Inspira Health puts IT to work

"If you don’t like coming to work, you need to let me know why, and we’ll see what we can do to make things better.”
By Jeff Rowe
02:25 PM

When it’s hard to get good people, you work hard to keep the ones you’ve got.

That’s one way of summing up the philosophy of the IT department at the Inspira Health Network, based in Bridgton, N.J. As Tom Pacek, vice president and CIO, put it, “If you don’t like coming to work, you need to let me know why, and we’ll see what we can do to make things better.”

Of course, it doesn’t take long to figure out that unhappy employees at Inspira are probably few and far between. In fact, Pacek said, his staff put Inspira’s name in the running for the Healthcare IT News Best Hospital IT Department award long before they let him know they’d done it.

[Slideshow: Best Large Hospital IT Departments, 2014]

According to John DiAngelo, Inspira’s CEO, Pacek himself is a big part of the reason for the success of Inspira’s IT activities.

“Tom totally stresses communication and follow-up,” DiAngelo said. “When he came here, he earned the trust of all the IT employees and, perhaps most importantly, of all our physicians, too.”

For Pacek, one thing that sets his department apart is the staff’s commitment to the values of the organization.

“They all want to be in healthcare,” he observed. “They feel like they touch the patient and they make a difference.”

To help them make that difference and keep Inspira on the cutting edge, Pacek said, the organization is committed to ensuring that every employee gets the education and training he or she needs to do the best job possible.

Moreover, at a time when initiatives such as meaningful use and ICD-10 are taxing all organizations, Pacek pointed to the support his department gets from management.

“I have to thank our board,” he said, “because we’re able to bring in outside resources when we absolutely need them. Meaningful use and ICD-10 aren’t options; they have to get done.”

In addition to the initiatives all providers are grappling with, Inspira has numerous ongoing projects. On June 1, for example, they completed 16 applications, including a system-wide CPOE launch.

To give the IT staff the recognition they deserve, Pacek said, Inspira has, among other things, an annual IT Week, with different prizes distributed each day. And when any employee gets a compliment from a customer, the entire department hears about it.

Summing up the Inspira IT staff, DiAngelo said “It’s never, ‘I can’t do that.’ It’s always, “I’ll figure it out.’ And they always do.”

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