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CHIME Certification Gives HIT Leaders a Boost

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, July 17, 2012

Perhaps you're already up to speed on this accelerating technological pace. But if not, I strongly recommend checking out certification such as CHIME's. Just don't expect a cake walk. CHIME officials say not everybody passes.

"When we started writing [test questions] in one of our sessions, we had to go back and take the exam," says the third CIO I spoke with, Randy McCleese, vice president of IS and CIO of St. Claire Regional Medical Center. "I didn't do very well, and I helped write it," McCleese says with a laugh.

Exam questions that everyone or no one gets right are tossed out and replaced by other questions. Twice a year, a group of CHIME CIOs sits down to review and update the questions. For example, even though those Meaningful Use Stage 2 rules haven't been finalized, questions about the general concepts embodied in Stage 2 are now on the exam, as well as questions about accountable care organizations.

"From the technical aspect, we don't dig into questions that you would not expect an executive to have to deal with," Stettheimer says. "For example, you wouldn't ask them what settings would you use on a server."

But the exam does cover the kinds of things I talk to CIOs about regularly. "Some of the questions may relate to laws and regulations," McCleese says. "Some of those may relate to technical aspects of computer systems. Some of them may relate to governance within an organization. It's the things that we see day in and day out being a CIO."

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