Ashwin Kutty says IT leaders should work backwards from a business vision to a technology implementation — not the other way around.

The manager of the health information services group and program leader of mental health services at Dartmouth, N.S. – based health services provider Capital Health Nova Scotia said his leadership strategy is to look beyond technology and its limitations.

“We often get hung up on the technology itself, but forget to look at the business aspects of what the technology will bring,” Kutty said.

“We are in the business of health care and we need to ensure that vision remains intact. We are here to make sure that every citizen in our province receives safe and adequate, outcome-driven health care.”

Kutty was helping to lead several initiatives, including building processes and procedures for the health organization’s Admission, Discharge and Transfer (ADT) system and supporting clinicians with data quality issues.

He is also the key contact for liaising with Nova Scotia’s Department of Health for the implementation of the province’s portal for access to patient care information from all nine districts.

Kutty said the ability to bring the individual and disparate systems across the province together and streamline the way Capital Health stores client information is a crucial step on the way to a fully realized Electronic Health Record system.

The goal of “one record for each citizen,” Kutty said, is continually stressed among his team of registration clerks and data integrity officers. Given that the government funding model doesn’t give every health service provider in the province the luxury of having a singular system for all, Kutty said his unit has worked to integrate the mechanism for patient registration across Nova Scotia.

“Coming together is the biggest challenge for us,” he said. “We need to make sure the technologies are in sync and we have to make sure we agree on how those mechanisms are put into place.”

For Kutty, his leadership philosophy boils down to being open to new technology initiatives and keeping everyone focused on the underlying business goal.

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