Extraordinary Technology:

With tech support jokes and goofy Mac versus PC commercials, it is no wonder the stereotypical Information Technology worker is a blue-shirted, pocket-protected nerd. But the Adventist Health Information Technology department is anything but stereotypical. By taking this department out of the cube and into the hospital, it’s changing the face—and the capabilities of health care.

Information Technology directly supports the most vital piece of the organization: the mission of healing. During the last five years, the team has worked tirelessly to implement an award-winning clinical information system—Project IntelliCare—revolutionizing the way doctors and nurses do their jobs.

“It’s an exciting time for Information Technology,” says Alan Soderblom, Adventist Health vice president and chief information officer.

Though not directly related to IntelliCare, Mike Bickford is changing what it means to be in Information Technology.

Mike Bickford, regional telecommunications manager, came to the Information Technology department through Plant Services. With nearly 25 years in the company, he has spent the last 11 at Adventist Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. A journeyman electrician, his expertise extends to telephone switch management, wired networks, wireless networks and cabling infrastructure. Basically, if the phones or networks break in the Northwest region, Mike and his team get the call.

He is a man of action. “Mike’s very focused on getting things done,” says Wendell Bobst, Adventist Health Information Technology Security director, Mike’s former co-worker at Adventist Medical Center. “He is committed to customer service and to making projects succeed.”

Some of Mike’s biggest projects include new buildings on campus. Most recently, he worked on the hospital's new medical pavilion and parking garage. Before the project even broke ground, Mike and his team logged hundreds of hours on logistics. (Trivia: The telecommunications and data network infrastructure alone boasted more than 300,000 feet of cable.) In January the team will install the network and telephone electronics for the pavilion that is opening in May.

Mike says one of the best parts of his job is the great people he works with. "Even outside contractors say what nice people Adventist Health has.

“That's the nice thing about faith-based health care—it’s a business but we're here for more than profit. We're here to heal and serve people,” he says.

“Our Information Technology team members are devoted people,” says Alan. “Even though they can't see the patient walk through the door, they are dedicated to the mission as much as a nurse at the bedside.”

And “dedicated” is a good word to describe the outstanding range of people who make Information Technology an extraordinary place to deliver Adventist Health's healing mission.

October 01, 2008 / Feature