Changing Medicine. Changing Lives. ®

May 15, 2017

Doing our best work

Make it easier to do our best work.

That’s what Goal 3 of the 2017–2020 Strategic Plan is all about. We call it Nimble Structure and Accountable Culture because we believe it takes both to enable UI Health Care to have the responsiveness and flexibility needed for success in our complex world.

Data-driven decision-making is key to building our capacity to be nimble. We will be improving our informatics capabilities and expanding the use of data and analytics in research, education, patient care, and for strategic business decisions. We plan to hold an informatics summit, which will bring together experts from campus and around the nation to identify best practices, our current expertise, and potential models for building a strong informatics infrastructure.

Another component to making it easier for you to do your work is to remove barriers to efficiency. This will include evaluating and streamlining our compliance requirements while ensuring we meet all state, federal, and accreditation standards. We’ll renew our focus on standardizing core business practices and work to remove redundant processes. To encourage a more accountable culture, new projects, programs, and initiatives will be developed with specific, measurable goals, and team members will be empowered to take action to ensure successful outcomes.

Finally, to support our clinical, research, and education growth goals throughout Iowa and beyond, we must strengthen our marketing and communications efforts. There will be strategies to build our national reputation, to support recruitment of faculty, staff, and trainees, and to integrate and improve our web and digital presence. Work is also underway to improve internal communication to ensure all who work and study here find it easy to get the information needed to do their jobs well.

I am very pleased with the energy and enthusiasm team members are bringing to these strategies—motivated to improve our work environment so we can all do our best work. You can read more about Goal 3 below. If you have ideas for the team, please contact one of the leaders listed, or as always, you can send comments or suggestions to To learn more about the Strategic Plan, visit The Point.

Goal 3: Nimble Structure and Accountable Culture

The focus for Goal 3 is to provide clear and supportive organizational structures that allow our people to do their best work supporting our tripartite mission. The Goal 3 team is comprised of faculty and staff members from all areas of our tripartite mission—patient care, research, and education—and its leaders are:

  • Kathy Dean, associate vice president, Marketing and Communications
  • Curt Sigmund, PhD, chair and DEO, Pharmacology
  • Patricia Winokur, MD, executive dean, Carver College of Medicine

There are three main strategies for Goal 3 (listed below), each with a set of critical tasks that the team will prioritize and put into work plans. In addition, the team will determine the metrics that indicate success for each strategy.

Strategy 3.1 Leverage informatics for analysis and data-driven decision-making

  • Hold informatics summit to identify best practices, inventory current expertise, and identify insourcing/outsourcing models for informatics science, technology, and education.
  • Identify and invest in a strong informatics infrastructure (leader, governance structure, partners, tools, and technologies) that supports the tripartite mission.
  • Expand informatics educational offerings at all levels of the organization to increase expertise and recruitment for informatics science and services.
  • Establish an organized/unified delivery of analytics across the organization to improve query response and data storage and to identify one true source of business information (data warehouse).

Strategy 3.2 Establish clear criteria and decision-making processes that support focused prioritization and investment

  • Work with university to reduce duplicative administrative rules and refine processes toward managing risks and regulatory burden.
  • Develop formal, transparent project management processes that support comprehensive review of all major initiatives, including identification of decision maker, engagement of all stakeholders, and alignment with budget.
  • Develop a process to identify and invest in strategic priorities and a process for discontinuing initiatives that are no longer aligned.
  • Integrate administrative structures, especially in smaller departments, based on criteria that will ensure continued responsiveness and cost-effectiveness.

Strategy 3.3 Strengthen integrated marketing and communications to support growth and build the UI Health Care brand

  • Develop and invest in marketing and communications strategies that support clinical, research, and education growth goals throughout Iowa and beyond.
  • Increase marketing efforts to highlight well-established and renowned programs and services.
  • Develop internal communication infrastructure that allows targeted and customized communications.
  • Improve integration of all staff engaged in marketing and communications throughout the organization.
  • Engage appropriately with health advocacy groups.
  • Increase presence and diversity of UI Health Care faculty and staff on national boards and associations.
  • Create an employment brand and improve integration of recruitment functions across the enterprise.

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