The Faculty of Informatics has developed a model job description for chief clinical information officers to address “unwarranted inconsistencies” in the role.

The 2016 Wachter review set out clear recommendations to “strengthen and grow the CCIO [chief clinical information officer] field”.

But despite this clinical informaticians across the UK report inconsistencies in the remits of their roles, according to the Faculty of Clinical Informatics (FCI).

To address this it has developed a model job description to provide a standard for which CCIOs are hired and accountable to.

The FCI worked with a multi-professional working group to develop the model, which is based on the FCI’s Core Competency Framework for clinical informaticians.

The group was chaired by Professor Lesley Holdsworth, clinical lead for digital health and care for the Scottish Government. She said: “It’s been a real pleasure to work with this talented and knowledgeable group on producing this guidance and a model job description for our highest level digital leaders.

“We hope this will help with the overall professionalism of this speciality and help those in it aspiring to be in these positions with a professional development framework that should support individuals to be in positions of influence and accelerate this important agenda across both health and care throughout the UK.”

In line with the Wachter review, the model job description describes a CCIO as:

  • the single most senior clinical informatician within an organisation
  • an executive role with an associated salary to reflect this
  • a role that can be fulfilled by an individual from any professional background who can demonstrate competencies as outlined within the FCI Competency Framework

The recent What Good Looks Like framework from NHSX also noted the importance of the CCIO role, setting out plans for investment in a multidisciplinary CCIO function including a position for CCIOs on NHS boards.

Anne Marie Cunningham, vice chair of the FCI Council and Digital Health CCIO Advisory Panel member, added: “The Faculty of Clinical Informatics CCIO model job description sets out the skills and capabilities that are needed at the highest level in well led health and care organisations to ensure they deliver safe and effective digital transformation of services.

“It is a practical application of our published work on the core competencies of clinical informaticians.  Our next steps in the Faculty will be to support organisations with developing the multidisciplinary teams which will form the office of the CCIO.”

The model job description is based on 41 samples of existing job descriptions for senior clinical informaticians across the UK. These job descriptions were reviewed against assessment criteria that were developed based on the six domains of the FCI Competency Framework.

A copy of the guidance and model job description of a CCIO can be found here.

Digital Health will be hosting a webinar on the introduction of a standardised job description for a CCIO on October 22, you can register to attend here.