September/October 2007

Planning for Strategic Reorganization of IT Underway


Catholic Health Initiatives is conducting a strategic reorganization of its information technology (IT) function, which includes developing a plan for a system-wide, standardized, streamlined IT organization.

Catholic Health Initiatives is undertaking the reorganization after Deloitte Consulting conducted an objective review of the system’s national and market-based IT services. The review included interviews with 300 stakeholders from across Catholic Health Initiatives. The review identified opportunities to increase IT customer and provider satisfaction, slow expense growth and balance local and national priorities.

“We will clearly define a more consistent and transparent decision-making process, establish a single reporting structure and implement centers of excellence around major applications,” said Michael Rowan, chief operating officer for Catholic Health Initiatives.

To help lead the reorganization, Catholic Health Initiatives recently hired Michael O’Rourke, an experienced health care IT executive, to serve as interim chief information officer.

Rowan emphasized that Catholic Health Initiatives is reorganizing the system’s IT function, not outsourcing it. “We are a large enough organization to achieve economies of scale internally,” he said.

IT employees will become national employees and will be located in national offices and local facilities as appropriate to the services they provide and the needs of Catholic Health Initiatives’ markets. “We are flattening the IT organization and will create new regional chief information officer positions to serve our market-based organizations,” said Rowan. “Nearly every market-based organization will have a regional chief information officer, an IT director, an IT manager or an IT lead on site, as appropriate for the size of the organization.” Site leaders will report to a regional chief information officer, who will report to the office of the chief information officer. The number of regional chief information officers is expected to be about seven.

Four work streams are now underway with the involvement of national staff, market-based organization staff and Deloitte Consulting teams. The work streams are called People and Organization, Governance Model, IT Investment and Program Management, and Clinical and Operational Standardization.

As the strategic reorganization proceeds, regular updates are available on the National Groups page of Catholic Health Initiatives’ intranet, Inside CHI. To see the latest updates and find all previous communications, click on “One IT.”

“In Catholic Health Initiatives’ 11th year as a system, it is a sign of strong stewardship to review key organizational structures to ensure that the value provided to the system and the market-based organizations is the highest possible,” said Rowan. “The alignment of all IT services into one IT organization will support our mission to nurture the healing ministry of the Church by aligning market-based and national priorities, and clarifying roles and accountabilities.”