Sue Schade on discipline and finding time

It was one of ‘those weeks’ in health IT

Sue Schade is interim CIO at University Hospitals of Cleveland and founding advisor at Next Wave Advisors.

People often ask me how I find time to write a weekly blog with a big, busy CIO job. I tell them all the same thing – it’s a discipline. I try to start early in the week with an idea, draft it one night, come back to it the next night to finalize and then post it on Thursday or Friday morning. Topics are often timely; something strikes me and I tell myself “that will blog”. I add the idea to my running list. This week it included tips on doing presentations for executive groups, personal organization challenges and tips, and what’s possible to accomplish as an interim leader in just 6 months.

But this week I had as many as five new ideas but no time to start writing any of them. By Thursday night if I haven’t settled on a topic and started, I’m in trouble. Taking time to write may compete with critical work I need to finish up by the end of the week. This week was one of those weeks.

This week started out with a bang.  By 9AM Monday, I was juggling 4 different issues. A system issue after a scheduled weekend service pack upgrade caused problems in our revenue cycle systems. There was an escalated physician report of an access problem over the weekend. Working with my team we could move all but one to closure by the end of the day.

It was a week full of meetings and follow-ups squeezed in between. And managing the endless stream of emails. But it was an atypical week with late afternoon/evening meetings and dinners with colleagues every night. This kind of evening schedule impacts one of my other disciplines – nightly exercise. I just have to find the time when I can.

We dealt with dissatisfied and frustrated physicians over EMR issues – some that we thought were behind us. We finished prep for our monthly executive IT Steering Committee which included some critical infrastructure presentations on a significant data center investment and disaster recovery planning.

This is what a week looks like for CIOs and their leadership team.

So the most recent blog topics I have added to my running list will have to wait for future weeks. My blog writing discipline continues. I probably need to go back to my original approach when I started blogging over 2 years ago – decide the topic on the weekend and start the draft on Sunday night before the week kicks into high gear.

But this week was one of “those weeks.”

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