Business Transformation Driven by IT
1. How has your IT operating model changed during the last five years?
Since joining the organization in January of 2014 the organization has experienced rapid growth. We have gone from 35 locations to 70+ locations, including three major constructions projects each over 50,000 sq feet of new multi-discipline clinical space. In addition to added space organization has been driven by organic growth and acquisition. The number of employees and contractors supported by IT has grown from 1,500 to nearly 4,000 in the same time period. We also implemented a new Electronic Medical Record, that changed every workflow in the organization. IT has been forced to adopt a new operating model to achieve and support the rapid growth, while remaining lean to allow the business to focus on maintaining margin to continue to fund the rapid growth.
Primary change made to the IT operating model, was continuing to expand the role of the Customer Service and Support team and the role that our desktop technicians and help desk provide. We moved all technicians to a regional support model where they are accountable for their entire site and are required to check in with their locations at minimum of once a week. We expand the technicians focus to include not just the computers and printers, but phones and basic networking as well. This allowed the Architecture & Engineering team on projects and standardization.
The A&E team was focused on a major standardization program, moving the entire organization to a standard, desktop, wide area network and phone platform to simplify the support model and the complexity of the IT environment.
As more workflows move to technology, and as investment shifts to the cloud, the role of the CIO will be less about managing infrastructure and more about managing business process transformation through technology
2. What is your main goal at Enterprise Architecture?
As healthcare continues to evolve and technology continues to drive clinical outcomes the importance of strategically planning investments becomes crucial. With security, scalability and availability continue to drive healthcare at unprecedented rates the only way to control and manage the scale is through an enterprise architecture approach.
My main goal with Enterprise Architecture at this stage of our evolution is to ensure that new IT investments fit into the existing infrastructure from a strategy stand point and don’t support obsolete technology stacks. It is also crucial that we understand the risk profile new applications introduce as we continue to manage an escalating security threat.
In addition as we integrate more and more systems that need to talk with one another, it is critical that we build out a clinical application model. With a practice management tier, EMR tier and integration tier to guide us in future discussions and investment decisions.
3. What do you think are the biggest obstacles that technologists face in working in a more agile and outcomes based model?
Business unit alignment is always a challenge that faces IT organizations and is the critical role of the CIO to work with business partners to bridge that gap. In healthcare specifically, Enterprise Architecture is a relatively new discipline so it requires education of the business unit about making decisions that fit into an overall framework and not solely focused on derived departmental value.
4. Moving from traditional IT to a service offering model requires a major mindset shift in IT. How did you make that happen?
We are still in the middle of that shift. Education, communication and transparency were critical at all levels, both within IT and certainly external to IT. The first step was to introduce a capital investment committee. This multidiscipline committee reviewed all capital requests in the organization to evaluate business value and priority. This was actually chaired by IT initially to incubate in the organization as a foundation of IT governance.
We then simplified our message from IT and performed regular voice of the customers with the key business stakeholders to understand first their support needs but second there project and business needs. We then incorporated those into an IT project portfolio that we could use to manage project priorities across all disciplines.
To manage our standards we introduced an Application Intake process that included a technical evaluation and risk assessment. This is then incorporated into an exhibit in contracts. This requires the vendors to complete critical information about their solution from server storage capacity, to desktop client requirements, security requirements, scalability assumptions etc. This technical evaluation allows us to ensure that new technologies will be successfully adopted.
6. What set of skills do you think is required for the technology leaders to be successful in the new enterprise landscape?
More and more the ability for technology leaders to function as business leaders is becoming crucial. Bridging the barrier between technology and the c-suite is a crucial role of the CIO. As business process and technology become more dependent on technology for their outcomes, it is vital that the CIO not just understand the technology but understand the business and the business drivers.
Summit Health Management is focused on delivering professional management so doctors can be doctors. As a result the Chief “INFORMATION” Officer role is critical to managing all information and has been expanded beyond the traditional scope to include Medical Records and the Corporate University. As more workflows move to technology, and as investment shifts to the cloud, the role of the CIO will be less about managing infrastructure and more about managing business process transformation through technology.
7. Which growing or future technology innovation are you personally excited about?
Personally, I am excited about the radical trends occurring in healthcare, from telemedicine to IBM Watson machine learning of healthcare data, to data lakes and some of the decision support, I believe we are going to see radical changes in how healthcare is delivered in this country over the next 5–10 years. Over the last decade healthcare has been consumed deploying Electronic Medical Records systems with little to no ROI. I see us truly capturing the value of the massive quantities of data created over the next five years and will see changes in clinical outcomes as a direct result of technology.