What Challenges Do CIOs Face When Everyone is Priority #1?

An interview with Jason Thomas,  CIO at Green Clinic Health System, based in Ruston, Louisiana.

The Enterprisers Project (TEP): You completed a total refresh of Green Clinic's technology as one of your first undertakings as CIO. What were some of the challenges of that project?

THOMAS: Green Clinic is a complex organization. Our medical professionals treat approximately 1,000 patients per day across 25 specialties. It's a regional organization with a lot of complexity and technical and compliance issues that further complicate how IT operates.

Our physician-owned organization, founded in 1948, is comprised today of 50 doctors and about 450 employees. The biggest challenge is that everybody is priority number one. Whenever a system goes down or someone has trouble getting something to work correctly, IT hears about it immediately. And because we are a healthcare organization, we do not have the luxury of tolerating downtime.

TEP: Sounds like a demanding environment! Did you have to make special efforts to sell the doctors and other stakeholders on the benefits of modernizing your technology?

THOMAS: There was some resistance to the expense of refreshing the IT environment, but Green Clinic had long had a physician-led plan to move to a fully electronic record system and part of my role was to facilitate that plan. Having our physicians already on board meant that the issue of expense came down to gaining consensus on what the final product would need, and then negotiating around those requirements.  Read more.