Management Vs. Leadership

February 14, 2018

By Christy Fox, Director of Marketing

What is the difference between management and leadership? To some, the words might seem interchangeable, however, this is not the case. Professionals across all industries should try to find a balance between the two to lead a successful team.

Here are six points outlining the differences between management and leadership. Where are you excelling and where are you lacking in your management or leadership roles?

  • Leaders are inspirational and work to take their team to the next level.
  • Managers execute day to day tasks and make sure day-to-day operations run smoothly.
  • Leaders influence people; many come to leaders for advice.
  • Managers have subordinates who just work for them.
  • Leaders take risks that might take time, and resources, but will be worth it in the end.
  • Managers eliminate risk and get tasks done in specific, set timeframes.
  • Leaders think long term with goals and vision.
  • Managers focus on short term tasks and accomplishments.
  • Leaders are typically very people oriented.
  • Managers are driven by numbers and rational problem solving.
  • Leaders are proactive in building a strategy.
  • Managers are reactive to a strategy that has been built and they execute it.

Not all managers and leaders are built the same, but a strong combination of the points above can push you from just managing people to leading people, and drive your team to be more successful.

Ranae Rousse Featured on HIStalk for Healthcare CIO Tenure Trends Article

Ranae Rousse, VP of Sales was recently featured on HIStalk with an article covering Healthcare CIO tenure and trends. Her article titled "Healthcare CIO Tenure Trends" covers data and statistics she gathered from her own independent study of 1,500 CIOs. To read the full article click here:

Contact Ranae Rousse
Phone: 440-971-1197
Twitter: Ranae_DCA

HIMSS 2017 Recap by Tom Clark, VP of Operations at DCA

March 2, 2017

By Tom Clark, VP of Operations

I recently attended the 2017 HIMSS Annual Conference & Exhibition in Orlando. Initially, I was excited to go to Orlando to break away from the often brutal Cleveland winter, but to my surprise, when I returned to Cleveland, it was 75 degrees and sunny!  Aside from the great weather, HIMSS had everything from extensive networking opportunities, to cybersecurity and innovation experts doubling as Shark Tank stars on ABC, to presentations by former politicians.  Here is what I took note of at this year’s conference:

Increased CMIO Presence and Involvement:

Having worked for a physician led organization in my past, I know well the value of increased involvement from medical staff at the leadership level.  In particular, as our industry continuously evolves technologically, the role of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) is expanding and more importantly, the best among them are intimately involved.


As expected, cybersecurity was a popular theme at HIMSS. Not only can breaches affect data, analytics, and financials, but also patient safety in the end. Hospitals and health systems use Information Systems to function, and cyber-attacks could damage more than just their reputations. With this focus on cybersecurity, HIMSS was buzzing with strategies, and solutions to protect healthcare organizations from threats.  Again, the CMIOs were their weighing-in, learning and sharing.

Process Technologies:

Another theme at the conference was process technologies. We have been talking about it for many years, but we are well past building traction.  Chuck Spurr, CIO of Shields Health Care Group spoke at the Revenue Cycle Solutions Summit and discussed using Six Sigma for organizing processes and data in the constantly changing healthcare environment.  As a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt myself, it is always encouraging to see focus on these methodologies and tools.  Again, with respect to Process Technologies, we are seeing and hearing more from CMIOs.


I was able to see some interesting presentations at HIMSS 2017.  For example, CareTrail, a clinical communication and collaboration application combining messaging, on-call scheduling and task management was extremely innovative in their technology.  It was created by VisionIT in collaboration with Henry Ford Health System.  Once again, it was a CMIO that was involved in the collaboration on this.  I especially enjoyed the presentation and perspective of Dr. David Allard, CMIO, Henry Ford Hospital and Health Network.  With a focus on data at the conference, it was also interesting to hear Paul Matsen, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer of the Cleveland Clinic, discuss connecting data to give patients the best possible experience, during a panel discussion on Using Data to Understand the Full Value of Patients.

Random Thoughts:

Wow, this conference was massive!  It sounded from colleagues going into it like attendance would be down, but it was still huge in terms of footprint and headcount.  Party on the Moon, the band that played at HIStalkpalooza, is terrific.  Ed Marx, Author of Extraordinary Tales of a Rather Ordinary Life, whom I recently had the pleasure of introducing as a Keynote Speaker at the Northern Ohio HIMSS Winter Conference at the Global Center for Health and Innovation, told me then how he enjoyed dancing.  Fast forward to HIStalkpalooza, and it was obvious that he enjoys dancing as much or more than HIT.  If you have seen any pictures, there were a lot of conference attendees trying their hand at line dancing following the awards at the House of Blues.  One of my colleagues, who gained a new appreciation for quality dress shoes, thinks he may have earned a stress fracture in his foot.  How many attendees hit their single day peak for steps?  The veterans schedule all their meetings in close geographic proximity.  Start scouting out your plan now for HIMSS 2018 in Las Vegas.

Interview with Jamie Parent, CIO, VP IT Operations, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago

June 23, 2016

Jaime Parent, Associate CIO, VP IT Operations, Rush University Medical Center & Assistant Professor, Rush University Interviews with DCA

Why did you choose a career in Healthcare IT?

I get bored very easily and there is absolutely no boredom in Healthcare IT, nor Healthcare in general.  Often times, I do not own my own agenda and on any given day servers crash, phones go out, etc. But I’ve been around long enough now that very little surprises me.  Technology changes so fast and now academic medicine is arguably changing at the same rate and speed.   Healthcare IT is not for the faint of heart but these rollers coaster rides are a blast.

To what or whom do you attribute your success? Did you have a Mentor(s)?

My terrific wife Tracy has been my hero for many decades now.  Without her, I would simply be a misanthropic outcast.  Another source of success for me is having a son with autism (Bryan).  He is now 29 and works at the Rush University Warehouse; his/our continuing challenges are outweighed by the joy of his/our successes.  If a group of dads can have their softball team lose to state rivals, then take them to a restaurant mall on a Saturday night, well, you can manage a surfeit of personalities all throughout Healthcare.   God had some good reasons to put Bryan in our path.

As a CIO, is cybersecurity one of your largest concerns right now? What measures are you taking to deter cybercrime and data breaches?

Healthcare is wide-open for security breaches and is a reflection of the on-demand services that are demanded by clinicians, students, faculty and visitors.  While we have some excellent technologies to protect our environment, nothing is absolute.  Social engineering continues to be our biggest vulnerability which is why cybersecurity training for all personnel is your best defense weapon.  No technologies will work if Johnny or Mabel put their username and password on a sticky note on the front of their monitor; not even the best technology can plug that hole.

You combined your current experience as an IT executive with your past experience as an Air Force Colonel to create the EN-Abled Vet program.  How does your internship help veterans reintegrate into civilian life and IT careers?

We created a 13-week fast track on the job training internship that makes veterans competitive in the Healthcare and general Healthcare IT marketplace.   Fortune 500 vendors have stepped up to provide free on-line training, with special kudos to EPIC who offers free Epic certification opportunities for up to 5 vets per Epic customer, and 60 opportunities nationwide per year.   As confirmed by both CHIME and HIMSS, EN-Abled Vet is a unique approach to Healthcare IT career building.  For example, we will hire veteran’s spouses and other family members while a veteran is recovering from service-connected injuries.  SOMEONE has to put food on the table and a lot of well intending organizations overlook this. We pay a stipend of $12.50 per hour, 4 days a week for 13 weeks, which comes out to a total cost of $5,200 per veteran.  I would offer that cities, states and the feds pay more to veterans in benefits sitting at home watching TV, rather than being in a productive and successful internship.

You’ve had great success in bringing veterans into the HIT workforce. Has EN-Abled Vet inspired similar internships across the country?

Veterans possess a combination of skills that may be difficult to find in the today’s workforce.  Honesty, integrity, maturity, teamwork, stay until the job is done etc. are skills that anyone, anywhere would want to have as their employees.  Capitalizing on this, and after proving that this program works and is transportable, we have built a consortium of 7 health systems from Delaware to California who are in the early stages of developing their own programs. The program is pure and is essentially freeware.  Everything you need to start your own program can be found at  Isn’t that something that hospitals should be doing already – giving back to the communities they serve?

What is your advice to up and coming Healthcare IT talent?

You have to be somewhat obsessed and possessed to do this stuff.   I’m hard pressed to find anyone in this field that hasn’t been yelled at at 4 AM by parents or spouses to get off that $#!# computer and come upstairs and go to bed.  Reminds me of the love of music.  If you put your mind to it, the more you will practice the better you will be.  In my case, my wife says I turned being a regular geek into a successful career geek and it’s hard to refute that.

What is your philosophy on how organizations can attract top Healthcare IT talent? 

Always keep in mind that as a not-for-profit, you will always be competing with the for-profit sector.  Most of my staff can easily find a job downtown that pays $20k+ more than their current position, so you have to be creative and engaged.  Such things as flex hours, PTO when needed, occasional parties, respect, work from home, etc. can all be effective recruiting and retaining tools.  You also have to tap into that altruistic gene.  As one developer told me, “I get a special feeling knowing the patient healthcare pages I build can help make patients get better and healthier quicker which is more inspiring than creating an insurance page or auto buying website.”  Organizations need to tap into this type of engagement for once your employee starts to return staffing firm cold calls, the slippery slope out the door begins.

Interview with Sue Schade, Interim CIO, University Hospitals, Cleveland, OH

May 2, 2016

DCA recently had the opportunity to interview Ms. Sue Schade, Interim CIO, University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio.  Ms. Schade is also a nationally recognized health IT leader and a founding advisor at Next Wave Health Advisors providing consulting, coaching and interim management. In 2014, Ms. Schade was recognized as the CIO of the Year by HIMSS and CHIME.

Please tell us a little about yourself:

In terms of my work experience, I have over 30 years in Health IT Management. I started out as a programmer (way back when) and I’ve worked for several large integrated health systems in Chicago, Boston, and Michigan. I’m currently doing an interim CIO engagement at University Hospitals in Cleveland.

My non-provider organization experience was running the software division for a vendor that was a few years old at the time I joined them. I spent some time doing consulting for Ernst and Young. I’ve also been very involved in a lot of industry activities, serving on boards and committees to give back.

On a more personal note, I’ve been married forever (40 years) and have two grown daughters, three granddaughters and a grandson on the way!

As of January, I started my next chapter to focus on consulting, leadership coaching and interim management. All with the idea that I can live where I want, which is back in New England close to my daughters and grandkids, and hopefully work less than full time over the course of a year and have more flexibility.

You have over 30 years of experience in HIT, what/whom do you attribute your success to?

When you say whom, certainly I’ve had mentors along the way; people I have either worked side by side with or as my boss. These have been some really solid people who have been able to give me good advice and who have been supportive and helped me stretch. Knowing how I have been supported in my career is why I have been so willing to do the same for others, to give back now that I have something to offer.

I would also comment about tenacity and drive. As my husband says, I am a “workaholic”. He has accepted that and he knows that wherever I work I’m going to work hard and put in long hours. So he wants me to make sure I am happy and that I respect the organization and the people I work with. This is great perspective because it’s hard to maintain that kind of work ethic when some of those other things are missing.

So, tenacity, drive, and passion for what it is we do in healthcare, loving the change that technology brings, and being able to make a difference in people’s lives are all what I attribute my success to.

You have spoken and written blogs on ways to encourage women in pursuing careers in the STEM field with examples such as providing technology based gift ideas for young girls.  What other ways do you think could be used to enlighten more women about this field?

One thing I want to emphasize here, is the need to get girls interested in technology and STEM fields early.  I think the middle school age is a very critical time, especially from a gender perspective. How you are steered, how you’re encouraged. You are getting a better sense of yourself as a girl, and what you want to do. You are very influenced by others and what they think of you. I just think that getting girls interested young, having programs for them, and continually encouraging them is very important. Whether it’s by their parents, teachers, or an organization.

What is your philosophy and/or methods with regard to retaining top IT talent?

A couple of things come to mind. I truly believe that hiring decisions are some of the most important decisions that anyone in management makes.  At the same time, it can be a crapshoot. How much time do you have to really get to know that person, how many people need to talk to that person before you make the hiring decision. You have to take into account as best you can everything you have available to you — the interview, references, their background, etc. Making the call to bring in the right person is a big decision and if it doesn’t work out, it’s best to figure that out sooner rather than later.

In terms of retaining top talent, you have to constantly provide challenges, support and help them be successful.  One of the directors in the organization here who started the same day I did, is very strong.  He’s dealing with a lot of challenging projects as he gets up to speed.  I had a conversation with him recently to check in because I was seeing emails and presentation decks that he was working on coming through after mid-night during the week. We talked a little bit about that and I asked him what support he needed. The key point here is that you need to stay close to your people and make sure that the work load is sustainable. That is part of preaching the work/life balance, and I say preach because sometimes it’s “do what I say” not “watch what I do”. That is coming from a workaholic!

Making sure your people feel supported, have what they need to be successful and that they are constantly being challenged is very important. If someone has the next, right, great opportunity in their career outside the organization and you don’t have that next step to offer them, that’s okay! That may be the best thing for them. I continue to be supportive of people who make the decision to move on. I understand that it is what is right for them. At the same time, I am also happy when people decide to make moves within the organization. I always say great, you have a step up, or a lateral move, but you are staying in the family. Regardless I’m always happy for them and their next opportunity.

What are some challenges you are facing being an Interim CIO?

When you’re an interim from the outside, it’s an opportunity to get into the operational issues you need to deal with, as well as providing a consulting component. The executives here are looking for my perspective and view on things given the experience I have had in other leading organizations. I really like that part of being in an interim.

A really generic challenge is trying to figure out what makes sense to take on and change or start new. As opposed to thinking, I’m interim and I’m here for “x” amount of months so I’ll let the new CIO make those changes. I jump in and focus on the key problem areas. I can be a change agent and I am doing some of that here. It’s recognizing what makes sense to address now vs. wait on.

I have had meet and greet sessions with the senior executives and hospital presidents. The four questions I ask them are:

  • What is working well?
  • What is not working so well?
  • How can I have the greatest impact during my interim period?
  • What are the key criteria to look for when searching for the new CIO?

Those are four questions that have been able to elicit a lot of good perspective and input. It’s helping shape what I am focusing on and what I’m trying to change.  Around week five, I’d already had many of these meet and greets and I figured out what my focus should be during my interim period.  As an interim, you need to quickly be able to get to know the organization, get to know the people and get to know the culture. You don’t have a lot of time to ramp up. You’re in the thick of it quickly, but it’s important to understand the people, issues and culture!

Congratulations for being selected as one of the Top Healthcare IT Experts by Health Data Management in December 2015.  How has life changed as a nationally recognized health IT leader?

That is an interesting question! I think my network is even bigger than it was before. I’ve met a lot of people that have somehow found me and want to connect. I feel like I’ve reached this point in my career and within the industry, where I garner a lot of respect from people. I get a lot more calls and requests to do a variety of interviews. I’m really enjoying all of it.

What advice would you give up and coming healthcare IT talent…Those who have recently graduated or will graduate?

You have to be open to possibilities. You need to make sure you own your career because no one else does. In regards to new grads and up and coming talent, the message is network, network, network. Build your network and work it. Find role models you want to learn from and be like. Probably one of the greatest compliments I get is when someone says “I want to be Sue Schade when I grow up”.

The last point is patience.  I have had progressive responsibility over my career and have done well. Don’t expect that you can be somewhere for just 6 months, a year, or even 18 months and that your boss will think you’re ready for the next step. I guess I don’t want to quantify reasonable intervals, but I would emphasize patience as you grow in your career.

What are the most important characteristics an IT leader needs to be successful?

You need to be a business leader in your field or industry and not just the expert in the IT domain. Know the business you are in. Being viewed as and respected by your peers and the executive team, as someone who contributes not just in delivering on the IT agenda, but making a greater contribution to the business.

The ability to build effective relationships with your peers (in the c-suite so to speak), and making sure you have a really solid alignment between the IT work and the strategic goals of the organization is very important.

How has healthcare IT changed since you entered the industry, and where do you see it going?

Back in the day, it was all about the mainframe. Over time we know how the environment has changed from a technology prospective and we’re still dealing with a lot of the same core applications and systems. We’re dealing with a lot of integration, but we’re moving to that next generation of IT within the healthcare arena. There is a greater emphasis on virtual health and mobility. We’re certainly being shaped by consumerism and the increasing expectations that everybody has of what technology can do for them.

Obviously with payment reform and value based care, the demand for more technology solutions, taking costs out, analytics, the ease of access for our patients — all of that is going to increase. It’s an exciting time! Healthcare IT has always been exciting and it’s getting more exciting as time goes on.

Thus far in your career, what do you feel is your greatest accomplishment?

This is always a hard question to answer. When I was recognized in 2014 as the CIO of the Year by HIMSS and CHIME, that was definitely a peak in my career! I have gotten a lot of different recognitions and been named on a lot of different lists, but that was definitely a highlight. I am committed to developing the next generation of HIT leaders and doing what others have done for me. My biggest and proudest accomplishment; being a role model! Hopefully I will leave a legacy as a leader, specifically a female leader within the HIT field!

Follow Sue’s blog, Health IT Connect at