Vice President & CIO
John Henderson is steering the digital transformation at the Children’s Hospital of Orange County (CHOC). As head of the Information Services Department, he has been at the forefront of telemedicine at California’s leading children’s hospital and saw its use accelerate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CHOC Link - which is part of Henderson’s digital transformation at the hospital - is an online tool used for patients to access their electronic medical records (EMR), make appointments – both virtual or face-to-face with clinicians at the 334-bed hospital.
“Four years ago, I made the leap to Southern California and CHOC - we've been on a very fast journey ever since. We have been modernising our infrastructure and moving down a path of digital transformation to build the analytics program as well as portfolio management to build what I call a service and solutions-oriented organisation.”
Prior to joining CHOC Henderson was Assistant Vice President at Texas Children’s Hospital where he was responsible for IT operations, business intelligence and analytics.
Despite working in healthcare for more than 25 years, his career path started in teaching when he worked as a substitute teacher in middle school.
“I did that for just under a year and got an opportunity to interview for a position at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston. I joined and thought I'd spend a few years there and move on, but the healthcare bug kind of bit me,” he said.
“I spent 22 years at the hospital doing a variety of roles, starting out in financial operations and eventually moving into the technology arena where I led our implementation of ERP around the Y2K timeframe. I stayed in the business application side of the house and eventually became the director of enterprise systems, which really encompassed all enterprise solutions business wise.”
Henderson then moved into the clinical side where he led the EMR application team and built the analytics program. “I became an executive within the organisation where I had day-to-day responsibilities for day-to-day IT operations and reporting to the CIO.”
His role at CHOC, which was co-founded by Walt Disney, includes overseeing IT operations for the hospital, physician practices, clinics health plan and other non-healthcare related activities. It also extends to capital and operating budget planning and development of relationships with key business and strategic partners, consultants and other third party providers.
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“It's very different recruiting people for something you're building from scratch, compared to recruiting for something that is already running.”