Catholic Health Initiatives, a Denver-based nonprofit health care system, will hire more than 200 specialists across the country as part of a $1.5 billion program to enhance clinical information technology across its network of 72 hospitals in 18 states. The project, which will be implemented over the next five to seven years, is among the largest information-technology initiatives of its kind in health care, and will likely involve additional high-tech positions.
The clinical information technology project, which includes plans for a system-wide electronic health record in both the acute care and ambulatory settings, a health information exchange and physician and patient portals, requires a significant increase in a number of specialized positions – including technical analysts; clinical informaticists; engineers; managers; database administrators; application developers; and security- and identification-management personnel.
“Catholic Health Initiatives has launched a national clinical information-technology program that is very ambitious and very comprehensive,” said Cristina Thomas, CHI’s vice president for clinical information strategy. “We need the best people available to supplement our existing staff and to help us achieve our goal, which is to put new electronic tools to work for patients, clinicians and providers. We are making an aggressive effort to hire the best candidates for these important positions.”
Many of the new jobs will be based in Denver, where CHI has been headquartered since its formation in 1996. Some key positions will be “virtual,” allowing employees to work remotely. Other positions will based in or connected to CHI markets across the country, including Tacoma, Wash.; Des Moines, Iowa; Chattanooga, Tenn.; Little Rock, Ark.; Denville, N.J.; Lexington, Ky.; Dayton, Ohio; Cincinnati, Ohio; Nebraska; Minnesota; and North Dakota.
More than 100 positions are expected to be filled in just over the next three months to support a clinical information technology program designed to improve quality, safety and efficiency. An additional 100 positions will be filled over the next 12 months for a wide variety of operational projects within the information technology organization. The new employees will supplement a group of approximately 800 current information technology employees at CHI, which is the third-largest faith-based health care system in the nation.
The organization’s clinical information technology program includes a wide array of initiatives that focus on technology, clinical tools and system wide infrastructure to achieve the organization’s quality goals. Among CHI’s principal partners in this venture will be Cerner Corp., MEDITECH and Allscripts. In addition to electronic health records to support CHI’s 350 medical-group practices, the project will focus on the standardization of clinical documents, bar-coded medication administration and computerized physician order entry, among other areas.
About Catholic Health Initiatives: CHI is a national nonprofit health organization, with headquarters in Denver. The faith-based system operates in 18 states and includes 72 hospitals; 40 long-term care, assisted- and residential-living facilities; and two community health-services organizations. Together, those facilities provided $553 million during the 2009 fiscal year in charity care and community benefit, including services for the poor, free clinics, education and research. With annual revenues of $8.6 billion, CHI is the nation’s third-largest Catholic health care system. For more information: www.catholichealthinititiatives.org.
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