Hospital-Hybridization Model Quadrant Two: The Foundational Clinical Leaders

This week, we’re jumping into the second quadrant in the hospital-hybridization model: the clinical/transformation A quadrant. For a complete introduction to our hospital-hybridization model, check out the first entry of this five-part series.

In the lower-right corner, clinical/transformation A quadrant has the longest history in the health system. While the hybrid roles therein may be relatively new, there have long been positions in the hospital concentrated on leveraging existing medical knowledge and evidence-based practices to achieve positive medical outcomes. Members of this quadrant may not be on the cutting edge of innovation, but they’re great at incrementally improving care on the medical side of the house.

Whether they have an IT role or operate closer to the patient, this quadrant works closely with clinical leaders. Hybrid roles including chief medical information officers (CMIOs) and chief nursing information officers (CNIOs) sit in this quadrant. These roles were created primarily in response to meaningful use policy and the large-scale shift toward the digitization of medical information. Of course, in today’s healthcare landscape, they’re integral to connecting clinical teams with crucial IT functions.

There are key, nuanced, differences between the CMIO and the CNIO, even though they exist in the same buyer quadrant. The CMIO acts as the bridge between medical operations and the IT department. They are hands-on change agents, actively involved in implementing new technologies that will be effective in the clinical setting. They report to the CIO or the head of informatics, so their role is to bring a medical perspective to an otherwise technology-driven practice.

However, as the CMIO role has become more strategic in nature, many have become one step removed from the daily operations of clinical staff. While they may have clinical backgrounds, they no longer interface directly with the physicians and nurses on the floor. Instead they find themselves planning alongside clinical and technology leadership to optimize existing systems as well as invest in the development of new ones.

As CMIOs have moved into more strategic roles, CNIOs have begun backfilling some of the clinical advisory role. With experience in IT and nursing, CNIOs integrate nursing science with information management and analytics to manage data, information, and knowledge for the nursing practice. CNIOs represent the nursing staff in IT discussions, and the IT staff in nursing discussions. Moreover, you can think of them as “data-driven nursing leaders.” According to the American Nurses Association (ANA), nursing informatics (NI) is a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.

Buyer Tendencies of this Quadrant

This quadrant is less focused on the profitability of the organization (at least as a primary objective) and more concerned with applying IT functions to support clinical workflows and care delivery. As a result, they are more responsive to a value proposition that highlights the flexibility of your product to match unique workflow needs. This quadrant also yearns for a tool or service that cuts the administrative burden on physicians and nurses, because they act as ambassadors for their fellow MDs — a chronically overworked group. You’re sure to turn this quadrant off with language like:

“Our comprehensive, proven product reduces costs by integrating your disparate clinical reporting solutions.”

The CNIO reading this description will think, “If it’s proven, it means it’s not customizable. And if it is built to reduce costs, it may put an increased strain on my clinicians, who are already hanging on by a thread.” Instead, to perk the attention of C-suite members of this quadrant, use this type of language:

“Our nimble software is built to automate the arduous process of data entry so that your doctors can do what they trained to do.”


Key strategy for this quadrant

Sell a product that lightens the administrative burden on clinicians, but make sure you back it up with strong, agile technology or processes.

December 7, 2017
The hospital C-suite is a complex target audience.
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