“EP178: The Evolving Role of the Chief Information Officer, With Sue Schade, Principal at StarBridge Advisors”
by Stacey Richter

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Chief Information Officers (CIOs) are not just “the computer people” anymore. Technology is no longer relegated to the category of operational overhead. Technology is a strategic imperative. It’s a competitive differentiator, it’s a driver of success in today’s connected era, an era increasingly dependent on outcomes-based revenue. On the other hand, when something goes wrong, technology gets blamed even if the real problem is a shabby process or insufficient training. Today, I have a candid conversation with Sue Schade from StarBridge Advisors about the what and how of being a CIO. Sue is the perfect person to have this conversation because she’s had the opportunity to serve in the role of CIO or interim CIO at 4 health systems in 4 geographies with 4 different cultures and levels of sophistication and leadership teams.

Sue is a Principal at StarBridge Advisors, LLC. A nationally recognized health IT leader, she recently served as interim CIO at Stony Brook Medicine on Long Island and at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to joining StarBridge Advisors, she was a founding advisor at Next Wave Health Advisors.

Sue has more than 30 years’ experience in health care information technology management, and was recognized as the CHIME-HIMSS John E. Gall, Jr. CIO of the Year in 2014.

Sue served as CIO for the University of Michigan Hospitals and Health Centers from 2012-2015, providing direction and oversight to information technology initiatives and working closely with the CIO for the U-M Medical School. Under her leadership, University of Medicine and Health Sciences made the HealthCare’s Most Wired list in 2015 and achieved the HIMSS Analytics EMR Adoption Model Stage 6 in 2014.

For over 12 years, Sue served as CIO of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Her previous experience included 12 years in positions of increasing responsibility at a large integrated delivery system in the Chicago area. She led the software division for a start-up health care software and outsourcing services vendor for several years and worked as a senior manager in the health care information technology practice at Ernst & Young.

An active member of Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), Sue served on the CHIME Board from 2004 to 2006, and chaired its Education Foundation Board from 2006 to 2009. She served on the HIMSS Advocacy and Public Policy Steering Committee from 2009-2011 as well as the CHIME Policy Steering Committee. Sue achieved fellow status with both HIMSS and CHIME. She is currently serving on the board and executive committee of AAMI and the CHIME Education Foundation Board.

She is a regular speaker and writer within the HIT industry, including a weekly blog called “Health IT Connect” at www.sueschade.com. She holds an MBA degree from Illinois Benedictine College in Lisle, Illinois.


00:00 What are the common issue areas in health care system organizations?
02:40 “Look at the alignment between IT and the executive team.”
03:00 Looking at service management.
03:27 “Is the infrastructure stable and reliable?”
03:40 Evaluating the security program.
04:10 Assessing the strength of the application area.
06:35 The evolution of IT within an organization.
09:50 Advice for CIOs to finding a balance between strategy and IT.
14:00 Obtaining that priority-level list.
19:00 Balancing short-term and long-term goals and impacts.
28:50 Data governance.
34:00 Volume to value.
37:00 Mergers and acquisitions.
40:00 You can learn more at starbridgeadvisors.com or at sueschade.com.

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