IT leaders share their top priorities, biggest mistakes, and career dreams if they weren't a CIO.
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VP and CIO, University Of Pennsylvania Health System
CAREER TRACK How long at current company: Three and a half years
Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: In 2001, I established MedMatica, a healthcare information technology consulting firm. It has grown to over 30 consultants and has been recognized as a three-time Inc. Magazine 5,000 winner as one of the fastest-growing privately held organizations in the United States.
Most important career influencer: The founder and president of First Consulting Group, Jim Reep, had perhaps the most profound impact on me. Jim had a masterful ability to develop and communicate a common vision to the entire organization, which served to bond and motivate all employees. This ability to forge unity among a wide range of employees is one of the key qualities of a leader.
Decision I wish I could do over: Early in my career, I had the opportunity to create a technology-oriented IT staffing consulting firm. Given my lack of business experience, I was unsure how to proceed and passed on the opportunity. What I've learned since then is that you're never completely sure how to proceed. Trusting your instincts, working hard to exceed expectations, and having a positive attitude help compensate for the absence of full knowledge that no one will ever truly possess anyway.
ON THE JOB IT budget: $95 million
Size of IT team: 320 employees
• Complete access to and training on using ambulatory electronic medical record for all 1,800 Penn Medicine physicians.
• Replace current ambulatory practice management applications (scheduling, registration, and billing) with a state-of-the-art system.
• Provide nurses and other care providers the ability to document their patient's care electronically through the use of in-room devices.
VISION The next big thing for my industry: The linking of patient care attributes (phenotype information) and genetic research (genomic information) is coming as part of the development of personalized medicine. New technologies show great promise for helping caregivers and researchers provide patient-specific care plans that will allow for maximum benefits from the prescribed medication or therapy.
What should the federal government's top tech priority be? Assigning a unique healthcare patient ID number to all patients would significantly simplify the identification, management, and tracking of patient information. I recognize that some have privacy concerns, but patient safety will be enhanced through the careful development and introduction of such a system.
PERSONAL Colleges/degrees: Rider University, BS in accounting and decision support; Villanova University, masters in business administration.
Leisure activity: Ice hockey and surfing.
Business pet peeve: People who say they will follow up and get back to me and then never do.
If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... selling Italian ice at the New Jersey shore. I like the idea of providing a product that brings instant gratification. For a CIO, gratification can take years to be recognized. A more immediate type of recognition in the form of smiling children's faces looks pretty appealing!
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