Mount Sinai creates chief data officer role

New York-based healthcare system Mount Sinai has created a new role of chief digital officer, which will be filed by Andrew Kasarskis, PhD, who will also hold the role of executive vice president.

The emergence of chief data officers underscores the increasingly important role that data is playing at the executive level of health systems. In addition to this new type of position, chief financial officers and chief medical officers have similarly seen their roles change over the last decade to better incorporate data-driven strategies into organizations’ goals.

In the new role, Kasarski will facilitate the accessibility and sharing of clinical, financial and administrative data, and open application data, according to a press release. The position helps Mount Sinai focus its efforts to put data “front and center in its organizational efforts to better patient care,” according to the release.

“The addition of this role at Mount Sinai provides an exceptional opportunity to strengthen our healthcare system’s overall data literacy and culture,” Kasarskis said in a statement. “I want everyone here to view the vast data available to us as an asset we can use objectively to improve efficiency and quality of care, identify patient cohorts for groundbreaking research, enhance the education we provide trainees through the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and add value to all of our organizational efforts.”

According to Mount Sinai, it is among the first health systems to define the role of chief data officer, and Kasarski will work closely with the organization’s chief information officer, Kumar Chatani, and President and CEO Kenneth Davis, MD. Kasarski will help Chatani lead the implementation of infrastructure to enable system-wide data sharing through standards-based data architecture and interoperability.

Kasarski has more than 20 years of managing researcher and technology development projects, including most recently developing genome databases at Stanford University and serving as the director of the Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology at the Icahn School of Medicine. While he has stepped down from his other roles, he will continue to serve as a professor in the Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences.

“The CDO position will play a crucial role in continuously advancing Mount Sinai’s capabilities for our patients and the entire healthcare system,” Davis said in a statement. “We knew we needed a leader with deep expertise in the development of medical and research technologies that can harness information and deliver invaluable insights into the genetics and pathology of diseases, which is a rare combination of expertise to find.”