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Why Don’t We Groom the Next Generation of Health IT Leaders?


What’s really interesting about my tweet above is that the person that asked me why their weren’t young people at CHIME was actually the wife of someone attending CHIME. She was a healthcare IT outsider that was just observing the situation from the outside.

It’s a very good question and all that I could tell this nice lady was, I don’t know. The reality is that CHIME and all the other major health IT conferences should be embracing and facilitating the next generation of health IT leaders. If they don’t then healthcare will be in a bad position. The next generation of hospital CIOs need to learn from the current crop of hospital CIOs.

I know that I ruffled some feathers with my previous post about the “Old Boys Club” of Healthcare IT, but this is another example of it. I was amazed that I was the youngest person at CHIME and by a long shot. The only people that came close in age were some of the vendors participating in the event.

What are we doing in healthcare IT to groom the next generation of leaders? From my view, not very much. It’s unfortunate, because your hospital CIO won’t live forever (as hard as he may try).

November 21, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.

“Old Boys Club” of Healthcare IT

I’ve been giving some thought recently to what I call the “Old Boys Club” of health IT and the damaging impact to healthcare. I’m not really talking about an old boys club like most people think about. I’m sure there’s that in healthcare too, but this is referencing a mentality that I think exists in healthcare that should be recognized and addressed.

The basic concept is that healthcare IT rarely looks outside of healthcare IT for people with related expertise. This approach creates an insular environment where everyone is inside the healthcare IT bubble and start to exhibit the same thinking.

I realize I’m painting some rather broad generalizations, but I think a lot can be learned from looking at generalizations because they are generally true.

I think this idea really hits home to me as I think back on the massive number of EMR and healthcare IT job listings I’ve seen (Check out my EMR and EHR job board if you didn’t know it existed). It is so rare to find a healthcare IT job that doesn’t ask for healthcare experience. I’ve heard many complaints from people coming from other sectors of the economy who have IT experience, but no healthcare experience. In many cases, those people are having a really hard job cracking the “no healthcare experience” barrier. My biggest suggestion to these people is to beg, borrow and steal so they can get healthcare experience.

Certainly, I’m quite familiar with the unique attributes of healthcare IT. So, I can understand why someone hiring a healthcare IT job can benefit having someone who has some healthcare background. However, I can’t help but wonder if healthcare wouldn’t benefit from a few more healthcare IT outsiders joining our ranks. They could provide a fresh perspective and ask fresh questions that could really move us forward. My fear is that many hospital IT people are afraid of the fresh perspective.

I’m glad that my first healthcare employer took a chance on me. I’m a little bias, but I believe it worked out really well for them. I think breaking up the “Old Boys Club” a little bit with some fresh outside perspectives could be really beneficial.

June 13, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 15 blogs containing almost 5000 articles with John having written over 2000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 9.3 million times. John also recently launched two new companies: InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com, and is an advisor to docBeat. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and Google Plus.