The changing role of IT staff


The staff in IT departments in hospitals and in other medical institutions have traditionally seen themselves – and were seen by others – as experts in technology. This is changing rapidly. The CIO and IT staff have to come to terms with a shift in their job description. It has moved away from merely supporting the business of an organisation and moved towards engaging in active business model development. What has helped achieve previous success is different to what will help in the future.

The role of experts in technology must now begin to make way for those who are experts in care. Wide-scale clinical knowledge is required to be able to stand at the forefront of changes to our traditional ‘IT in healthcare model’, and transform the way in which we work, while finally being able to transform patient-provider relations.

An active role is needed

On the part of the CIO, a proactive role is required in this change, rather than a reactive one. We must be knowledgeable in the fields of cardiology, oncology, neurology, and others. Items such as diagnostic imaging, anatomic pathology, laboratories, day hospital circuits, operating theatres, etc. must be mastered, and they need to be factored into each one of the processes in the different clinical fields. The CIO and his or her team, thus, have to be capable of considering concepts of service, care optimisation, working in real-time, and convincing people of totally different professions to change the way of doing things through the help of technology.

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