Tear Down These Walls!

There may be walls more impenetrable than the Soviets’ old Berlin Wall. Namely, those that divide the Functional Warlords in enterprises of all stripes.

To reiterate, I spoke last week to a great group of Healthcare CIOs. I was nasty on the Hot Topic of patient safety. (I’ve shared my Rant/s earlier.)

But there was really another point I tried to ram home. Namely, that they … CIOs … are as responsible for patients as any doc or nurse. That they … CIOs … are no-holds-barred “healers” Here, specifically, is the way I put it:

“You are not ‘CIOs.’ You are … ‘Executive Members of an … Integrated Healing Services Team’ (‘Healing Arts Team’?) …with a specialization in IS/IT.”

To me—and you?—that is the difference between day and night. Take the case of electronic patient records. For a CIO, that’s a “program,” albeit an important one. Per my framing, it’s a … Life & Death issue … with a “program” component.

I want/wanted each CIO to feel as … DEVASTATED … by a (preventable) hospital death as the Bedside Nurse and Attending Physician did/does. The issue before me is/was “patient safety”/acute-“care” quality. But it was also the peril-lost opportunity of Functional Walls. The CIO brings a different skillset to the Healing Stage … but he/she is as much (or more … per me) a “healer” than an “IS/IT professional.”


(1) Do you agree in general?
(2) Do you agree that the Mindset Delta (CIO v. Healer) is a Day-Night difference?
(3) Do you agree that the CIO is as responsible for Patient Safety as the M.D.-R.N.?

Tom Peters posted this on November 3, 2004, in Healthcare.
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