When asked what he thinks helped propel Thibodaux Regional Medical Center to the top spot in the “small” category of this year’s edition of Best Hospital IT Departments, Chief Information Officer Bernie Clement says, “I don’t think it’s a single thing; I believe we work really hard to get our people feeling like they’re part of the hospital and part of patient care improvement.”
When double-checking the number of IT staffers at the 185-bed hospital, deep in Louisiana Cajun country, Clement literally counts them one by one (there are 18). That’s an intimate working environment and one that fosters a family-like feel, he says.
Just the same, it’s critical that their small size not lead to a feeling of insularity from the larger goings-on at the hospital. Keeping staff engaged with the day-to-day business of care delivery is one way to ensure they don’t feel like “just another IT shop,” he says. “That goes a very long way to them feeling like they’ll put in the extra effort, put passion into what they do.”
Thibodaux does a great job “recognizing the good work they do,” says Clement, “including our physicians. I’ve worked at some places where it feels like IT is the enemy. Or there seemed to be the feeling that we were ‘doing something for them’, so to speak.”