An interim CIO in the midst of a global pandemic
First introduced when Brightwork Consulting was hired to provide a comprehensive assessment of the Southeast Alaska Health Consortium’s information technology capabilities, strengths, and weaknesses, as well as technology infrastructure, we later contracted with the organization to provide an interim chief information officer to guide a complete overhaul of the department and systems. Using Brightwork’s contingent workforce services, SEARHC hired one of our senior-level staff who has experience as a CIO in a sprawling, rural environment.
As a healthcare provider spread throughout 18 Native communities in Southeast Alaska, the consortium is a non-profit, tribal-run organization that provides medical, dental, vision, and mental health services from 18 facilities, including a large hospital in Juneau. The interim CIO was in charge of major IT projects; reviewing and providing recommendations on the current state of the IT department; overseeing planning and governance functions; developing detailed recommendations on the IT department’s organization and structure; mentoring IT management staff; and developing plans for risk mitigation, improving customer services, and organizational development.
the CIO led an initiative to develop and implement new telehealth and work-from-home strategies in a matter of weeks, leveraging technology solutions unique to SEARHC’s geographic and connectivity challenges
Unbeknownst to anyone, before the new CIO could begin the implementation strategy, the Covid-19 pandemic required the organization to prepare for hundreds of new patients – many in need of intensive care. The interim CIO took over the preparation work for the information technology needed to respond and led a team of experts to make sure technology was supporting doctors, nurses, and clinicians. This allowed medical professionals to focus on saving lives. At the same time, the CIO led an initiative to develop and implement new telehealth and work-from-home strategies in a matter of weeks, leveraging technology solutions unique to SEARHC’s geographic and connectivity challenges.
The CIO continued implementing changes to the IT department to improve how the organization responded to Covid-19, but also how it supported other patient needs. After more than half a year of support, our consultant helped the consortium find and hire a permanent CIO.
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