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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Chief Standards Geek

In Healthcare IT News yesterday was an article on 6 new HIT Positions in 2012.  They missed one that should be on the list, and that is the "Chief Standards Executive".

What is a CSE, and what does he or she do?
  1. Determines what HIT Standards are important to the business, and which ones are not (usually with the help of geeks).
  2. Decides upon appropriate organizational policy with respect to the development of the standard, or  use of the standard.
  3. Influence federal and state policy to the degree possible as it relates to HIT Standards.
  4. Assigns appropriate resources to participate in, learn about, and/or implement HIT Standards.
  5. Influences SDO organizations with respect to the development of HIT standards, with respect to appropriateness, industry need, et cetera.
Depending on the organization, this can be a full or part-time position, and can be combined with other roles.  Sometimes a CEO, CIO, CMIO or CMO will take on the role of CSE as part of their duties.

The CSE need not be expert in the Healthcare IT standards per se, but should have access to someone who is.  There role is not necessarily to develop the standards, but rather to know enough about them execute on the tasks above.

This needs to be an executive level position because the CSE needs to be someone who can commit an organization to a strategic path, and to assign resources to execute on their commitments.

I'm not a CSE (I'm definately not an executive); I'm a standards geek.  The CSE needs Standards Geeks to help them with these goals, because most executives aren't geeks.

Who is your CSE? 

1 comment:

  1. Not unrelated:

    Why healthcare IT security is harder than the rest
    (ComputerWorld interview, 11/14/2011)

    An excerpt:

    "It starts with the transaction. One of the nice things that security architects have in the financial world is a very black and white transaction model. The money is in my account, or it's in your account, or it's in the holding company's account. There is no gray area about who's got the money at any given period of time, or where the risk is at any given time. Relatively speaking these transaction models are brutally simple, because lots of players have to sign up for them and there's lots of standardization. And people have been tweaking these models for a long time. When you start a job as a CISO at a financial services firm you are given a transaction model manual, and it's fairly straightforward.

    If you compare that to medical records, to healthcare insurance, or other things in that space, there is almost no uniformity, no standardization in how many of these interactions work. ...."

    The conclusion is a pretty melancholy one. Any comments with respect to standards in place or on the way? The main issue here may not be the availability of standards so much as the painfully slow process of implementing them properly across many large and small organizations.