Enhancing CEOs' decision making through information systems.Health Prog. 1987 Oct; 68(8):54-6, 74.HP
Although healthcare management information systems significantly enhance the decision-making capacity of the chief executive officer (CEO), some CEOs make limited use of this potentially powerful management ally. A central management issue is finding the optimal fit between the CEO's roles and responsibilities and the capacity of information systems to adapt to and support these functions. Thus data system designers must clearly understand the CEO's needs, management tasks, and unique responsibilities. An often misunderstood concept is that data by themselves are not immediately useful and applicable to managerial needs. To become useful information, data must be timely, accurate, relevant, and actionable. CEOs may be disappointed with management information systems because of an inherent conflict between what the computer can do best--rapid, routinized solutions--and what top management usually requires. The CEO's decisions are generally singular, and the system's data may not be structured to serve those decision-making requirements. Building a system that is responsive to the CEO's needs requires an equal partnership between the CEO, data manager, and system designer. The CEO also must be willing to invest a lot of time in shaping the facility's system. In addition, because of the considerable and escalating cost of developing, using, and maintaining organizational data systems, CEOs must assess the cost/benefit ratio of obtaining additional information from existing data bases.