CASE STUDY: Interim CIO

April 7, 2022

 


Client’s Challenge

Our client needed an Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) to provide leadership and strategic direction while they searched for a permanent CIO. The hospital is in a rural area where finding Information Technology (IT) talent is often challenging. Our customer’s goal was to evaluate the current strengths and weaknesses of the IT department operations and staff. In addition, they wanted to organize and assess all open IT projects to determine why they struggled to complete them in a timely manner.

 

Our Solution

We delivered to our client a seasoned CIO to provide interim leadership to their IT department and to work with their C-suite executive team. John Lynch & Associates’ first steps when providing a C-suite level consultant is to conduct individual interviews with executive team members. These interviews provide unique perspectives on what is “working” or “needs work” within IT. Each leader’s opinion is essential to gaining a holistic view of IT at an organizational level.

 

In addition, our executive consultant conducted IT staff interviews to gain the team’s perspective on whether they feel supported by leadership, have the proper tools and or time to complete tasks, and whether the department has the skilled knowledge and experience to support the users, applications, and hardware infrastructure.

 

Urgent needs were addressed quickly to ensure that nothing IT-related slipped through the cracks while organizational tasks were delegated. Quick fixes provided immediate relief to providers, medical staff, and business teams while gaining new confidence in the IT staff through quick wins.

 

Additional time was spent gathering information on IT governance, policies and procedures, the network infrastructure, cloud-based and on-premises applications, projects, and their statuses, purchasing controls, adherence to HIPAA, and help desk support efforts.

 

Overall, the client’s goals were met successfully. An IT Steering Committee was developed from key stakeholders that included providers, staff, leadership, and IT professionals. Once all projects were organized and documented (which numbered more than 150) the IT Steering Committee was able to assist with prioritizing the most critical and impactful for the organization. Only five projects were allowed to be in the highest prioritized category. This allowed IT to highly focus 80% of their resources to accomplish these projects first without worrying about the other 145. This proved to be so successful for the organization and relieved IT staff from the burdens of not knowing where to spend their time. They began completing project after project within budget, on time, and with a significant impact on the organization.

 

Many additional operational and staffing concerns were addressed within IT and improved upon through the Interim CIO’s efforts:

  • The Interim CIO provided strong leadership while recruitment efforts for a permanent CIO were addressed. After 18 months the CFO hired an individual for their CIO position. Our Interim CIO transitioned responsibilities, provided knowledge transfer, and ensured ongoing success for their IT department.
  • A security audit firm was assessed and procured through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process led by the CFO and Interim CIO. The security audit helped identify and address critical security concerns while also providing a roadmap and framework for future security efforts. HIPAA Security and Breach Rules were also addressed, improvements implemented, documented, and adhered to.
  • Well over 70 of the 150 projects identified were completed over the 18 months with huge impacts to patient care, EHR and billing systems, contract management, and IT infrastructure improvements.
  • IT staffing adjustments provided new growth opportunities, salary increases, and training while employee morale skyrocketed.

 

The executive leadership expressed their gratitude as many of their employees’ needs were addressed. The Board of Directors expressed that IT has never been so organized or accomplished as much as they have over the past 18 months.

 

For more information regarding this case study or if you would like to discuss how we can assist you with your interim CIO needs, please contact us at 623.980.8018 or by email inquiries@johnlynchandassociates.com

Phone Number

(623) 980-8018

Mailing Address

PO Box 12372 Glendale, AZ 85318