Good Samaritan CIO Danny Scott on team innovation + systemwide value of IT

As CIO at Vincennes, Ind.-based Good Samaritan, Danny Scott fosters innovation among his information technology team by pushing members to provide "best of the best" in customer experience.

Mr. Scott, who joined Good Samaritan in 2016, brings years of health IT experience to his role as CIO. Previously, he has served as a technology manager at Humana and an IT manager at St. Louis-based Ascension Health.

Here, Mr. Scott shares how he promotes innovation among team members as well as his advice for EHR customizations.

Editor's Note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How do you promote innovation among your team members?

Danny Scott: I give people free rein to be thinkers and innovators. We are only limited by our imagination, and of course, budget. I push people to go beyond what they believe they are capable of doing. You can't finish a race by standing and looking at the road. Our mantra is 'best of the best.' Always seek to be the best, to find new ways and to consistently focus on the customer experience.

Q: What has been one of your most memorable moments as CIO? 

DS: There have been so many. When I came to Good Samaritan three years ago, the IT division was in need of looking at things in a new, different way. The entire organization needed to look at IT in a new way; to realize our value. We are here to enable others and, over time, seeing that come to fruition has been very powerful. Our organization now sees IT as a strategic partner, enabler and source of knowledge versus not bringing value to their specific business needs.

Q: What is one recent initiative you've taken to customize your EHR system?

DS: We have put a lot of energy into order sets since these are so critical to our providers' use of the tool, efficient workflow and provision of care. 

Q: What advice do you have for other hospitals looking to implement an EHR customization?

DS: Have very strict governance in place and be extremely selective in what you permit.  Don't have an open gate for people to submit changes they want. The less customization leads to a much easier maintenance and support process. I agree there are needs for optimizations, but don't be eager to move too far off the foundation. That's where the structure will get a little shaky.

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