HIMSS: Recruit your IT team for business planning

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ORLANDO, Fla.--Involving the IT team into enterprise-wide strategic planning can result in better alignment between operating and strategic planning, as well as better resource allocation and budgeting, according to an e-presentation by Mahammad L. Babur, MBA, an IT systems analyst at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., during the 2011 annual Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) conference, Feb. 20 to 24.

“In today’s economy, healthcare providers cannot just rely on brute strength to maximize the value of their patient volume, rather they require enabling technologies, tools and a dynamic IT department,” said Babur. “More often, hospitals are relying on IT and healthcare applications, which allow them to track and leverage every patient interaction to maximize revenue opportunities and improve quality, safety and efficiency.”

In early 2006, Mayo’s CIO asked the IT leadership to formulate a long-term business partnership, along with an IT roadmap of the organization’s business practices. The IT group worked in collaboration with various business portfolios, and formulated 67 mile markers to support business and strategic objectives of Mayo’s clinic administration, education and practice and research departments.

To start, Babur provided certain definitions of the Mayo Clinic IT Roadmap, including:

  • IT Roadmap was built on Mayo Clinic’s strategic plan and each of the business domain’s planned contributions to the realization of that strategic plan.
  • Business Domains are practice, research, education and administration. Domain is the distinguished part or an abstract or physical space where something exists, is performed or is valid.
  • Portfolio is a collection of programs owned by the same individuals with aggregated benefits aligned to deliver a substantial segment of the strategic plan. The Mayo Clinic incorporated portfolios for each of its three main facilities in Rochester, Minn., Scottsdale, Ariz., and Jacksonville, Fla.

The mile markers, as formulated by the IT staff, define the initiatives needed to be accomplished over the next 12 years in order to reach the designated goal. The portfolio aligned with the four Mayo strategic priorities: quality, integration, science of healthcare delivery and individualized medicine. 

The 12-year plan, divided into four periods, starting in 2007 and ending in 2018, was approved in 2007.

To keep the plan current and relevant, the IT Roadmap will be reviewed by the business domain/portfolio annually. The IT Roadmap coordinating group, made up of IT leadership and supported by IT planning and technology, meets regularly to coordinate updates to the roadmap. Also, each business domain is assigned an IT advocate for a single point of coordination.

These groups defined the process steps as: plan, do, check and act (PDCA).

Finally, 67 mile markers – whittled down from 144 – were agreed upon. Of the 67, 18 were in period one (2007 to 2009), 22 in period two (2010 to 2012), 15 in period three (2013 to 2015) and 12 in period four (2016 to 2018).

Each of the mile markers are aligned with various portfolios. For instance, mile marker six, which is the “complete implementation of phase one internet-based services for Mayo Clinic Arizona, Florida and Rochester,” has an impact on the practice, education and research portfolios. Also, mile marker 13 of the “complete implementation of a single registration system for Mayo Clinic Arizona, Florida and Mayo Health Systems” has an impact on the practice, administration and research portfolio.

“The IT Roadmap contributed to the success of the business strategies for many projects at the end of period one, but most importantly, it has improved collaborative, strategic and operational planning between portfolios and IT, which resulted in achieving convergence and standardizations among departments,” said Babur, who added that the goals achieved at the end of the period were “an outstanding success.”

As the projects move forward, the IT Roadmap will be “refreshed and continue to serve as the operational link” to keep IT aligned and in support of the Mayo strategic plan.