Mark Halloran, CIO, Medco Health Solutions Inc.

Medco is the largest mail-order pharmacy in the world. One in four Americans is enrolled in a drug plan that the company services with its automated pharmacy-benefit-manager system.

Mark Halloran
CIO, Medco Health Solutions Inc.

Interview by Charles Babcock

Mark Halloran, CIO, Medco Health Solutions Inc. -- Photograph by Walter Smith

Photograph by Walter Smith
A Good Night's Sleep
With so many people's medication on the line, quality is critical. "Our IT- and pharmacy-operations people use Six Sigma-type controls in their service-delivery model. The quality assurance of Six Sigma allows me to sleep at night."

Data Soup
"It's kind of like making soup. A lot of ingredients go into the data warehouse. At the end of the day, all our online-prescription, order-fulfillment, and health-plan pharmacy-benefit-management systems need to work in a collaborative fashion. Having one big warehouse allows us to do that."

Pressure Cooker
Halloran likes working under pressure, with tight deadlines and restrictive budgets. "I've always been in a position of needing to deliver a large project at a fixed cost in a certain time frame. When I joined, Medco was a startup that needed to [quickly] build out systems. That's what attracted me."

Emergency Response
"Two days after Hurricane Katrina struck, we created health records for 300,000 patients. Pharmacists and physicians didn't have records for those patients. Within a week, we set up a temporary, on-site mobile pharmacy in Marrero, La., 10 miles from New Orleans, staffed with nine pharmacists. They worked out of one mobile trailer and lived in another."

Mac Mania
"I'm into home stereo, home theater. I'm a Mac bigot and have Macs running my home-theater operation. I spend more than I should on iTunes."

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