started that type of team-building process a little over a year ago, when he
took on the role of chief information and transformative innovative environment officer at Thomas Jefferson University
and Jefferson Health
He admits that it's a long and lofty title, especially for a former supply-chain manager who describes himself as an "accidental CIO."
"[Klasko] believed healthcare needed to change fundamentally," Chopra
"We used to wait for something to come out, like iPads, and then go figure out how to support it," Chopra
"Now, we want to know all of what's going on with healthcare and the Internet of Things and start experimenting and figuring out use cases.
We have to experiment and try new things."
And while other companies have vice presidents of business applications, Chopra
created a new title, vice president of business partnering, to focus attention not on the technologies, but on the people in the business units who use technology.
"Business partnering is about how we use applications to do something.
It's about accomplishing something with [software] applications.
These people think more like account managers," he
Another new title at Jefferson is vice president of enterprise analytics and chief data scientist.
"This role focuses on taking disparate data assets for student affairs, clinical trials, financial systems, quality systems and more, and creating an enterprise center for health information management that provides actionable insights," Chopra
didn't hire people for the vice president positions based primarily on technical expertise.
hired with an eye toward making every one of them a CIO
"The way I hire people is unique.
I hire them to be leaders first and functional experts second," he
"I'm hiring a person who can be a future CIO.
I'm looking at these people as future leaders."
Chopra meets with this team of eight once a week for two hours.
At these gatherings, he
says, "we spend less time on day-to-day business issues and more time on priorities, leadership, communication and engagement, and creating high-performance teams.
The idea is to have his
deputies lead their own groups without Chopra
"I'm more about people, strategy and exception management," he
"It frees up my time for the executive cabinet, creating new business models, and [figuring out] how to create a degree program or certification for telehealth and other healthcare technologies."
Jefferson's telehealth initiative is one of the first tangible results of this leadership style, which encourages innovation and the move toward a patient-centric model.
The hospital is investing about $20 million to open multiple urgent-care centers and develop the telehealth program, called Jeff Connect, which includes video consultations so patients can receive care in their homes.
In late June, Jefferson began offering more than 17,000 employees and their families a mobile app they can use to schedule 15-minute video-based physician appointments, which, according to Chopra
, are "secure and HIPAA-compliant.