Best Hospital IT 2016: Innovation in healthcare consumerism helps Silver Cross build a winning team

With a focus on convenience for patients, the Illinois hospital is keeping its IT staff motivated.
07:33 AM
 Best Hospital IT 2016: Silver Cross Hospital

Best Hospital IT 2016: #2 Medium Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital, Illinois
IT Staff: 50
Licensed Beds: 297
Overall Score: 65.84%

Kevin Lane, vice president and chief information officer (CIO) at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, Illinois says the hospital thinks of itself as “an early adopter,” and one way of staying cutting edge in today’s healthcare market is to focus on patient consumerism.

Lane, who heads an IT staff of 45, says the shift toward consumerism in healthcare can’t be ignored. Healthcare consumers want the same conveniences in healthcare as they do in other industries. That’s why the 297-bed hospital is harnessing its IT energy toward making it as easy for patients to make a lab appointment as it is for them to book a table at a restaurant online. Silver Cross now has around 50 types of tests patients can book online, he says.

In addition to online scheduling, Silver Cross has expanded its patient portal and will soon begin to offer primary care telehealth visits. These face-to-face visits will help the hospital compete with local urgent care facilities and hopefully help patients avoid unnecessary visits to the emergency department, Lane says.

With the eye on improving the patient’s experience, Silver Cross has not neglected the fact that helping doctors do their job better will also improve patient satisfaction. That’s why the hospital is focused on mobility—and the use of hand-held devices. “We want to get as much data in the hands of our providers as possible,” Lane says. Of course, the hospital is dependent on their IT vendor, which has been Cerner for the past four years, but the hospital “is tightly aligned” with Cerner, as a business partner.

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Technology at Silver Cross has changed drastically since 2012, when the hospital relocated to a new building, Lane says. Upgrades included adding wifi and a distributed antenna system (DAS) for use with cell phone coverage, two-way radio and paging. Other upgrades included the addition of robotics in the operating room and new technologies for radiology and cardiology, he says.

What's next for Silver Cross? Lane wants to improve convenience for his clinicians. For years, Silver Cross has been sending lab, radiology and cardiology results to doctors, Lane says. Now, the hospital is going to make this a two-way street. Silver Cross is starting to accept orders from physicians for these tests, no matter what kind of electronic health record they are using. The hospital also hopes to soon have the capacity to allow patients to schedule their outpatient tests before they leave their doctor’s office.



Workplace culture was one of 87 questions senior executives (CIO, CMIOs, etc.), directors of IT, clinical and systems analysts, technicians, help desk staff and others responded to on our survey.

Overall Ranking

Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
Question Very dissatisfied or Disagree completely Dissatisfied or Disagree Neutral Satisfied or Agree Very satisfied or Agree completely
How satisfied you are working for the IT department at this organization? 6.1% 2.0% 0.0% 32.7% 59.2%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 2.0% 0.0% 0.0% 46.9% 51.0%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 2.1% 0.0% 0.0% 35.4% 62.5%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 27.7% 72.3%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 0.0% 2.1% 8.5% 44.7% 44.7%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 46.8% 53.2%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 0.0% 4.3% 17.0% 34.0% 44.7%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 2.1% 8.5% 10.6% 44.7% 34.0%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 0.0% 0.0% 8.5% 40.4% 51.1%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 2.1% 0.0% 2.1% 36.2% 59.6%