2022 Tech Exec of the Year: Tim Tarnowski

(IBJ photo/Eric Learned)

Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, Indiana University Health

Major company achievements during tenure: At Indiana University Health, Tim Tarnowski sets and executes the technology and innovation strategies, including accountability for IU Health’s statewide informatics and information services division that provides the large and complex infrastructure that underpins patient care and operations. During the pandemic, his team launched the Google Healthcare Data Engine, the “I Can Help App,” virtual nurses and the Medical Device Security Lab at 16 Tech. “These innovations will continue to serve our patients, community and team members well beyond the pandemic,” he said. Other pandemic efforts included expanding virtual visits from fewer than 100 per month to more than 20,000, rapidly launching new technologies and innovative ways to deliver patient care, and allocating 70 clinically qualified informatics and information services team members to the Virtual Patient Care Hub. These 70 individuals completed over 9,000 virtual-patient visits instead of doing their normal work assignments.

Challenge faced: “Workforce challenges continue to put pressure on the health care industry. This is also a challenge for IU Health’s informatics and [information services] division. We have not overcome this, as it is a current challenge, and I expect it to be an ongoing concern. But we are optimistic and continue working on it.”

First computer: Leading Edge 286 desktop computer with floppy drives

The road: He started his professional career as a bank examiner, then migrated to internal auditing. Early in his career, he recognized that his passion was in systems analysis, so he started attending related classes at the University of California Berkeley. His first assignment in health care IT was as a systems analyst at Children’s Hospital of San Francisco. “This work was highly energizing and put me on my career path of progressive responsibilities within the health care IT field leading up to my current role,” he said. Since then, he’s worked in IT at several health care operations across the country.

Go-to apps: Work related: calendar, email, texting, business news, LinkedIn to keep up with professional network, Time Timer. Personal: Camera, Insight Timer (Mindfulness), sports news, general news.

Favorite gadget: “The one I use the most is my smartphone. Not sure what I would do without it.”

My job would be easier if … “if I, as the leader, can create an environment where each team member considers IU Health Informatics and IS to be the best place they ever worked. This would enable us to recruit and develop a diverse, next-generation Informatics and IS team. Everything an Informatics and IS division does is a result of the team. My goal is to ensure all are welcome and valued so that they can thrive in our work environment.”

Free time: “My wife and I enjoy our time together. We walk, ride bikes, hike and recently have been enjoying disc golf.”•

Check out more Tech Exec of the Year honorees.

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