WA Health restores CIO role

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WA Health restores CIO role

After years without dedicated IT exec.

Western Australia’s health support agency has split out IT leadership from its chief executive and begun searching for a permanent chief information officer.

WA Health has been without a dedicated technology executive since 2010, opting instead for a series of acting arrangements that were said to have had serious consequences on the build of the new Fiona Stanley Hospital.

The last time the agency unsuccessfully tried to recruit a CIO was back in October 2015.

A restructure of the state’s health system in 2016 saw the department’s corporate services functions, including IT, spun out into a new statutory authority called Health Support Services.

HSS oversees all major health IT programs and projects across the state, with its IT business unit responsible for delivering “a modern, secure, integrated and user-friendly ICT platform for public health care services in Western Australia”. 

But until now the role of CIO has sat with the agency’s CEO – first with inagural head Kylie Towie, who left in mid-2017, and since then Robert Toms.

The agency has now decided to hire a dedicated CIO to oversee the WA health system’s clinical and corporate business systems over the next five years.

Reporting to the CEO, the new CIO will be tasked with developing and designing ICT strategies to modernise ICT, including network security, across the 48,000-employee WA health system, which services around 12,000 applications.

He or she will also look after HSS’ $140 million IT operating expenditure, as well as $350 million of WA health system IT-related expenditure, and work with the state’s government chief information officer and chief clinical information officer.

HSS is also currently looking for an executive director of transformation and strategy, as well as a chief procurement officer.

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