3 thoughts from La Rabida Children's CIO Vincent Vitali on determining IT value

Vincent Vitali, CIO of La Rabida Children's Hospital in Chicago, says it is becoming increasingly more difficult to judge the value of IT investments, largely because technology is so quickly advancing that hospitals feel the constant need to invest anew.

Mr. Vitali shared his thoughts on evaluating IT investments with The Enterprisers Project, a collaborative endeavor between CIO magazine, Harvard Business Review and Red Hat.

Here are three key thoughts from Mr. Vitali from the interview.

Most IT projects are business-focused, not technology focused: "Virtually none of the projects we evaluate are IT projects. Every project needs to be driven by a business need and therefore by a business leader," Mr. Vitali said. La Rabida Children's categorizes projects into three groups: strategic, regulatory and "quick wins," he said.

The strategic projects are enterprise-wide, large-scale, multidisciplinary endeavors whose value is carefully evaluated. Regulatory projects — those mandated by the government or outside agencies — are assessed by examining business impact and cost. The "quick wins" require few resources and offer quick returns or benefits.

Healthcare isn't banking, so some comparisons are unfair. "I've heard for years people say, 'You can get your money from an ATM in Russia but you can't get your healthcare data from your doctor/hospital.' Well, financial transactions are fairly limited and very simple compared with healthcare, and there is a much different regulatory environment. I do feel that we sometimes make things hard for ourselves in healthcare IT, but it is a very complex ecosystem with numerous players, almost unlimited scenarios, and huge data needs."

There are opportunities to fail, but also ways to avoid them. "Opportunities to fail include lack of organizational commitment or business buy-in (i.e. making it an IT project), improper scoping of cost or resource need or time frame, poor project management and communication, software that simply doesn't work and changes in the environment during implementation, such as mergers and acquisitions.

What I've learned is the value of discipline, having a formal process, over-communicating and sometimes saying 'No' when you see signs of these issues."

To read the full interview, click here.

More articles on health IT:

Push and pull: How Kaiser Permanente is bringing innovation to scale
Employee compromises 5,000 patients' data at UC Irvine Medical Center
8 recent vendor contracts, go-lives

Copyright © 2022 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars