What does it mean to be the best healthcare IT department

What does it mean to be the best in Healthcare IT? Does it mean that you provide your internal customers with an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that you can commit to or meet a large percentage of time? Does it mean that you always have the resources that is required to achieve the objectives that the customer wants and never need to say no to a project that they ask for? What does it really mean?

In a recent article in Healthcare IT News, they asked 5000 people from 194 provider organizations through an online survey basically if they can answer these very questions, but primarily focused on day work is like, the IT team, the management, the provider organization’s leadership, the workplace culture as well as training, development and compensation.

To me, I would also consider the best as being the following:

Have they set out their objectives for the year, keeping into account, matching their IT spend and objectives with that of operations?

Does the IT organization have enough human capital to achieve these objectives or do they need to hire individuals to achieve their objectives?

Have they ascertained the risks, both positive and negative on their projects and understand ramifications if those risks become a reality (e.g. ICD-10 delay)?

Ultimately, IT departments execute organizational objectives and need to make sure that each of the projects has an operational sponsor that moves the momentum of the initiatives along so that politics and roadblocks get cleared and budgets can be maintained in accordance with what has been stated in a project charter or vision document.

Whenever I am at a IT organization and as their representative, go to a clinic at the hospital, (after asking if I could fix their printer or PC problem), they will always complain about the slowness of the IT team in getting back to them. Just a note that IT focuses hard on their initiatives and is always under funded many times as it is looked as a cost center rather than a strategic advantage. If IS&T starts to be viewed as an agent of organizational differentiator and is internally sold as such, then attitudes may change when it comes to being a provider organization that values it’s IS&T department. Let’s move forward in the 21st century, leaving those old attitudes about IT behind and forging a new path towards a collaborative and constructive IT ecosystem within healthcare.


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