P.O. Box 409095
Chicago, IL 60640
Audio Length: 5 minutes, 43 seconds
Interviewer: Martopia voice talent
Interviewee: Michael Murphy, president and chief executive officer, Sharp HealthCare, San Diego
[00:00:09.16] Womans Voice: Welcome to this edition of Winners Playbook, brought to you by Modern Healthcare and powered by Martopia. With each edition of Winners Playbook, listeners hear directly from the recipients of Modern Healthcares awards and honors programs.
[00:00:28.13] Martopia Voice Talent: Were speaking with Michael Murphy, one of the winners of the 2007 CEO IT Achievement Awards. Hello, Michael.
[00:00:36.06] Michael Murphy: Hello, how are you, Laura?
[00:00:37.06] Martopia Voice Talent: Im well. How are you?
[00:00:38.19] Michael Murphy: Great, thanks.
[00:00:39.25] Martopia Voice Talent: When or at what point did you realize the importance of information technology to the delivery of healthcare services?
[00:00:47.24] Michael Murphy: I started my career in public accounting with an emphasis in healthcare, and all of my clients were in the healthcare field. So for the first 13 years of my career I certainly saw the importance of information technology. But my real realization came when I joined Sharp HealthCare in 1991, and saw their commitment and dedication to the importance of information technology, that had been going on at Sharp HealthCare for quite some time. So the movement and the significance of information technology thats happened at Sharp HealthCare is not a new thing, it is something that has been high on the priority list and recognized from the very inception of Sharp HealthCare.
And weve had clinical documentation around at Sharp HealthCare since the early 80s and have been innovative in developing all kinds of information technology advances, really over the last 20-plus years. So that commitment just continues to move forward as the products allow us to continue to bring advances for our patients and our physicians and our clinicians.
[00:01:51.08] Martopia Voice Talent: What was the biggest challenge facing you and your organization in implementing IT in your healthcare facilities?
[00:01:57.12] Michael Murphy: I think Id categorize those challenges into two major categories. The first is the financial resources to be able to acquire and implement the technologies, and prioritizing those resources to be able to do that. And the second one is related to the change in management, implementing new information technology tools, and in some cases that replace existing tools, and in some cases that are just new to the environment. And change management clearly is a significant issue with everything, all businesses face, but information technology area in particular.
[00:02:36.29] Martopia Voice Talent: How did you and your organization overcome that challenge?
[00:02:39.05] Michael Murphy: I think we are always constantly continuing to overcome that challenge, and basically the way we attack that challenge is to involve all in our organization that we can, in evaluating the change, in evaluating the products, and allowing them to have a significant role in helping us implement the tools that will be implemented in their environment. And then weve also spent a significant amount of time, energy and resources in dealing with change management, and not just in the information technology area, but change management across our whole organization, in dealing with tools that will allow us to bring groups of people together and tackle the issues together, to come to joint solutions. And recognition that everythings not going to be perfect and change is a certainty.
[00:03:28.22] Martopia Voice Talent: What advice would you give another executive in pursuing IT implementation in their facilities?
[00:03:35.10] Michael Murphy: I think the best advice, really, is to focus on the change management and focus on how these implementations will impact their organization, and obtain the buy in and the support of the most-impacted constituencies as youre moving forward with these implementations, and then continually work with them.
[00:03:57.11] Martopia Voice Talent: Do you think the nation will have a fully operational healthcare IT infrastructure in place by 2014, as President Bush instructed? Why or why not?
[00:04:06.11] Michael Murphy: On this one, as much as I would like to say yes, Im fairly pessimistic that we will actually be able to achieve that. Let me cite a couple of reasons.
One of the reasons is Im still not sure the products themselves are where they need to be for us to be able to come up with a uniform operational system across the whole IT infrastructure. We find that challenging enough, even within our own seven-hospital system, to be able to get it operational and uniform.
And secondarily, and maybe the biggest area, is that the cost to be able to do this is just very, very significant and, while the president has instructed us all to achieve that, the funding related to getting us there is certainly not forthcoming from many sources. So, for us to be able to move the whole country to that level of implementation will take a significant amount of funding that to this point has not been identified; and, given the state of the federal budget, and the state of the states budget, at least here in California, Im not optimistic that those funding sources are going to come about to help us get there by 2014.
[00:05:15.15] Martopia Voice Talent: Weve been speaking with Michael Murphy, one of the winners of the 2007 CEO IT Achievement awards. Thank you, Michael.
[00:05:22.28] Michael Murphy: Thank you, Laura.
[00:05:23.15] Womans Voice: Thank you for listening to this edition of Winners Playbook, brought to you by Modern Healthcare and powered by Martopia. Listen to other editions of Winners Playbook by visiting the multimedia section of Modern Healthcare Online at modernhealthcare.com.
[00:05:43.05] Audio ends.