Nanticoke IT team manages everything, even hurricanes


When your first job out of college was in a hospital IT department, and you're in the same department 29 years later, you can be pretty sure you've seen and done it all.

For Susan Godesky, director of IT at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital, seeing it all has involved, among many other things, starting in a three-person IT department, working with mainframe computers and making her way to the top, nearly three decades later, of a 17-person department.  

Having hands-on experience in all aspects of Nanticoke's IT operation has enabled Godesky to be a "hands-on" manager, but also one who doesn't hesitate to let her employees make key decisions.  

"I'm there to support them," she said of her growing staff.  "We work as a group, so there's no micro-managing."

As an example of Nanticoke's teamwork, she pointed with pride to when, in 2011, Hurricane Irene came to town right when Godesky was on vacation. Everything, she said, was managed just fine.

That said, there's no doubt that, as in all hospital IT departments these days, the Nanticoke team is working fast and furious. In the last year, Godesky said, Nanticoke has worked on multiple clinical projects, prepared its EHR system for meaningful use attestation, and worked on connecting to Delaware's statewide HIE.

Godesky said it helps that Nanticoke's clinical staff understands the pressure the IT team is under, and Steve Rose, Nanticoke CEO, summed up the entire staff's perspective when he said, "You've heard the expression 'only as strong as the weakest link,' well, we have no weak links. Everyone in the IT department possesses excellent technical skills and knowledge. Everyone is highly competent. It's very impressive!"

Rose went on to explain: "We embrace our EMR and other IT initiatives as quality initiatives. Every time we consider the acquisition of a new program or software, we bring it back to our mission and ask ourselves: Will this contribute to the quality and safety of patient care?"

Godesky echoed Nanticoke's focus on patients: "We understand that the most important thing is the safety of our patients."  She added that in her role as manager, she tries to find "the best way to balance the projects I've given (the staff). I do let them know that they're being asked to do a lot, and if they are getting overwhelmed, they can come to me."

Indeed, when Godesky started working at Nanticoke, she said the IT department was "basically a registration system and a clinical order system. I've seen it grow from nothing."

Day in and out, that experience comes in handy, especially when it comes to helping her staff.  As Godesky summed it up: "I worked right where they are, so I understand where they're coming from."

In the last year, Nanticoke's IT team has worked on multiple clinical projects, prepared an EHR system for meaningful use attestation, and worked on connecting to Delaware's statewide HIE.


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