March 13, 2014

Health informatics services reorganizes to meet users’ needs

Support for Medical Center operations is now named Health Informatics Technologies and Services or HITS. The group’s tagline is “Powering Care, Discovery and Learning.”

Support for Medical Center Operations is now named Health Informatics Technologies and Services or HITS. The group’s tagline is “Powering Care, Discovery and Learning.”

The name change reflects a reorganization that has been in planning since the arrival of Blackford Middleton, M.D., MPH, MSc, as assistant vice chancellor and Chief Informatics Officer.

On March 5 in 208 Light Hall, Middleton announced the new name and outlined the reorganization of support services to a capacity crowd of staff and faculty. He described HITS as a team that is to be optimally responsive to the needs of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s information systems users, while supporting the greater standardization that will be needed to drive continued improvement in clinical safety, quality and cost.

HITS works with partners throughout VUMC to address information systems needs, not only for clinical teams, researchers, teachers and students, but also for managers, administrators and financial teams. HITS will also work with VUMC’s health care affiliates.

“I’ve heard from our customers across the enterprise,” Middleton said. “They want one point of contact, clearly defined product road maps, they want to have input — if not even direct prioritization — and they want re-usable and scalable technology that is standardized and consistently delivered.

“What makes any organizational design successful is the willingness and ability of the leaders to drive the desired outcomes,” he said. “We will work together to get this right.”

“We are excited about the changes Dr. Middleton is announcing, which will serve to further support innovation at the Medical Center and advance our joint work,” said John Lutz, vice chancellor for Information Technology. “Both HITS and VUIT share a focus on customers, an approach that looks to identify areas where we can benefit from unique approaches and where we can find common solutions to common needs, and a focus on governance — all of which provide a solid foundation to serve Vanderbilt during a time of rapid change.”

Middleton’s presentation was introduced by Bill Stead, M.D., associate vice chancellor for Health Affairs and Chief Strategy Officer.

“I want to share my excitement about the plans that Blackford is going to walk through today. They will restructure the way that we work with our customers and each other to deliver the next-generation of health informatics solutions, and to deliver them at the scale we need to deal both with the changing programs on our 21st Avenue home base and with a rapidly expanding health affiliate network, ” Stead said.

Implementation of the new organizational model is scheduled to be completed by June. For more information see the HITS website (Vanderbilt login required).