I just had the joy of taking care of my 20 month old granddaughter for two days. Her day care center was closed this week so my husband and I flew out to LA to have some fun and help out.
It reminded me how hard it can be to balance a career and a young family. Parents take turns getting ready for work while watching small children. Getting kids out of the house with all their necessary supplies can be an organization challenge in itself. One parent does the drop off and the other may handle the pickup. Figuring out who has to be at work by when and who gets done in time is the family dance. If there are long commutes, multiply the challenges and logistics. And then there’s the home front again after a long day – Continue reading
What makes a great vendor-client relationship? If you are in IT management you have probably experienced ones you thought were model relationships and ones you wish you had never gotten into. After 30 years in health IT management I have seen the full range.
I’ve been on both sides of the table over the years, I’ve been a buyer of products and services as CIO. I have been a seller of products and services with a software vendor and a consulting firm.
I always tell prospective vendors that I understand their business models. I don’t want to waste their time or mine.
If we don’t need their services or products at this point, I will tell them so. No need for further conversation. But it’s always good to keep the door open for the future: needs may change and their solutions will evolve. Continue reading
It’s that time of year again. At UMHS, we do all performance evaluations at once in June / July timeframe. 360 feedback is key – up, down, sideways and customers.
I asked each of my direct reports for at least 6 names – including peers, their direct reports and customers. Then I requested feedback from those individuals by either email or a phone call.
I just finished answering 8 surveys on colleagues – part of their soliciting feedback on how they are doing.
I sent my survey soliciting feedback on me to about 35 people including peers, internal customers, and direct reports. Continue reading
How often have you put off scheduling a doctor appointment or preventive test because you’re just too busy? Do you keep up your exercise routine when you’ve got a big project and key deadline looming? Do you have someone who helps keep you honest on these basic “taking care of yourself” things?
Have to admit I’m not the best but I am turning it around. Learned many years ago I’m the only one who can take care of me. No one is going to come into my office and say go home, you’re working too hard.
I have a gym membership and dogs that need to be walked. And it’s gorgeous here in Ann Arbor these days so I love being outside.
But I’ve also learned
that I do best at taking care of myself when I’ve got people who keep me honest. Some ideas from my recent experience: Continue reading
Common goals are a key to success for any business venture. But for a merger, negotiating common goals and how best to achieve them is especially critical. I saw this again in the case of the Great Lakes Health Connect (GLHC) – a very recent merger of two major Michigan substate HIEs: Great Lakes Health Information Exchange (GLHIE) and Michigan Health Connect (MHC).
Michigan has had multiple substate HIEs organized by regional markets. While this was a conscious strategy several years ago, many health care leaders had come to question it over time. However, the obstacles seemed too difficult to overcome, and inertia prevented change. So the two major HIEs grew and became stronger and more competitive. Provider organizations in some regions were torn between the two and faced limits in the data they could access. Other organizations sat on the sidelines waiting for one to prevail.
Late last year, I was on a leadership panel at the 2013 U-M StaffWorks Best Practices and Technology conference sponsored by VOICES of the Staff. After our prepared remarks, there was plenty of time for Q&A. In response to a question about how to deal with a challenging co-worker, I talked about the importance of hiring decisions. When I said that the hiring decision is one of the most important ones managers make, if not the most important, there was spontaneous applause. I was pleasantly surprised by that response. I truly believe what I said. I’m guessing that the applause were a reflection of the audience’s personal experiences – wondering why some of their co-workers were hired in the first place or why they are still there.
During my 30 years in management positions I’ve hired many talented people. Hiring decisions can be exciting and rejuvenating for teams. I’ve successfully turned around performance issues with people who I inherited through re-organizations or when I’ve joined a new organization in a leadership position. Some of those people still keep in touch and thank me many years later. And yes, I’ve had to move people out when it was clear they weren’t right for the position and organization. These are important yet difficult decisions that no one enjoys making.
What’s your college student doing this summer? Is it meaningful work? Is it making a difference? Are they taking steps towards their career goals? Or having experiences that could cause them to rethink their major?
Interns huddle with a Super User during MiChart go live at the Cardiovascular Center
I’m happy to say that all of the above could be true for 250+ student interns we hired as “at the elbow” support for our inpatient electronic medical record implementation. And it is a win-win. As part of our MiChart activation team, we get much needed help from bright, enthusiastic, high energy undergrad and graduate students. They get real world experience in a health care setting: a med/surg nursing unit, labor and delivery, OR and PACU, an ICU, an adult or pediatric setting, or an outpatient department. Continue reading
When I started here at the University of Michigan, I told the people I was to lead about my core values and expectations.
Prioritizing issues at our “11 at 11” meeting today.
- Teamwork – I expect people to respect one another and work together for common goals.
- Transparency – I practice and expect open, proactive communication.
- Customer service – While we don’t touch patients directly, we are all part of the extended care team; clinicians and caregivers rely on our systems to safely care for patients. We must provide excellent customer service in every interaction.
- Accountability – Each of us needs to take ownership and deliver on our commitments.
- Innovation – We work for a leading organization in health care, as IT professionals we must always look for ways to innovate.
- Continuous improvement – I was delighted to learn of the culture of continuous improvement within UMHS and the focus on lean health care. There are always opportunities to improve.
- Results focus – We need to focus on end results. Even though process is important, we shouldn’t get bogged down in it.
Like many health care provider organizations, the University of Michigan Health System is rolling out a new integrated electronic health record — a program we call MiChart. In just three days, we will be flipping the switch for the inpatient modules at our three hospitals with nearly 1,000 beds. The inpatient modules will be fully integrated with the ambulatory and revenue cycle modules we have already implemented.This is a big deal. To give you an idea of just how big, we have trained 14,000 people to use the new system in the last two months.
The phrase “it takes a village” certainly comes to mind.
Hundreds of people will be on hand during the go live to support users and address problems. 150 application and technical support staff will be ready at a Continue reading