Trinitas answers the big questions

'We always tell our staff why we need their help'
By Jeff Rowe
02:42 AM

Did you ever get asked to do a job but not be told why? Well, that wouldn't happen at Trinitas Regional Medical Center, in Elizabeth, N.J.

As Judy Comitto, vice president and CIO, sees it, people like to be involved and they like to know why they're doing something.

"If they know the reasoning behind a mandate or a project, they're willing to go the extra mile," she says. "So we always tell our staff why we need their help and how grateful we are."

That inclusiveness, Comitto adds, is a big reason everybody pitches in when a problem arises.

"Yes," she says, "everybody has their individual responsibilities, but they're also willing to stay after hours or come in on weekends in order to accommodate the clinicians."

But while Comitto calls her staff "one massive team," she also says the key to keeping them from getting overwhelmed, particularly in the face of such sweeping changes as ICD-10, is to make sure their particular teams are working effectively."Not everyone's working on the same thing at once," she points out, noting that the staff is divided into teams working on an array of fronts, including finance, clinical, networking or help desk.

In addition to keeping them consistently in the loop, Comitto says Trinitas also recognizes the IT staff's work with events such as parties or luncheons at the completion of projects, or write-ups in the hospital's weekly newsletter.

Doctors, too, know how much they benefit from the IT department's effort, she adds.

"IT has given the doctors many new tools to deal with changes like ICD-10 and population health management," she says, adding, however, that her staff have also put in the time to help the doctors understand how best to make those tools work.

In return, "the doctors have been pleased and very complimentary."

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