DFW HIMSS CIO Roundtable

Today I attended the DFW HIMSS CIO Roundtable. If you are not a member of the DFW HIMSS or National HIMSS organization I highly recommend it. HIMSS is the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society improving quality, decreasing cost, providing access and value of healthcare through IT.

Aaron Miri, Chief Information Officer & Vice President, Government Relations at Imprivata hosted the panel which included:

  • Pamela Arora, SVP & CIO, Children’s Health
  • Pamela McNutt, SVP & CIO, Methodist Health System
  • Matthew Kull, SVP, CIO, Parkland Health & Hospital System
  • Kirk Kirksey, VP & CIO, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Majority of the time was spent discussing cybersecurity and the measures they are putting in place to prevent intrusion. Yet… every single one of these Health Systems has a Sr. Security Engineer opening on their careers site. These positions CAN NOT be left vacant. A Senior Security Consultant needs to be put in place until these positions are filled…. and I can help with that 😉

Investing in your IT security systems and network environments you are investing in the protection of millions of patients data. Let’s get these positions filled ASAP.

One interesting takeaway I learned from Kirk is the fear of losing their quality IT staff. The past couple of years Healthcare IT was the “it” industry to get into. Now the big push is start-ups, cloud tech environments and … Toyota! Everyone does want to work there. These Health Systems have spent years training their IT staff in a high stress environment… again these positions can’t be left vacant.

Contacting a quality consulting/staffing agency, like Odyssey Information Services, with tenured recruiters focused on these Security Systems and Network opportunities is key. Let’s chat!

One question Aaron asked the panel was “If you could go back in time and tell your younger self something that would have better prepared you for CIO, what would you say?”. I LOVED THIS, because the answers shocked me.

  • Pamela Arora said … when you see exciting opportunities, everyone swarms to them. It’s the unexciting challenges that have people running in the opposite direction. Figuring out ways to be innovate and solve these challenges will carry you well.
  • Pamela McNutt said … a good background in business and finance is vital for a CIO role. Nowadays the CIO role is connected to a variety of positions (CTO, CISO etc.) and majority of the CIO’s time is spent managing budgets and communication strategies and goals along with their CFO. If you don’t have a CFO that has faith in your budgeting skills… it’s going to make your job that much harder.
  • Matthew Kull said … he wished someone told him it was a 24/7/365 day position 😛 Ultimately this position is a privilege. A privilege to care for another human being, and opportunity to save lives every day. You are not in this role for a paycheck and you should always keep your ego in check. You ultimately are taking care of the people who take care of the patients.
  • Kirk Kirksey said … he wished he learned to write well earlier in life. Coming from a COBOL programming background it took him a while to really write well. A typical CIO is constantly speaking at educational seminars, round tables, conferences etc., writing in publications, blogs, press releases etc. This skill is vital for a good leader in any organization.

After all of these takeaways I am definitely looking forward to the next DFW HIMSS Panel and the National HIMSS conference next month in Orlando.

What are your thoughts on cybersecurity within the healthcare IT industry and what advice would you give to your younger self to help you in your career today?

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