The Chief Clinical Information Officer has emerged as a healthcare role sitting next to the CIO role with the experience and expertise of a practising medical clinician.

The NHS named its first NHS Chief Clinical Information Officer in Professor Keith McNeil in July 2016, his remit to help transform the overall strategy of how the NHS uses digital technology to improve patient care.

CIO UK looks at the relatively young role of the Chief Clinical Information Officer - their duties, job description and skill sets - as well as the kind of salaries CCIOs can expect to earn. [See also: Chief Data Officer salary and job description - What's the role and the reporting line of the CDO?]

Chief Clinical Information Officer job description - The CCIO role and responsibilities

A CCIO provides a vital voice for clinical strategy in overseeing the digital technology being implemented in the Trust. CCIOs should communicate and support the CIO and IT team in delivering efficient, cost-effective and adaptable technology products which can meet and improve overall healthcare and the patient journey.

Working with CIOs from a clinical perspective, CCIOs will outline a strategic plan of how they can develop new ways for technology to be implemented within the organisation, as well as supporting and implementing these strategic goals of the hospital through clinical engagement.

CCIOs are continually trying to improve the healthcare of patients as well as the patient journey, and a number of UK Trusts and investigating and implementing emerging technologies including IoT, Big Data and machine learning to achieve this.

With a clinicians' leadership and managerial experience, CCIOs support the CIO and IT teams to deliver a cost-effective digital service while also ensuring the safety of its patients.

CIO UK spoke to Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr Anthony Smith about his responsibilities in his role at Yeovil Hospital NHS Trust.

Smith's role sees him support the technololgy and digital team in implementing IT solutions; while also participating in a wider network of CCIOs in keeping aligned the national and IT strategy.

"The role is rapidly changing - I communicate with the digital team on the strategy they are developing for the Trust. It is rewarding to be a part of something in tech with a main focus being on the staff and patient healthcare," he said.

Chief Clinical Information Officer salary - How much does a Chief Clinical Information get paid?

According to one job description of a CCIO role, they are required to have more than 10 years' experience as a practising clinician with a previous use of electronic health information systems in a hospital environment - and as such salaries can reflect the demanding nature of the position.

The role of a CCIO is not yet fully established, but earlier this year Harvey Nash reported in its latest CIO survey that UK healthcare CIOs were earning over £140,000 with one in three receiving an annual bonus between 10% and 90% reaching a total average of over £190,000, while a 2012 study in the US reported more than 60% CCIOs and their US equivalents the Chief Medical Informatics Officer were being compensated to the tune of more than $200,000.

Chief Clinical Information Officer reporting line - Who does the Chief Clinical Information Officer report to?

In some organisations, a CCIO will report to various fellow executives. According to a report from, 39% of Chief Clinical Information Officers report to the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) while 23% report to the CIO and 29% to the senior CEO, depending on structure of the organisation.

Chief Clinical Information Officer job network - Joining a CCIO networking group

Networking groups for CCIOs are a great opportunity for share knowledge, exchange advice and troubleshoot with fellow CCIO peers from the healthcare sector.

Chief Clinical Information Officer Dr Anthony Smith at Yeovil Hospital NHS Trust said that joining a CCIO network has been beneficial to his role.

"Through the community we can share and discuss anything," he said. "If anyone has the same problem or can offer a solution we can then reduce the cost instead of repeating the same mistake."

Dr Smith suggested other CCIOs do the same and said the peer-to-peer support was invaluable when working in such demanding healthcare role.

"Emphasising the community aspect in collaborative work can be one of the frustrations of working in any industry or hospital," he said. "As a CCIO there is a lot of pressure working in a healthcare environment you can often feel you are the only one going through the issue. The CCIO network offers peer-to-peer support which no one else in the hospital understands of working in the same role and making a big step forward."