Healthcare CIO Tenure Trends
By Ranae Rousse
Ranae Rousse is VP of sales for Direct Consulting Associates of Solon, OH.
Last year while supporting one of the many local HIMSS chapter events, a keynote speaker presented a statistic that caught my attention. The speaker was presenting on the rise of cybersecurity threats to healthcare. The first slide in his well-constructed PowerPoint presentation had a bolded “17 months” with a font size of about 200. The gentleman then shared with the attendees, most of whom were CIOs, that 17 months is now the average tenure for a chief information officer.
I asked for the source of the 17-month statistic and found that it was for CISOs rather than CIOs and it was also not specific to healthcare. I decided to do my own research with an independent survey of 1,500 healthcare CIOs. The results:
- The average tenure for a healthcare CIO is 5.5 years, with the range from five months to 23 years.
- 37 percent of respondents were not healthcare CIOs in their previous jobs. Those who were tended to have longer tenure in their previous CIO positions.
- 44 percent of the respondents said they don’t have a succession plan. Those respondents also did not have a requirement to appoint a successor.
- 69 percent intend to retire as a healthcare CIO, although 11 percent say they would purse a COO/CEO role and the remaining 20 percent were split equally between moving to a consulting job or leaving healthcare.
Increases in mergers, acquisitions, and hospital closures between 2008 and 2017 reflect a loss of roughly 280 hospitals, so the number of CIO positions is decreasing. The perception of the CIO role itself has changed from being a senior IT leader to becoming a higher-level healthcare executive, opening the door for the role of the associate CIO in many large health systems.
Considering this ever-changing landscape; what trends can we anticipate for the future?