June 2001

Information Technology Leaders Gather for Networking, Information Sharing

More than 60 information technology leaders from across Catholic Health Initiatives gathered in Denver, Colo., in March for the organization’s first National Chief Information Officer/ Information Technology Leadership Meeting. Chris Macmanus, senior vice president of Information Technology for Catholic Health Initiatives, said the meeting was designed to promote networking among and collaboration with information technology (IT) leaders and national staff. “The meeting helped to establish a sense of community and mutual support among chief information officers and other executives who are responsible for information technology in their market-based organizations,” he said. “The meeting also gave them an opportunity to communicate directly with members of the national leadership team and gain a deeper understanding of Catholic Health Initiatives’ national agenda.”

The two-day meeting began with a look at the future of health care from David Garets, group vice president of the Gartner Group, based in Stamford, Conn. “IT leaders are often caught up in daily operational issues and don’t have the opportunity to look at how macro-level trends in health care impact the IT strategic planning process, so this presentation was very well received,” said Kirk Mahlen, vice president of information technology for Catholic Health Initiatives. The attendees also heard an overview of Catholic Health Initiatives’ operations from Dave Goode, senior vice president. “Everyone appreciated this ‘big picture’ look at Catholic Health Initiatives,” said Mahlen.

Leaders from the Supply Chain, Human Resources, Communications, Finance, Performance Management and Clinical Leadership Resource Groups presented updates on the work of those groups. “Resource groups often need information from IT leaders, and the ability to understand these requests in the context of a resource group’s work is very helpful,” said Mahlen. The meeting also featured updates on Catholic Health Initiatives’ technology infrastructure, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and a number of breakout sessions.

All of the attendees gave the meeting a positive evaluation: 75 percent said it was “excellent,” while the remaining 25 percent rated the experience
“very good.” As a result, plans are underway to offer the meeting on an annual basis. “Some IT leaders would like to meet more frequently, and
we may hold regional meetings or conference calls to accommodate them,” Mahlen said.