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

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

June 4, 2013

3 Min Read

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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