The Chief Clinical Informatics Officer: New Recommendations from AMIA for Healthcare C-suite Expertise

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

(BETHESDA, MD) – AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association) announced today the results of a task force report on the Chief Clinical Informatics Officer (CCIO) position. The AMIA Task Force Report on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements was released today in the Journal of Applied Clinical Informatics (ACI), an official journal of AMIA. The report presents a compelling case addressing workforce development needs at the CCIO level to provide skilled executive level leadership in informatics science within healthcare organizations.

The report was developed by the AMIA Task Force on CCIO Knowledge, Education, and Skillset Requirements and led by Joseph L. Kannry, MD, Task Force Chair and Lead Technical Informaticist-EMR Project, Mount Sinai Medical Center. The report presents a framework for the education, training and selection of a CCIO workforce. The term encompasses the more commonly used Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) and Chief Nursing Informatics Officer (CNIO) as well as the rarely used Chief Pharmacy Informatics Officer (CPIO) and Chief Dental Informatics Officer (CDIO). Findings are being presented publicly at the AMIA iHealth 2016 Clinical Informatics Conference, May 4-6, Minneapolis.

“In the past 10 years the chief clinical informatics officer position has flourished in the healthcare landscape, albeit without many guidelines for expected skill and education or the operational scope of the role,” said Dr. Kannry. “AMIA is offering these guidelines to help advise C-suite executives on potential staff selection criteria for CCIOs, as well as inform informatics professionals broadly on the state of the field. The stakes are high when addressing improved quality of care, better outcomes and lower costs. Organizations cannot afford to fill a CCIO position with a person of uncertain skill, education or knowledge.”

The task force concluded that while the role of the CCIO currently is diverse, a growing body of Clinical Informatics and increasing certification efforts are resulting in increased homogeneity. The task force advised that 1) to achieve a predictable and desirable skillset, the CCIO must complete clearly defined and specified Clinical Informatics education and training; 2) future education and training must reflect the changing body of knowledge and must be guided by changing day-to-day informatics challenges.

The report references ongoing certification efforts, an important goal which AMIA advocates for to continue the professionalization of the field. AMIA led the effort to create the clinical informatics subspecialty certification (initialized in 2013). Currently, work is proceeding through another AMIA task force to develop an Advanced Health Informatics Certification (AHIC). In addition to presenting results from the CCIO Task Force report, at the iHealth 2016 meeting, AMIA will also conduct a listening session with attendees about AHIC and informatics certification.

“The CCIO report is another example of AMIA’s thought leadership in the applied clinical informatics space,” said Douglas B. Fridsma, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, AMIA, noting last year’s release of the influential Report of the AMIA EHR-2020 Task Force on the status and future direction of EHRs in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

About AMIA

AMIA is the professional home of leading informaticians: clinicians, scientists, researchers, educators, students, and other informatics professionals who rely on data to connect people, information, and technology.  AMIA (the American Medical Informatics Association) is the center of action for more than 5,000 health care professionals, informatics researchers, and thought-leaders in biomedicine, health care and science. AMIA is an unbiased, authoritative source within the informatics community and the health care industry. AMIA and its members are transforming healthcare through trusted science, education, and practice in biomedical and health informatics.