CMIO (Chief Medical Information Officer)

A Chief Medical Information Officer, or CMIO, essentially serves as the bridge between medical and IT departments at a health care organization. This person may also be referred to as the director of medical informatics or health informatics.

Some CMIOs are physicians with a background with or interest in technology; in many cases, these CMIOs continue to see patients on apart-time basis. Other CMIOs are technology professionals who have been trained in health informatics, which focuses on the use of information in medicine and research.

Because of the field of health information technology is changing quickly, the job description of the CMIO is still being defined and can vary from one organization to another. Generally speaking, though, the CMIO is responsible for the following:

  • designing and integrating IT systems in medical departments;
  • analyzing the use of technology such as electronic health record (EHR) and computerized physician order entry (CPOE) systems to determine its effect on patient care;
  • setting standards for the use of medical terminology;
  • training physicians on the use of software, studying how the software is used and using that knowledge to influence future deployments, and
  • working with senior leadership to create a strategic plan for IT.

The CMIO is most likely to report to an organization’s chief information officer (CIO). However, depending on the structure of the management team, the CMIO may instead report to the chief executive officer (CEO), the chief operating officer (COO), the chief medical officer or the general medical officer.

This was last updated in May 2010

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