InformationWeek 500: Cincinnati Children's Hospital's Niche Specialties Are Key To Global Goals

Fetal Care Portal lets doctors, hospitals share important patient data.

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee, Senior Writer, InformationWeek

September 11, 2009

2 Min Read

What's Next

The next step for CCHMC is to find ways to use the innovation of the Fetal Care Portal as a model for the hospital's other sub-specialties, says Jason Napora, assistant VP of information services. CCHMC's colorectal center already uses applications with some of the same functionality as the Fetal Care Portal.

Innovations that support the hospital's niche expertise strategy are particularly important in this difficult economy. "We're being cautious from a budgetary point of view," CIO James says.

However, CCHMC is looking to invest in "niche innovation that helps expand the borders of the hospital," says James. The goal is to build a reputation around specialties and attract patients from outside Ohio. The Fetal Care Center is already doing this in the area of high-risk pregnancies. Expanding nationally has allowed the hospital to continue to grow, James says.

The Fetal Care Portal

Strategy
Improves CCHMC's ability to collaborate with two nearby hospitals

Technology
Uses ASP.Net, Ajax, CSS, jQuery, LINQ, SQL Server 2000, SQL Server Reports

Results
Doctors have one place to share records on current cases and research on past cases

Next Up
Apply the approach to other specialties

The hospital also is focusing on extending its international reach. The Fetal Care Center collaborates with hospitals in the Middle East and China.

The biggest long-term project the CCHMC IT team is working on is expanding its Epic e-medical record implementation, a 2-year-old system that replaced several clinical information systems. The hospital deployed the system in its specialty clinics and ambulatory settings first and has been rolling out components since then. Emergency room apps will be launched in November and in-patient and operating room apps next year.

James has become well versed in CCHMC's business during her 22 years with the hospital in roles ranging from finance to research. She's part of the senior management team, and meets weekly with other top hospital officials.

"I'm more outward facing," she says. When projects don't go well, it's often because there isn't a clear champion advocating for them, she says. The IT team and business units avoid that by keeping technology efforts rooted in a solid understanding of business priorities. "There has been great collaboration," she says.

By building on this collaboration and the innovation that has come out of it like the Fetal Care Portal, CCHMC is likely to continue helping more patients and their doctors hundreds or even thousands of miles away make gut-wrenching medical decisions with the best possible chance of good outcomes.


Go to the 2009 InformationWeek 500 homepage

About the Author(s)

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee

Senior Writer, InformationWeek

Marianne Kolbasuk McGee is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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