10 Healthcare CIOs & leaders to follow in 2016

It’s an exciting time for the healthcare industry. Technology is the king and as we enter 2016, the industry is faced with a whole group of tech-related challenges, right from evolution and consumerization of patient care to integrating analytics while maintaining data security, to balancing telemedicine initiatives against the need to improve on facetime with patients, and so on.

Wherever you are in the hierarchy of your organization’s IT department, it’s vital that you arm yourself up with the knowledge you need to navigate such challenges. Following the below mentioned healthcare CIOs on social media can help you stay updated with the latest tech trends in the healthcare industry.

1. David Chou

David Chou is an award-winning healthcare industry CIO who is listed in the “Top 100 Social #CIOs” and “Top 100 CIOs to know” as well as one of Twitter’s most mentioned CIOs. As a digital transformation consultant, Chou advocates for the use of technology to gain competitive advantages in the healthcare industry.

His approach helps “healthcare organizations (hospitals, health systems, MSO, life science, healthcare startups) globally [to] maximize their technology investment in healthcare IT and start transforming the organization towards a digital enterprise.” Chou heavily shares with his followers the trends in the industry that shape the discourse of technological challenges facing the healthcare system.

2. John D. Halamka, MD, MS

John D. Halamka is a busy man. While balancing his duties as Chief Information Officer of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center against the requirements of his position as Chairman of the New England Healthcare Exchange Network (NEHEN) and Co-Chair of the HIT Standards Committee, Halamka also acts as a full Professor at Harvard Medical School, and as a practicing Emergency Physician.

In the midst of supporting 3000 doctors, 18000 faculty, and 3 million patients, he finds time to contribute regularly to his blog, Life as a Healthcare CIO, where he shares his “experiences with infrastructure, applications, policies, management, and governance as well as views on topics such as reducing our carbon footprint, standardizing data in healthcare, and living life to its fullest.”

3. Will Weider

Will Weider is the CIO of Ministry Health Care in Wisconsin. Ministry is responsible for the operation of 15 hospitals, 3 medical groups consisting of 500 doctors spread across 50 clinic locations, and the oversight of a 150,000 member health plan.

He has been using his blog, Candid CIO, as an outlet for challenging the standards in healthcare IT for almost 13 years. His entire career since 1985 has been devoted to healthcare IT, where he has seen IT in the industry “transform from a means [of] managing the financial aspect of health care to the current state where IT is integral to delivering care to the patients.”

4. Stephen J. Downs

Stephen J. Downs is the CIO for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and takes a philanthropic approach to all that he does with the organization. His wide-ranging experience includes program design, program strategy development and measurement, grant making operations, and information technology management.

His broad expertise in healthcare and public health combined with a specialized expertise in health IT, particularly the use of consumer technology in health, allows Downs to ensure that the Foundation’s technology strategy and daily operations align with the organization’s IT strategy. Downs is a supporter of the OpenNotes project, which allows patients to access physician notes, and he has focused recent efforts on identifying health patterns in everyday life through patient self-tracking of data.

5. Sue Schade

With more than 30 years of experience in Healthcare IT experience and numerous recognitions, Schade is a powerhouse in the industry who we originally included in this list for her role as CIO at the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers.

However, her recent resignation and transition to mentoring and consultation places her in what could arguably be a more influential and leading role in the industry, as she will be taking on interim management duties through Next Wave Health Advisors. As a founding advisor for the company, Schade is no stranger to the role, and sees this as a chance to contribute to the industry in a more general sense. Through her blog, she writes regularly on topics such as leadership, technology, and other healthcare topics.

6. Bill Swavely

A successful entrepreneur for startups and turn-around companies, Bill Swavely also recently appeared on the Top 100 Social CIOs on Twitter. Currently, he is the CIO for InfoBionic, a Massachusetts-based technology firm responsible for the innovative MoMe Kardia platform.

It’s his activity on Twitter that sets him apart from peers in the industry and places him on our radar, as he actively guides and shapes the discourse on Twitter regarding Healthcare IT trends and information. It’s his goal to make “business operations and strategic goals happen through innovative applications of technology and information management – creating agility and competitive advantage for the business while ensuring security and compliance.”

7. Marc Chasin, MD

Marc Chasin, CIO and System Vice President for the St. Luke’s Health System, has extensive experience in change management and enterprise level clinical informatics. Through his recently re-launched blog, ChasinChat, and other avenues, Chasin is involved at a national level in shaping the discourse on such topics as inter operability, patient-centered care, mHealth, and telehealth; all topics that will become major game changers in the years to come.

Chasin is very active in healthcare organizations beyond St. Luke’s, where he holds positions as Chair of Epic Care Everywhere Council and the Chair of the Trust Frame Workgroup of CareQuality. He also sits on the board of the Idaho Health Data Exchange (IHDE), and is a member of the following organizations: Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems (AMDIS), College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

8. Luis Saldana

Luis Saldana is the Chief Medical Informatics Officer and Medical Director for Clinical Decision Support for the Texas Health Resources multi-hospital care delivery system in Northern Texas. His organization, under his direction, has earned the HIMSS Davies Award, and Saldana has been named by Becker in 2014 as one of the “25 CIOs to Know.”

He is an active voice in the national discussion of EHR and Clinical Support initiatives. He also co-authored the 2012 HIMSS Book of the Year, “Improving outcomes with clinical decision support: An implementer’s guide.” He further guides the industry through his adjunct professor position at the Jindal School of Management at the University of Texas at Dallas.

9. Kirk Kirksey

Kirk Kirksey is the Vice President and CIO for the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He brings to the table 25 years of healthcare IT related experience and specializes in IT systems planning and implementation, inter operability, and IT crisis management. He is a well-known and prolific speaker in the Healthcare IT field, and having published more than 300 IT related articles and columns, he is considered to be very active in the popular and academic press. Kirksey leverages his social media platforms as informational portals for professionals in the healthcare industry.

10. Dirk Stanley, MD, MPH

As a Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) and a Physician Informaticist, Stanley is board-certified in both internal medicine and clinical informatics. He is also an architect for I91Informatics and the innovator behind the #SpeakFlower project.

Winner of NE HIMSS 2010 Physician of the Year, Stanley is passionate about providing great patient care while maintaining clear communication and cohesive workflow design. His blog, CMIO Perspective, teaches readers about clinical informatics and how to design clinical workflows.