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Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO)

Contributor(s): Dennis Shiao

Chief Health Informatics Officer (CHIO) is a strategic, executive-level position responsible for managing health informatics and information management (IT) strategies. Organizations hiring a CHIO typically look for a physician who can combine health IT expertise with strong leadership skills to transform a healthcare organization by using data to improve health outcomes, drive down costs and empower patients.

The Chief Health Informatics officer is an evolution of the chief medical information officer (CMIO). The CMIO oversees the adoption and management of health IT systems, such as electronic health records (EHR) and computerized physician order entries (CPOE). Now that the deployment of EHR is complete at most hospitals, the CMIO role is evolving from operational to strategic, with a focus on innovation.

In some hospitals, the CMIO's job title has evolved to CHIO. In other cases, a CMIO reports to the newly created CHIO position. The CHIO, in turn, typically reports to the Chief Information Officer (CIO) or Chief Operations Officer (COO), although reporting structures vary across organizations. 

The CHIO's job often has some overlap with the CMIO's job, including the selection, deployment and management of health IT systems. The CHIO, however, is tasked with being a strategic thinker and visionary who curates and analyzes large data sets to drive down costs and promote patient empowerment.

The CHIO role exists in healthcare organizations, such as hospitals and health systems. One notable example of the CHIO role is at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). In 2018, CMS created a chief health informatics officer position.

This was last updated in August 2019

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