Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation
Skip to footer

by Dr. John Halamka
Published on March 20, 2018

As health IT has evolved, so has the role of the CIO. Today, a health care organization’s chief information officer must be prepared to meet changing organizational, clinical and population health-related demands with increasingly capable and innovative technology. 

Less than a decade ago, 9 out of every 10 physicians in the U.S. updated their patients’ health records on paper charts. In part thanks to the introduction of meaningful use in 2009, electronic health record (EHR) systems have been widely adopted and have transformed health care – and by the end of 2017, approximately 90 percent of physicians across the country were using EHRs.

With EHR adoption came the influx of big data, there have come questions around data access rights and a heightened need for interoperability. These concerns and more sit at the feet of the modern CIO. 

In this episode of The Cerner Podcast, we’re joined by Dr. John Halamka, the CIO and the CMIO at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Halamka joined Beth Israel Deaconess in 1998 as the Chief Medical Information Officer, and today is responsible for the IT strategy, security and operations there. In this episode, he discusses some of the top issues CIOs and CMIOs are facing in today’s marketplace. 

Dr. Halamka answers the following questions: 

  • You’ve spent about 20 years in the role of CMIO and CIO at Beth Israel Deaconess. This has given you an active part in the evolution of health IT over the last two decades and how your organization has adapted to its rapid growth and incorporated changes. Will you share some of your insights with us, given your background? What are some of the most significant changes that have rocked health IT, and what does that say about the state of the health care industry today?
  • Cloud computing was a big topic across the health care industry in 2017, and we’re seeing that trend continue into this year. From your perspective, discuss some of the benefits of and barriers to cloud computing. How have you addressed the cloud at Beth Israel Deaconess, and how do you expect this trend to evolve over the next year and beyond? 
  • Hospitals and health care systems are facing increased demands on workflow redesign and automation. What are some of the technologies today that you see helping to address this need? 
  • In 2017, you co-authored a book called Realizing the Promise of Precision Medicine, merging your experience as a physician with your expertise as a CIO and exploring the intersection of patient data, mobile technology and consumer engagement. I’d like to offer listeners a teaser of that book – could you give us an idea of some of the present limitations around precision medicine and how to overcome them?
  • We’ve covered a great deal of topics in this episode. I’m hoping we can pull things back up for a moment and go broad. Understanding, of course, that the responsibilities of the CIO and CMIO grow larger seemingly with each week, what do you believe should be the top priorities for health care leadership in 2018?

Listen to the full podcast below, or click here to view all episodes of The Cerner Podcast!

For more Cerner news and health IT insights, make sure you're following us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Want more podcasts? Click here for The Cerner Podcast library!

Ep. 93: Surescript's Margaux Currie and Cerner's Kashif Rathore on Price Transparency

by Margaux Currie | Kashif Rathore
September 18, 2018
Discover how hospitals and health care systems can adapt to the industry’s needs and consumer expectations pertaining to prescription price transparency.

Protecting Your Hospital from Cybersecurity Risks

by Russ Branzell
September 17, 2018
Phishing attacks, malware and ransomware are at the top of Becker’s list of cybersecurity threats to health care organizations. Breaches are achieved through a brute force approach, where a bad actor repeatedly tries to guess a user name and password, or through human error, for instance with an email recipient clicking on an attachment.

Ep. 92: TrendHunter's Jeremy Gutsche on Disruption and Change in Health Care

by Jeremy Gutsche
September 11, 2018
Jeremy Gutsche, keynote speaker at Cerner's 2018 Revenue Management Symposium and founder of, shares actionable ideas on how to adapt to change faster, and how it can set the stage for innovation and business transformation in any industry, and health care in particular.

4 Stories on Reducing Readmissions and Decreasing Average Length of Stay

by Cerner Corporation
September 5, 2018
Here are four stories on how hospitals and health systems are using software and technology to identify at-risk patients early and to proactively care for those patients in an effort to reduce ALOS and decrease readmission rates.