportunities, evaluate innovations, and consult to LOB managers.” Citing recent Black Book Research polling data, Brown explained that “91% of CIOs expect their roles to shift or be remixed due to digitalization.”

What’s the focus in 2019?

Last year, 40 percent of CIOs said they were deploying an enterprise analytics platform in 2018. Harnessing data analytics looks to be a big priority in 2019: 100 percent of the CIOs we heard from reported this as top of mind. This prediction was supported by a recent IDC survey report, which predicts that by 2021, 70 percent of CIOs will aggressively apply data and AI to IT operations, tools, and processes. This same report also indicated that 80 percent of IT executive compensation will not be based on IT operational measures, but on business KPIs and metrics that measure IT effectiveness in driving business performance and growth. The Advisory Board released similar survey findings for 2019: Fifty-six percent of CIO respondents were extremely interested in fostering a data-driven culture and 53 percent said they wanted to build a mature analytics program that delivers better value in clinical and administrative settings. 

Overall, CIOs will remain the go-to technology leaders—responsible for leading technological innovations and overall strategy—while considering ever-evolving priorities and challenges throughout 2019 and beyond.