How 2 Health Systems Rose to Most Wired’s Top Tier in 2018
By Candace Stuart – Director, Communications & Public Relations
CHIME opened the 2019 HealthCare’s Most Wired survey in April, giving all hospitals and health systems the opportunity to participate. Last year’s top 10 recipients showed that any type of healthcare organization – large or small, academic or non-teaching, in an urban or less populated setting – could excel and be a healthcare IT leader. How? For some, teamwork and a culture that supported them played a key role.
“Getting the right people in the right spot on your team is a critical component to your success,” said Mark Waind, executive vice president and CIO of Altru Health System in Grand Forks, N.D. The 270-bed hospital placed No. 4 among the 647 participants who completed the 2018 Most Wired survey. “Our staff expertise has been foundational to everything we’ve done and all of the success we’ve had.”
Mimi Taylor, corporate vice president and CIO of No. 3-ranked Baptist Health South Florida, attributed the culture of her 10-hospital, 2,226-bed health system in Coral Gables for her team’s ability to optimize the health IT. That culture starts at the board level and carries throughout the organization.
“Culture is definitely a key piece,” she said. “Our board lives and breathes technology and understands it as a strategic asset. Our CEO and the executive vice presidents, the various executive leaders, whether they are operational or position leaders, they all get it. The support we get from them – we’re joined at the hip.”
Waind also credited having a CEO, executive team and board of directors who embraced information technology, understood its value and championed their work. Both CIOs emphasized that the environment that now allows their teams to thrive did not happen overnight. Waind described a push dating back to 2007 to leverage the talent of the IT team, empower them to do their work and then let them enjoy the results. The success achieved has helped build morale and retention. Taylor said it took several years to develop a systemwide vision of IT in a multilayered context that is sustained over time.
“If IT is going to be successful, they have to be at the table,” Taylor said. “And not just at the table but front and center, intertwined with all of the business decisions at the highest level of the organization.”
Being named among the top 10 is an honor, but Waind and Taylor found value beyond the recognition.
“CHIME is going to stretch us,” Waind said. “It is pushing us in the right direction. It’s always nice to be recognized, but the real value is making a difference in the type of care we can provide to our patients. The annual increase to the Most Wired requirements helps drive a continuous improvement to the tools that our providers and staff use to care for our patients.”
“As rewarding as it is to be recognized, it is not about that,” Taylor agreed. She likened participating only for the title to pursuing Meaningful Use for the incentive payments rather than improved outcomes. “Yes, getting that designation is great but it is to learn, to understand where some of the best in class are in terms of adopting newer technologies and how they are supporting their overall business goals and objectives, and then adjusting the strategic IT goals to make sure they are always aligned.”
The 2019 survey for domestic hospitals and healthcare systems was opened in early April, followed by an international version and a version for ambulatory healthcare organizations. All will remain open for two months.