Five-hospital Adventist HealthCare in Gaithersburg, Md., has outsourced some of its information technology operations to CareTech Solutions and its partner General Dynamics Information Technology.
Terms of the eight-year agreement, were not disclosed. Financial savings expected under the deal also were not disclosed, but Adventist will reinvest the savings in patient care initiatives, which was one major reason for deciding to outsource, says Chris Ghion, chief information officer.
Adventist already has substantial experience with outsourcing, as the new contract replaces a long-standing relationship with Anthelio Healthcare Solutions, previously known as PHNS. That contract expired at the end of 2014 so about 1.5 years ago work started on a new bidding process, says Cherie Pardue, deputy CIO at Adventist.
The Anthelio contract was a full outsource arrangement. Now, CareTech and General Dynamics will operate the infrastructure and handle services. Management functions were brought back in-house, as well as web development and application support, program management, and managing relationships between IT and the delivery systems various entities. In large part, Adventist wanted to be able to focus more on the business of healthcare, yet let others with more experience handle the infrastructure, Ghion says.
In addition to more management of IT being brought in-house, Adventist also now has an in-house clinical informatics staff, so Ghion and Pardue set expectations with senior leadership to make sure the IT department was not making all the decisions.
One reason CareTech got the contract was because it was more comfortable than other vendors may have been with the large number of milestones and strategic decisions called for in the request for proposals, as well as the length of the arrangement, and General Dynamics field service expertise also factored in, Ghion says.
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