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Vicky Ramirez



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    OS03 - Realignment in Health Care (ID 2)

    • Event: e-Health 2017 Virtual Meeting
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Clinical and Executive
    • Presentations: 1
    • Coordinates: 6/05/2017, 04:00 PM - 05:30 PM, Room 202AB
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      OS03.01 - The IT Transformation Journey at Canada’s Largest Healthcare Institution (ID 341)

      Vicky Ramirez, University Health Network; Toronto/CA

      • Abstract
      • Slides

      Purpose/Objectives: In 2016, University Health Network (UHN) embarked on a transformational IT journey towards a digital future that supports our three domains of clinical practice, research and education. UHN has faced the typical technology challenges that encumber large academic research hospitals such as a distributed operating model, decentralized governance structures and a complex customer service interface. To address these challenges, UHN identified a need for greater coordination of IT expertise, a re-examination of service delivery models and an improved customer service approach to embrace the opportunities a digital world will bring. Our objectives included reorganizing 500+ IT staff into one integrated and co-ordinated digital team, implementing a new, transparent governance structure, and establishing financial accountability for nearly $100M.

      Methodology/Approach: A small project team was established with authority to solicit feedback from key opinion leaders and IT experts throughout the organization. A clear understanding of the current state was developed using monthly data from each IT unit, conducting IT staff surveys on aspirations and competencies, as well as surveying the entire organization to ascertain a ‘digital pulse’. The team drew upon external expertise in numerous forms: extensive literature review, an IT advisory committee of the board, consultants, hospital CIO’s, and industry experts. Change management was an important aspect of the transformation; to manage this, the team employed John Kotter’s 6-Step Change Model, organizing stakeholder events to co-design a solution, and pursuing a multi-faceted communications strategy. The transformation effort was given a new digital brand that served as a hallmark and a visual rallying point for the IT transformation.

      Finding/Results: The IT Pulse survey showed that staff wanted their technology needs met more efficiently and desired a more personalized customer service approach. Co-design workshops with leaders from across UHN revealed the need to centralize many IT services. In addition, data collection showed needless complexity and duplication of services. The literature review and industry best practices revealed a bi-modal operating model approach with a focus on reliable and agile IT components that would respond to the needs of the organization. UHN extended this model to a third component to foster local innovation and discovery. The result was a tri-modal operating model that provided three ways for the digital team to work. The tri-modal approach will accommodate reliable, agile and exploratory modes of working.

      Conclusion/Implication/Recommendations: UHN’s digital transformation exemplifies a new way of thinking about IT in a healthcare organization. As technology and patient care become more integrated - running a digitally-enabled hospital is less about adopting digital technologies and more about changing the way we work in response to the nature of a digital world. Consequently, UHN embarked on an organization-wide change centered on our customers through a comprehensive operational model, strong business-IT alignment, and purposeful engagement. The IT Transformation is a necessary step forward and is a key enabler of UHN’s purpose and digital strategy. Caring for our patients, teaching our students, and discovering tomorrow’s treatments are critically dependent on this transformation.

      140 Character Summary: UHN is implementing a new enterprise-wide integrated and synergistic IT operating model to put patients first, and bridge the care, discovery and learning domains.

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