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CIO Values: Larry Stofko, Senior VP And CIO At St. Joseph Health System

Stofko advises would-be CIOs to be a partner in the business, not a competitor for capital.
Career Track

LARRY STOFKO

Larry Stofko
Senior VP and CIO, St. Joseph Health System

How long at current company: 8-1/2 years

Career accomplishment I'm most proud of: Early on at St. Joseph Health System, I served as the IT executive sponsor for a physician portal that allowed remote access to lab results. Several years later I saw it in action from an exam room at another hospital where, because of that system, the patient didn't have to repeat costly and inconvenient lab tests.

Most important career influencer: I've had many great teachers in my career, but through her inspirational writing, Laurie Beth Jones, the author of Jesus, CEO: Using Ancient Wisdom For Visionary Leadership, has been a significant influence in how I approach my work and life.

Decision I wish I could do over: We are in the process of completing a full e-mail product conversion across our 22,000-employee health system. Given the potential for SaaS and cloud computing, I would have liked to have spent more time looking at those options.

The Job
IT budget: $60 million

Size of IT team: 375

Three top initiatives:

  • Advanced clinical applications, including physician order entry, nursing documentation, and digital images
  • Bulletproof infrastructure from the server, the application, across the WAN, over the wireless, and to the caregivers' hands
  • Business intelligence that makes the most of existing data
How I measure IT effectiveness: Our tools include a quarterly performance report card, an annual customer satisfaction and executive survey, help desk follow-up and resolution surveys, and contractual SLAs. We're working on an IT balanced scorecard to tie it all together.

Vision
The next big thing for my business will be ... internally, business intelligence and the ability to turn data into "actionable knowledge." Externally, it may be patient and consumer engagement in their care and wellness, potentially taking the form of a personal health record.

Best piece of advice for future CIOs: Don't be seen as a "competitor for capital," be a partner in the business. Keep the infrastructure bulletproof, enable the business objectives, and bring appropriate IT innovation to the table.

Personal
Colleges/degrees: BBA in business information systems, Georgia College & State University; master's of medical informatics, Northwestern University (in progress)

Leisure activities: Jogging, playing guitar

Best book read recently: The Big Switch by Nicholas Carr

If I weren't a CIO, I'd ... head an innovative startup.