Lafayette General keeping up a furious pace

'IT has been heads-down-working-like-mad for several years'
By John Andrews
03:02 AM
Lafayette General Medical Center

In just a few short years, healthcare IT has evolved from a department that focused on methodical system implementations into a fast-paced, response-oriented multi-tasking urgent care center for computers. And while this drastic shift has put some hospitals in a state of disarray, Louisiana's Lafayette General Medical Center in is continuing on a straight and steady course, thanks to Michael Dozier, vice president and chief information officer.

"IT has been heads-down-working-like-mad for several years with little ability to focus on a few key projects – instead we have a shifting focus on an overwhelming number of different projects due to consolidation, industry regulations, and most recently heightened focus on security," he said. "The changes in the healthcare industry are happening at a rapid pace, putting extra effort and burden on the workforce in general. Gone are the days of spending several months and years on projects and implementations."

As one of the nation's Best Hospital IT Departments, Dozier and his team haven't succumbed to the pressure of being pulled in different directions. Instead, they have stoically re-evaluated their role within the healthcare organization to see where they can best serve its goals, he said.

"It's been great to see the evolution of the IT role change over the past few years, but our principle role is to support and align with the business strategies of the organization," Dozier said. "That principle role has evolved into much more than just putting in a new technology. In many cases, the IT department has become the visionary in regards to how the future systems should function together, how a system can be maximized and efficient and what technology brings to enhance or create new services, like telemedicine."

Although he's been on the job at Lafayette for only one year, Dozier has created a climate where employees can thrive in their roles, continually improve and strive for excellence.

"The excellence we strive for is not achieved without sharing measurable goals and we work as a team to contribute to our success," he said. "Our employees and managers share similar goals and metrics, which allows us to continue to maintain a well-run and continually improving department. We continually educate, communicate, and focus on our vision and strategy to keep everyone moving in the right direction while project managing our workload to be as efficiently as possible."

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