Get Out of IT, Get into Healthcare IT

Gienna Shaw, for HealthLeaders Media , November 1, 2011

What's the difference between healthcare IT professionals and their peers in other industries? Well, the answer might depend on how the healthcare IT professional answers that classic cocktail party question: "So, what do you do for a living?" (See the LinkedIn discussion. )

"What makes the great individuals in IT great? The answer is they don't see themselves in IT," said Craig Schiefelbein on the closing day of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives fall forum in San Antonio last week. "They're in healthcare."

So, what do you do? Are you in IT (or finance, quality, or marketing, or any other department within a provider organization)? Or are you in healthcare?

The answer, says Schiefelbein, who is the co-founder and CEO of Paragon Development Systems and author of the book "Get Out of IT While You Can," can make a difference in how happy you are. It also impacts a lot of other areas that are important to any organization, but critical in healthcare, from patient experience to quality to long-term sustainable growth.

It's so easy to bend your head down and get lost in the day-to-day to-do list. And there are a lot of things to do on the IT department's list these days—little things like implementing electronic medical records and preparing for ICD-10 coding changes, for example.

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