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Get Out of IT, Get into Healthcare IT

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media, November 1, 2011

When you have a chance to look up, chances are you're sitting in yet another meeting room looking at yet another PowerPoint presentation.

In fact, as Schiefelbein pointed out (and a show of hands from the audience confirmed) IT is often housed away from patients. Although it has moved up from the basement, it has also moved out to administrative buildings or wings.

IT needs to get back into the hospital, he said, shadowing clinicians and workers in a variety of departments. In some organizations I've talked to, workers from IT and other departments participate in rounds in order to bring those non-patient facing departments face-to-face with the sole reason the healthcare organization exists. 

Schiefelbein also encouraged IT leaders—even those who consider themselves over-achievers—to reach beyond their comfort zone. Both the IT team and the department as a whole must be much more strategic, and focused on business, mission, and customers—especially patients. 

Long-term sustainable growth comes from physician and patient loyalty, he added, and those are most impacted by experience.

"If you want to move to the next level, you can't just be the best you can be; you have to be the best in your industry," he said.

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