Best Hospital IT 2016: Mission Health embraces innovation with Xbox virtual sitters and predictive clinical intelligence

A partnership with caregivers helps the North Carolina health system advance strategy.
07:57 AM
Best Hospital IT 2016: Mission Health System

Best Hospital IT 2016: #5 Super Hospital
Mission Health System, North Carolina
IT Staff: 181
Overall Score: 59.88%

"IT in healthcare is transforming quickly from a back office function or service, to being part of the health system's strategy," said Jon Brown, CIO of Asheville, North Carolina-based Mission Health.

At this point, Brown has as many caregiver clinicians in the IT department as he does engineers, to compensate for the new staffing model. As the transformation occurs and development and strategies become more tech-centered, it's important to come alongside providers.

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Mission Health, which ranked 5 in the Super category of this year's Best Hospital IT Departments, has strong ties to Cerner and GE, partnerships that allow it to be both creative and innovative with how care is delivered.

The project for which Brown is proudest? Virtual sitters.

In the past, a patient at risk for falls required a clinician in the room to ensure safety. Mission worked with Cerner to use Xbox technology – using an app and hardware combination – to eliminate the need for someone to sit in a patient's room. The Cerner and Xbox-tech, which includes a camera and microphone, allows clinicians to interact with patients from a centralized location when the patient attempts to get out bed.

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In the near future, Mission also hopes to implement a number of tools around the consumer experience. Included in this list is a cell-activated tool that monitors diabetic patients using Cerner technology and sends results to the EHR where it's recorded.

"The goal is to be able to make the technology as invisible as possible, while reducing the amount of effort it takes to perform a transaction," Brown said.

Brown said that Mission is also working to make frictionless tech for patients. One of these projects includes a real-time communication channel for families, which could decrease anxiety when a family member is in surgery.

Another priority for Mission's team is to begin the transition from reporting and dashboard metrics, into recommendations and predictive systems based on a strong analytics platform.

"We believe we can have a positive impact on the healthcare industry with the innovative work we're doing here," Brown said.

"As we're going through a major transformation in IT, the idea is to create a resilient workforce who is both knowledgeable and worthy," he added. "So I'm incorporating some IT projects that standout to increase the resiliency of our workforce.”


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? 6.3% 4.0% 5.1% 29.5% 55.1%
How satisfied are you with your job and elements of your day-to-day work? 4.1% 4.7% 7.1% 33.7% 50.3%
How satisfied are you with your immediate work unit, team or IT department group? 3.0% 3.0% 4.2% 35.8% 53.9%
How satisfied are you with your direct supervisor, manager or group head, the person you report to directly? 4.3% 3.0% 9.1% 18.3% 65.2%
How satisfied are you with the senior management and leadership of your organization? 3.7% 6.2% 14.2% 36.4% 39.5%
How satisfied are you with the workplace culture in this organization? 1.9% 5.6% 8.7% 42.9% 41.0%
How satisfied are you with training, professional development and advancement in this organization? 3.8% 9.4% 15.6% 38.8% 32.5%
How satisfied are you with compensation, benefits and employee recognition at this organization? 2.5% 5.6% 23.1% 36.9% 31.9%
I plan to continue my career with this organization. 0.0% 3.1% 6.3% 35.6% 55.0%
I would recommend employment here to a friend. 2.5% 1.3% 7.5% 37.5% 51.3%


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