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What Scares Healthcare CIOs

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, October 23, 2012

Jim Albin, vice president and CIO at St. Luke's Episcopal Health System in Houston, says radiation technology in oncology systems is the scariest technology. "Even some of the mundane hardware configurations can cause issues, and you don't realize it," he says.

The only things that ever worry Bill Spooner, FCHIME, CHCIO, in his job is the possibility of a big outage or a security breach. "Those are the things that just scare the hell right out of me," says Spooner, senior vice president and CIO of Sharp Healthcare in San Diego. Knock on wood—he's faced neither during his career.

Spooner says the scariness of healthcare technology pales next to his experience in another industry: the military. "I was in a classified Navy program 40 years ago," he says. "That's probably the scariest."

For Todd Richardson, CHCIO, vice president and CIO of Aspirus, a three-hospital health system in Wausau, Wisc., Twitter is spooky.

"I think I tweeted twice and I was afraid, because I'm not sure what I just did," Richardson says, tongue in cheek. "I'm still trying to understand the reason [for Twitter.] I'm sure there's something out there I don't know about, but I don't know what I don't know."

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