August 2005

Becoming the Trusted Information Partner


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From left to right: Ami Gates, Kacy Thomas and Sherry Smith upload system software to the main system server at Marymount Medical Center, London, Ky.


Catholic Health Initiatives is creating an information management plan that will guide the organization toward achievement of its core strategy of Information: becoming the trusted health information partner in the communities it serves. “Our information management plan envisions an end state, or goal, of healthy persons making up healthy communities,” said Christopher Macmanus, senior vice president and chief information officer. Catholic Health Initiatives is completing an information management plan that will guide the organization toward achievement of its core strategy of Information: becoming the trusted health information partner in the communities it serves. The plan is being created under the guidance of the Information Management Plan Work Group, which consists of national and market-based leaders; physicians and nurses; and managers of quality, strategy, finance, communications and information technology from across the system. The work group, along with national clinical, strategic and information technology staff, developed the plan in accordance with the overall strategic plan of Catholic Health Initiatives. To familiarize market-based chief executive officers with the information management plan design, seek their input and answer questions, Catholic Health Initiatives has scheduled four regional meetings for late August. “Our information management plan envisions an end state, or goal, of healthy persons making up healthy communities,” said Christopher Macmanus, senior vice president and chief information officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. “There are two tracks to achieve that end state: high quality care that supports people in need of health services; and health information that empowers consumers to make the right lifestyle choices to maintain their health and to access appropriate resources when needed. Our information management plan is designed to make both of those tracks a reality for our local organizations and our system as a whole.” The plan details core processes and infrastructure needed to achieve eight major information management strategies identified by the work group:
  • Consumer Empowerment — Providing information and support that empowers consumers to make informed health decisions; plus, conducting consumer research to validate strategic information priorities.
  • Medical Imaging — Presenting images and other non-textural information to clinicians to support their clinical decisions.
  • Anytime/Anywhere Access — Providing clinicians with access to patient records for clinical decision-making and intervention.
  • Clinical Processes — Providing clinicians and allied health professionals with tools to document and access diagnostic and therapeutic electronic health information.
  • Performance Benchmarking — Providing employees and staff with tools to deliver appropriate information that will enable performance benchmarking and support the measurement of progress toward Catholic Health Initiatives’ core strategies.
  • Patient Safety — Increasing patient safety by minimizing opportunities for errors in their care.
  • Leveraged Knowledge — Enhancing clinical decision-making with embedded tools that reconcile practice to current clinical knowledge, such as computerized physician order entry (CPOE); validation of orders against clinical rules or alerts; and mapping against clinical literature.
  • Person-Centered Electronic Health Records — Providing comprehensive personal health records.
The work group used a set of guiding principles for information management within Catholic Health Initiatives, which will help the organization narrow the vast array of technology choices that are currently available. “The guiding principles also help ensure delivery of value to Catholic Health Initiatives in exchange for resources allocated to information systems,” said Macmanus. “For example, use of proven technologies will keep us near enough to the leading edge to allow us to be innovative in the way we manage information, but away from the pitfalls of using ‘bleeding edge’ technologies.” In addition, Catholic Health Initiatives is forming a new advisory council for information management. “This will be a group of market-based and national leaders that will focus resources devoted to information management, set priorities and monitor performance as we lead the selection, implementation and support of information applications and technologies that are core to our health care ministry,” said Macmanus.

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From left to right: Neva Frances, Christopher Dye and Debi Bentley of Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin, Ky., discuss the finer points of PowerPoint presentations.