5 steps to build a great IT department, according to Corewell Health's CIO

Corewell Health's Chief Digital and Information Officer Jason Joseph said having a clear strategy for your hospital and health system's IT department is the No. 1 tip in building a successful IT department. 

Corewell Health, dually headquartered in Grand Rapids and Southfield, Mich., was recently nominated to Computerworld's best places to work in IT for 2023. The judges chose the finalists from a list of nominees based on factors such as diversity, employee engagement, hybrid work, benefits, career development and IT growth.

Mr. Joseph shared with Becker's five tips on how to build a successful IT department:

1. Clarify strategy: Having a clear strategy with priorities that are fully aligned with the organization’s overall goals is a must.

"This strategy must take into consideration the complexities and realities of the environment as well as clarify the path to the future. It also must be simple enough to align with and communicate," said Mr. Joseph.

2. Shift mindsets: Having the right team, mindset and culture can help hospitals and health systems execute on their strategy. 

"At Corewell Health, we emphasize having the right balance between setting our sights on new horizons that are compelling and innovative, and creating a culture of empowerment and accountability that sets our teams up for success while navigating many competing priorities," said Mr. Joseph. "Having amazing people is both a cause and an effect –— and we never forget this or take it for granted."

3. Simplify the complex: "Align on what's truly important by keeping the consumer experience and expectations at the center of each decision. Making things easier is not easy," said Mr. Joseph. "Even in the face of many changes, remaining focused on the outcomes that matter most makes all the difference."

4. Be brilliant at the basics: "Emphasize doing the things that are expected, exceptionally well. This may seem mundane, but the steady, continuous effort makes a big difference to the organization and its people," said Mr. Joseph. "Don't overlook how important this is to everything else as well."

5. Get out of the way: Hospitals and health systems should empower their employees to move toward a digital future with competence and confidence. 

"The work isn't just about adopting technology, it's also about leadership and support so an organization and its people will embrace digital transformation over time," said Mr. Joseph. "At Corewell Health, that means leading from behind with humility and recognizing that, in the end, the work isn't about us."

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