Feb 23

Selva Discusses Project Governance at HIMSS, Featured in Cerner Podcast

2/23/17 | Delivering Results, Featured Posts, Newsroom

Thomas Selva, M.D., chief medical information officer for University of Missouri Health Care, and Seth Katz, associate administrator of information management at the Truman Medical Centers in Kansas City, Mo., spoke at HIMSS 2017 about how IT governance structures evolved at their institutions.

In a HIMSS preview interview with Healthcare Informatics, Dr. Selva said their presentation would be about how two organizations just two hours apart, and the only safety net hospitals in the state of Missouri have developed very similar processes for how they manage their IT spend. “Both have come to the realization that health IT is a key strategic enabler for your organization’s mission, and although they are a little bit different, we have a very clearly delineated process for how projects are vetted, evaluated, and how to do value analysis of those projects looking for full return on investment,” Selva said. “Growth of governance has really been a byproduct of the cultures of our organizations. Because we follow this structure and are disciplined, we have been able to return several million dollars to the organization — money that did not need to be spent.”

Selva said problems might occur when software is purchased without much supervision or forethought. “You have laid out $250,000 for software that  ‘can’ interface with the EHR but never has,” he said. “So you spend $500,000 to do that, only to find it is a product for one faculty member who decides to leave in nine months. That is why you need oversight of these decisions. They can be so expensive, not just the capital expense, but the ongoing operational expense down the road.”

The governance structure at MU has evolved over the last five years, Selva said. He added that one colleague described IT governance as being like the fingerprint of an organization.

(IT governance) is always going to be unique, because the needs are going to be different, but it allows health IT to be seen as an enabler rather than the department you rely on to keep the lights on.

At every level of governance at MU, the process is always led by a clinician and enabled by an IT architect, Selva said.

We don’t do IT projects here; we do clinician-led projects that are enabled by IT. That is our culture here.

To learn more about IT governance at MU Health Care, listen to this recent Cerner podcast.