March 2006

Information Management Plan Guides Priorities


IT_Staff Photo

Staff members maintain racks of servers in the National Information Technology Center (NITC), located in Catholic Health Initiatives’ Denver Meridian national office in Englewood, Colo. Catholic Health Initiatives’ market-based organizations are in the process of migrating information technology support functions to the NITC.

A comprehensive Information Management Plan, recently endorsed by the President’s Council and the Strategic Planning Committee of the Board of Stewardship Trustees, provides a road map for the prioritization of information management and technology initiatives throughout Catholic Health Initiatives. “In the past, our facilities developed information technology systems appropriate to their own needs and resources,” said Christopher Macmanus, chief information officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. “As an integrated operating company, with a specific strategic plan set by our board, it is now appropriate to have an overarching plan that sets our information management objectives for business, clinical and technology investments.” “The guidance provided by the Information Management Plan will also help the system achieve the information-related objectives set forth in our strategic plan,” said John DiCola, senior vice president of strategy and business development. Opportunities and Benefits The Information Management Plan was developed by a work group from a variety of disciplines and locations across the system. It is designed to give each Catholic Health Initiatives facility the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from the strength of the system. “The plan will help Catholic Health Initiatives’ facilities work together in ways that take advantage of the system’s national size and scope, while maintaining the market focus and responsiveness of local organizations,” said DiCola. “While the Information Management Plan represents an enormous amount of work to be accomplished, it is not new or additional work,” said Win Vaughan, director of information technology support. “It is work that our market-based organizations and national staff would be doing to ensure our information systems are addressing the needs of the current health care environment. The plan prioritizes and sequences the work in a way that will help reduce costs, promote best practices and ensure benefit for the system as a whole.” Affinity Groups The Information Management Plan also recognizes the benefit of having employees work together to develop standards for information collected and used in their areas of expertise. “Before we move forward with an initiative that affects a specific area — for example, laboratory, pharmacy or cardiac care — we will form an affinity group of individuals who work in that area and have the expertise to define and develop standards,” said Michael Rowan, chief operating officer. “These affinity groups will determine which elements of their work will benefit from data standardization.” New Council The continuing implementation of the Information Management Plan during the next several years will be overseen by a new Catholic Health Initiatives group, the Information Management Advisory Council (IMAC), which is chaired by Rowan. The IMAC has 13 members, including seven representatives of market-based organizations. For more information about the Information Management Plan and its priorities, contact Win Vaughan at winvaughan@catholichealth.net.