CIO Profiles: Randall Spratt Of McKesson - InformationWeek
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CIO Profiles: Randall Spratt Of McKesson

Healthcare apps have potential, but they’re not living up to it yet, this tech chief says.

Career Track

Randall Spratt, Executive VP,  CIO and CTO

Randall Spratt
Executive VP, CIO and CTO, McKesson

How long at McKesson: More than 18 years at this pharmaceutical distributor and healthcare IT company.

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Establishing an effective McKesson-wide governance process that covers all shared services at the enterprise level. It has let us move large-scale programs forward in a collaborative, federated model.

Most important career influencer: Our CEO, John Hammergren, is an extraordinary leader and maintains a passion for our work.

On The Job

Size of IT team: 1,000

Top initiatives:

  • Managing business risk, security and quality within our healthcare IT product development process.
  • Reducing the IT silos across healthcare to increase connectivity with platform services, cloud enablement and mobile access.
  • Tackling big data to help healthcare organizations securely derive value from our industry's massive amounts of data stores.


How I give my team room to innovate: Rigorous debate is encouraged. I like to see our teams testing assumptions to better understand where we should make investments. We value experimentation, employing a strategy of failing quickly to decide if an initiative has merit.

The most disruptive force in my industry today: The changes that are taking place in healthcare -- shifting risk from payers to providers, complex new reimbursement models and the shift to electronic medical records at a national scale -- will require greater connectivity across the healthcare continuum and new tools to manage patients on a holistic basis.

What I need from tech vendors that they aren't delivering today: Reduced complexity and improved integration. We need technology that works all the time and is self-monitoring, self-healing, self-aware and self-provisioning. We need applications that are well-integrated.

Most overrated IT movement: Today's healthcare apps. Healthcare apps have the potential to help patients gain better control and insight into their own well-being. However, they're all accessing small subsets of information rather than having access to all the information about a given patient. Until that connectivity and access can be established, healthcare apps won't reach their full potential.


Degrees: BS in biology, with a minor in computer science, University of Utah

Person I'd most like to have lunch with: The Dalai Lama

Best book read recently: The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce

Favorite app: The ForeFlight aviation app

If I weren't a CIO, I'd be ... flying, driving or piloting anything with a motor

Ranked No. 34 in the 2012 InformationWeek 500

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User Rank: Apprentice
6/17/2013 | 1:49:46 AM
re: CIO Profiles: Randall Spratt Of McKesson
I agree that healthcare apps right now are overrated in that they do not have access to the whole set of the patientGÇÖs data as EHR systems do. There is so much potential when it comes to healthcare apps and their ability to gather patient information, but until we fully integrate the apps with the patient records, the full potential cannot be reached, especially with providing patients with real time advice.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
User Rank: Apprentice
6/11/2013 | 11:16:13 PM
re: CIO Profiles: Randall Spratt Of McKesson
(This is my third time attempting to post this comment. If it shows up three times, blame Disqus.)

I'm the editor of IW's CIO Profiles series. I didn't have room in the magazine to run Mr. Spratt's full on the "most disruptive force in my industry" item, but it's a really interesting response, so I thought I'd run the full text here:

"The changes that are taking place in healthcare -- shifting risk from payers to providers, complex new reimbursement models and the shift to electronic medical records at a national scale -- will require greater connectivity across the healthcare continuum and new tools to manage patients on a holistic basis. This has the power to provide better patient care and empower consumers to more seamlessly manage their own care and lead healthier lives. The healthcare industry today is not well connected and this needs to change. Better connectivity will bring information together for more efficient exchanges that can be put to new uses. This will include removing information from silos, streamlining processing, reducing costs and eliminating errors to create a longitudinal patient record that follows each patient throughout their life. To have an impact, this is an issue that must be tackled by the healthcare industry as a whole, enabling all the currently disparate systems to connect and securely share data anywhere and anytime."

Jim Donahue
Copy chief, InformationWeek
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