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Inspire IT Teams To Understand The Business

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Bruce Winzar | CIO | Loddon Mallee Health Alliance & Bendigo Health Group

My choice and my action and direction have been to try and inspire our staff to understand why they work in the health sector, why they work within the area that they do, and where they fit in as the cog in the wheel within the organization. I’ve gone down the path of providing high-level training for our senior staff on what makes our business tick. I’m a firm believer that if they understand what makes the business tick, they can then start to innovate. I’ve asked our IT staff, from our programmers through to operations management people, “What is our business?” Invariably they don’t know what our business is. We’re a hospital. We provide health care. “How do you fit into that mold, and what can you do to help provide better health care?” “I’m a systems programmer, and I’m here to develop and maintain code to make sure the computer keeps turning.” “Why do we need to have the computer keep working 24-by-7?” If we follow that line of logic, what I’m trying to impart and get to with my staff is to understand that we are a business. We need to look at revenue stream. We need to look at quality of patient care. How can they assist in that role? An example would be, where do we make revenue inside a hospital? Pretty much none of my staff could answer that question. We make revenue inside a hospital by coding the event of the patient when they come through emergency services through the inpatient, through the wards, until they get discharged. The inspiration that I’m trying to provide to my team is that you’re one of many people inside the hospital. You’re one of the gears. If you understand what the next person’s role is and you understand the pressures, the needs that they have and how you can assist them, then you’ll start to get a better understanding of what the organization’s about. [You’ll understand] how we can actually do things smarter and how we can do things that will be quite innovative, new, and how we will then do our projects that match what the strategic plan is, or the business plan is, for the organization.

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