New Interim CIO feels confident about system transformation

Meet Mark Hutson

Mark Hutson

Mark Hutson, Interim CIO, at the Tift Regional Data Center

Mark Hutson with Cumberland Consulting Group has been appointed the Interim Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Tift Regional Health System. Reporting directly to President/CEO Chris Dorman, Mark oversees all aspects of Tift Regional’s information technology services, from personal computers to telecommunications. His primary charge, however, is to guide the Cerner/Infor Lawson transformation.

With more than 34 years of practical experience, Mark brings a wealth of IT knowledge to the position. Before joining Cumberland Consulting Group, Mark served as CIO for large hospital systems in Mississippi, Missouri and Oklahoma.

Mark started his career at Baptist Memorial Health Care System in Memphis, Tennessee, working his way-up from a programmer to director of information systems. He holds a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas with a focus on business systems analysis. He has worked with Cerner on two different occasions with former employers.

“The workflow aspect of Cerner is the best thing,” said Mark. “Once we get past the initial adoption phase, staff members will really discover that process management will be enhanced with Cerner and Infor Lawson.”

When it comes to the activation phase, or go-live period, Mark said there is no way around it—there will definitely be some initial hiccups.

“It can be like changing a tire on a bus while it is driving down the highway,” he said. “There will be productivity issues. There will be confusion. There will be some disruption. It’s inevitable. The goal of the IT department will be to minimize that window of time as much as possible.”

Mark said if users take advantage of the training, they will have the support they need from both IT and Administration. “The leadership at Tift Regional is making arrangements for supplemental, contract personnel to serve patients so clinical folks can attend scheduled training,” he said.

Mark said a lack of IT support is always a concern during a big system conversion, but this has been addressed. “In addition to the trained Super Users and consultants who will be available, we have doubled the number of IT support members who will be roaming Tift Regional’s facilities during the go-live period,” he said. “They will be there to answer questions and address issues.”

Mark said Tift Regional has a couple advantages when it comes to a system overhaul like the Cerner and Infor Lawson transformation. “Tift Regional has a dedicated and talented IT team that is renewing its commitment to work together and provide proactive solutions,” he said. “This team has some real bench strength. Also, Tift Regional has been through a system transformation before with Paragon. That almost serves as a dress rehearsal.”

What advice would Mark give to individuals and departments on how to make sure the Cerner/Infor Lawson transformation is a success in their areas? “Training is most important,” he said. “Training, training, training. Also, know your Super Users. And, don’t ever be afraid to ask questions.”

Mark added that Tift Regional is a strong and progressive health care institution filled with great people. “I feel confident that that everybody will come together as needed for the Cerner/Infor Lawson transformation,” he said. “There is definitely a deep commitment by the staff, because they want to take patient care to a whole new level.”