Rural CMIO shares winning strategies for making change

Dr. Priscilla Frase, CMIO of Ozarks Healthcare and recipient of the 2024 HIMSS Changemaker Senior Executive Award, tells her story in a recent Scottsdale Institute webinar.

Innovation isn’t only for big city hospitals, as Ozarks Healthcare (West Plains, MO) has proven. The independent, non-profit organization — serving 160,000 residents throughout south central Missouri and north central Arkansas — has become a model of exceptional rural care, thanks in no small part to the leadership of CMIO Priscilla Frase, MD. 

A recipient of the 2024 HIMSS Changemaker Senior Executive Award, Dr. Frase joined Ozarks Executive Director of IT EZ Niles to share Ozarks’ story of EHR transformation and resilience during a recent Scottsdale Institute webinar.

“What we do in rural healthcare matters. Even small improvements make such a big difference to people in our community,” said Dr. Frase. “You don’t have to master technology to be a changemaker. Paying attention to the experiences of your clinical end users, always connecting to and learning from others — these have been the keys to our success.”

Some of the topics she covers during the webinar include:

  • Implementing a new EHR, improving flexibility during a historic pandemic
  • Balancing hospitalist responsibilities with the complexity of a CMIO role
  • Staying connected with clinicians’ workflow concerns
  • Participating in surveys and benchmarking with the KLAS Arch Collaborative
  • Giving back and getting back, by helping other healthcare organizations.

One of the most important strategies for Dr. Frase was developing a hybrid position where she could spend three days dedicated to her leadership work, and two days doing admissions for the hospitalist team. This keeps her actively engaged with other clinicians, as she sees firsthand how the EHR influences their day-to-day workflows.

“I’m at a place now where I really like my job, it’s perfect for me,” she said. “I’m able to get to a place where I’m making a difference not only for patients but also for my colleagues.” 

MEDITECH will be sponsoring another Scottsdale Institute webinar scheduled for May 16 called “The Innovative Advantage: Harnessing Transformative Power to Drive Technology Adoption,” featuring Mile Bluff Medical Center’s Randall Brandt, PA-C. This session will focus on the organization’s success in using AI-powered search and summarization features within their EHR. 

MEDITECH customers: if you are interested in signing up for this webinar, please contact Senior Analyst Alex Brinkert, RN, at

See how MEDITECH helps organizations navigate healthcare's digital transformation.