No “CIO end-runs” in Healthcare IT

January 20, 2012  |  Category: Health IT

I’m not an NFL coach, but I can say with certainty that the “CIO end run” is a bad play for mobile app vendors to call, at least in the healthcare sector. According to an article last week in, however, it appears many mobile app vendors are inclined to run it. reported on the AppNation Enterprise Summit, noting that the main message at the conference was “selling to the enterprise no longer starts with the CIO.”

It may not always start there, but it certainly passes through the CIO’s office. Here’s what I see happening in the healthcare IT world in that regard:

Fact: Physicians desperately want mobile workflow software that they can use – intuitively, productively, and painlessly – at their convenience, on the device of their choice; and they don’t particularly care what systems their hospital(s) already have in place, or why those systems were installed in the first place.

Another fact: Physicians know something good when they see it; witness the proliferation of smartphones and tablets in clinical settings.

Third fact: Enterprise software vendors succeed more often when they offer some clear value to the CIO.

Sure, PatientKeeper gladly shows off its wares to physician end-users, who are quick to appreciate it.  And physician “champions” often lobby their hospital’s IT department to consider our solution. But every software vendor should have a compelling story for the “techies” as well as the end-users – ours is that we integrate easily with whatever back-end systems already are in place at the hospital, so there’s no requirement to rip out and replace existing IT infrastructure. CIOs like that, because it saves time and money.

So rather than avoid the CIO, mobile app vendors selling to the enterprise need to figure out their value proposition for each prospective customer’s technical leadership.  Because, as any football coach knows, when you call an end run, it’s easy to get dropped for a loss.

This post was written by PatientKeeper's TransforMED blogging team.