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George Conklin is Making Sure Christus Health Stays Wired

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(Courtesy of: Christus Health)
(Courtesy of: Christus Health)

Earlier this month, D CEO held its Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer Awards, recognizing the top tech business leaders in North Texas. Several of the nominees apply their innovative expertise to the healthcare field, and were kind enough to share their thoughts on everything from significant achievements to their toughest challenges.

George Conklin, Chief Information Officer at Christus Health, was one of our nominees for CIO/CTO of the Year. Below are his responses to our Q and A ahead of the awards.

What has been your most significant professional achievement in the past year or so?

We have worked extensively to expand our electronic medical record system to help people get well, help people stay well, and help future generations in the communities we serve live healthier lives. We’ve established valuable standards across state and country borders and now have established customary revenue cycles and electronic medical records throughout Christus ministries both here in the United States and in Latin America. We also are able to quickly turn around business intelligence or other important health analytics reporting. This is crucial when we need quick and accurate data reporting for our patients, processes and/or people. I’m also proud of our several years now running award as a ‘Most Wired’ health system by the American Hospital Association. This prestigious list recognizes us as one of the best in the industry for technology and for our practices in adopting and implementing information technology and using that technology for the betterment of those we serve.

What is the toughest challenge you’ve had to overcome in your career?

It is the same challenge that I experience every day and every second on the job. To be an exceptional leader in this line of work, you have to be aware of the rate and pace of change. You also have to know that what we do is complex and massive. Every day we must strive for integration and interoperability, which is the benefit for everyone we serve. It is also important to know, that because of the scope and depth of healthcare IT, no one person can know it all. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who complement each other and each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They help our department and the entire organization overcome some of the biggest challenges that have come our way.

What do you love most about what you do?

I like to be a problem solver and make a difference in other people’s lives. In IT everyone is our customer. That means whether we’re providing an internal tool for the clinical team or unveiling a customer facing tool for our patients and their families, we get to help hundreds of thousands of people every day. I love that.

What has you most excited about the future?

That things won’t slow down. Apps, devices, technology tools, and wearable wellness apparatuses are everywhere in the health care industry. I have no doubt we will continue to move fast in our world of modern medicine and we will continue to have no shortage of options. We’re excited to be able to tie this technology all together, develop synergies and make it seamless and helpful for others.