More than 10,000 IT employees from 277 nominated hospitals throughout the U.S. completed Healthcare IT News' 2012 "Where To Work: BEST Hospital IT Departments" workplace survey.
Now the big question is: Who's going to take home the gold and be named one of 2012's top 25 hospital IT departments? Of the 277 nominated hospitals, 125 have qualified for one of the top spots. To qualify, at least half of an IT department's employees must complete the program's 67-question online survey.
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The survey period ran from April 17 to June 15. Healthcare IT News' research partner, Critical Insights, a market-research company based in Portland, Maine, is now analyzing the results. The top hospitals will be profiled in an October supplement of Healthcare IT News in print and online. The program includes three main categories: top 10 large (351 or more licensed beds); top 10 medium (101 to 350 licensed beds); and top 5 small (100 or fewer licensed beds).
Only IT departments with eight or more employees are eligible to be named a top hospital, but this year's program will examine the workplace characteristics of the 13 qualifying "micro" departments, those, no matter their bed size, with fewer than seven IT employees.
In its second year, 10,863 hospital IT employees completed the "Where To Work: BEST Hospital IT Departments" survey compared to 4,945 in 2011. Last year, 179 hospital IT departments were nominated, and of those 75 qualified for the program.
The program's goal is to determine what characteristics distinguish the best hospital IT departments from all the rest. To do that, employees grade their departments across seven categories: day-to-day work, IT team, management, hospital leadership, workplace culture, training and development and compensation.
"The Best Hospitals program provides an opportunity to showcase healthcare IT departments in an area of healthcare that in my opinion receives little recognition," said Mike Mistretta, vice president and CIO of MedCentral Mansfield Hospital in Mansfield, Ohio, a 2012 Best Hospitals finalist in the large category. "It is an outlet to share what is working at systems in regards to employee satisfaction, work content, and other areas regarding retention in a time when resources are extremely competitive. Providing recognition improves retention and further strengthens our ability to maintain skills in our departments as well reducing future recruitment costs."
The program's sponsor is B.E. Smith, a healthcare, leadership solutions firm that provides interim leadership, executive search and consulting services.
"Today's IT teams have the power to make a significant impact on the entire enterprise, including financial performance and quality of care," said B.E. Smith's Rich Miller, senior vice president, information technology and talent strategies. "B. E. Smith recognizes the role technology and leadership plays in meeting the demands of a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape."