Client Stories

Interims bridge the gap, not warm the bench

When is it a good time to be without a CIO?

Never. Unfortunately, that is not an option.

Organizations often find they need an interim leader to bridge a gap. It may be due to the leader retiring or leaving for a new opportunity. These situations typically involve a stable transition with the interim leader brought in to keep things moving and provide a fresh perspective.

When a leader is asked to leave, the gap may be more urgent, and the situation is anything but stable and smooth. The interim leader needs to dive in, stabilize the situation, reassure an unsettled staff, and identify and address critical problems.

In the past year, StarBridge Advisors has provided interim leaders in each of these scenarios. Our seasoned IT leaders have been able to provide stability, leadership, process improvement, and project-based results to several organizations including small and large community-based health systems and academic medical centers.

When a large healthcare system suddenly needed a CIO, our advisor stepped in as interim CIO. Within the first several months, he was able to:

  • Create an optimal process to select, prioritize and complete improvements in the use of clinical IT
  • Implement a new analytics strategy
  • Further mature the IT governance process
  • Improve IT processes to provide more reliable service to customers

In another interim CIO engagement, the top goals were different but similar:

  • Conclude an agreement with another healthcare system for EMR hosting
  • Develop an EDW/BI strategy and facilitate vendor selection
  • Provide leadership for an ERP implementation
  • Facilitate integration with the state’s HIE
  • Participate in the formation of a new accountable care organization
  • Recruit several new IT directors and managers

In just a few short months, another interim CIO was able to:

  • Begin to reorganize and realign critical IT processes
  • Create a solid foundation for IT governance
  • Improve relationships with the core IT vendors
  • Make numerous incremental improvements to IT operational efficiencies to better serve the organization

StarBridge Advisors provides interim management beyond the CIO role. Our interim CMIO had the following top goals:

  • Lead the integration of the physician information technology champions
  • Create a more geographic-based model for physician and clinical informatics support of the organization
  • Enhance data analytics in conjunction with operations and technology partners
  • Support quality and safety programs to improve systemness
  • Optimize use of the electronic health record by all caregivers

None of these interim leaders have been “seat warmers”. They balanced operations and consulting roles. They managed typical IT day-to-day issues and helped lead strategic initiatives. They stabilized situations and have been change agents when needed.

If you find yourself in need of an interim IT leader, turn to StarBridge Advisors. We have seasoned leaders who have experience as either CIO, CTO, CISO, CMIO or CNIO serving large and small healthcare organizations. We will match the optimal interim leader with your unique needs and organization profile. Our interim leader will partner with your executive team throughout the transition, lead the IT organization, help you find the best permanent candidate, and conduct a well-organized handoff to ensure the new leader’s future success.