Healthcare CIO Priorities: Demand Management is a Big Challenge

Rick Schooler is a man whose daily work hinges on his ability to prioritize different objectives. As Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Vice President of Orlando Health, he says he is occupied with as many as 100 or more projects in tandem ranging from his work in the supply chain to pharmacy retail. “I’ve been in healthcare for 24 years and I learn something new every day,” says Schooler.

Schooler’s top priorities at Orlando Health are those that are required by regulation. “We take care of what’s absolutely required first, and then those things that are ‘should dos’ or are a ‘nice to have,’” says Schooler. A formal IT governance process ensures that the flow of money and resources is first diverted to that which is mandatory, as well as things that are truly strategic for the organization. Only after those priorities are addressed can Schooler set to work on other tasks. He describes his management style as “transparent” and says his management team has a firm understanding of their business. Ultimately, he says that their time, money, and efforts must be spent on those things that will bring the most value.

Security is also vitally important in the role of CIO. Everything from data loss prevention to antivirus programs is Schooler’s responsibility. Data loss resulting from hacking is a very real threat that Schooler says can only be met by spending the money needed to combat it and having a team of intelligent and skilled IT professionals to defend against it.

According to Schooler, one of the greatest challenges he faces in his work is knowing that, with limited resources, there will always be someone who will be left unhappy. He says that the essence of demand management is working to ensure that his organization does not make the wrong person unhappy.

Finally, in looking to the future, Schooler says that CIOs will be forced to use demand management as a tool to assess offerings within the cloud, such as tech platforms. He sees the job of CIO as evolving into coordinating information management, rather than actually implementing it.

To learn more about Schooler’s priorities as CIO, visit: http://www.fiercehealthit.com/story/demand-management-biggest-challenge-orlando-healths-rick-schooler-qa/2015-05-12?page=full
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