June/July 2004

National Information Technology Center a Source for Support, Core Services, Consulting

The new Catholic Health Initiatives National Information Technology
Center (NITC), located just outside Denver, Colo., opened in early
2004 to meet the organization’s expanding need for information
technology support of business and clinical functions. “The NITC
has the capability to accommodate new technology and applications to meet the strategic goals of Catholic Health Initiatives,” said Chris Macmanus, senior vice president of information technology. “We can be more responsive and adapt more quickly to the information needs of Catholic Health Initiatives than when we operated out of multiple data centers.”

In addition to concentrating Catholic Health Initiatives’ hardware and software administration in a single location, the NITC also concentrates a growing portion of Catholic Health Initiatives’ information technology talent. “We’ve made significant progress in building staff — some who have years of experience with Catholic Health Initiatives, and some who bring a new perspective — with a collective depth of knowledge,” said Heather McBroome, human resources manager for the NITC. “The NITC’s facility, equipment and staff make every aspect of information management, from technology planning to support, more efficient and effective,” said Cindy Tame, vice president for technology services. “The NITC also offers expert consulting services to our market-based organizations.” Catholic Health Initiatives’ Information Technology Governing Council, comprised of market-based leaders, oversees the NITC. “The council decides when and how the NITC should invest its resources and which services it should offer,” said Macmanus. “The council reviews NITC budgets and the sharing of costs between the national entities and market-based organizations that use it.” Already, 11 market-based organizations receive core information technology (IT) services from the NITC, with eight more slated to join by the end of June 2006. Macmanus expects more market-based organizations to transfer core IT functions to the NITC during the next several years. “It will be a gradual process as more of our market-based organizations make the transition to Meditech, Cerner and Lawson, he said. “What the NITC can deliver immediately is accuracy and reliability in core IT services. Over time, we expect Catholic Health Initiatives to benefit by sharing the costs of IT and providing a more consistent level of support to our ministry of patient care and being a trusted health partner in the communities we serve.” Macmanus said the NITC will assist market-based organizations with certain IT functions that can be performed away from the physical location of an organization’s end users. “Moving selected IT responsibilities to the NITC enables local resources to focus on patient care and other site- and community- specific needs,” he said. “We want to strike an optimal balance between national and market-based IT services.” For more information on the NITC and its services, contact Chris Macmanus at chrismacmanus@catholichealth.net.