North Central Health Care (NCHC) is a behavioral health hospital and skilled nursing facility. Its staff of 335 employees provides care for 135,000+ residents in Marathon County and the surrounding areas. The hospital staffs 16 acute care beds and 240 skilled nursing facility beds.
NCHC supports its information technology end-users with a blended model of in-house staff and outsourced IT staff. Despite its staffing approach, NCHC had a multi-year backlog of IT requests, and the organization experienced significant communication issues between the IT department and end-users. There was no organizational visibility into the active IT requests or the backlog. In essence, IT had become a black hole. The resulting fallout generated questions about the value of services received from the IT staff. Furthermore, the organization did not trust that IT was positioned to help NCHC achieve its strategic objectives.
Wipfli recognized the classic symptoms of a lack of strong IT governance structure and practices as the immediate problem. Bringing deep experience in IT governance, Wipfli outlined and proposed an IT roadmap that uniquely fit NCHC’s needs. The plan was thorough and orchestrated in easily consumable phases. It included first gathering information, such as the organization’s strategic initiatives, its values, policies and procedures, IT staff capabilities and capacities, and extent of the backlog.
Next, Wipfli drafted and presented a recommended IT governance structure with a governing body, new policies and procedures, an implementation plan, a communication plan, and tools and templates. Upon assembling a governing body, Wipfli provided training on the new policies and procedures, tools and templates. Finally, Wipfli provided coaching and guidance during the initial implementation phase.
NCHC now has a structure in place to ensure that its IT staff and function are fully aligned with the business strategies and goals. The organization has clear visibility into the requests made to IT and insight into the status of all active requests, as well as the authority to approve or reject requests. There is now effective communication between IT and requestors, and the mindset that IT is a big black hole has been replaced with a mindset of confidence. In addition, NCHC has the assurance that IT is now delivering value to its organization.