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Premier 100 IT Leader profile: George M. Brenckle

Bringing an IT infrastructure back up to speed after years of underfunding

February 25, 2013 06:00 AM ET

Computerworld - CIO George M. Brenckle has to balance access to information with ensuring security, but he acknowledges that information can't always be locked down, particularly in a healthcare organization like his. Doctors need access to data wherever they are to deliver the best care in the most efficient and effective way possible. So Brenckle and his team at UMass Memorial Health Care in Worcester, Mass., spent the past year developing a virtual desktop architecture to do just that.

George Brenckle

The FollowMeDesktop initiative delivered on its goals, lowering IT support costs while allowing clinicians to access information from any location on virtually any platform, including tablets.

Such initiatives are a long way from where UMMHC was when Brenckle, 58, who holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry, started there five years ago. He says the institution had underinvested in IT for years, leaving it without key IT-enabled healthcare applications.

But Brenckle moved UMMHC forward. He overhauled the information infrastructure, adding electronic health record technology, replacing a core billing system, developing a new data center, expanding the capacity and reach of its network, and introducing electronic documentation for physicians.

UMMHC President John G. O'Brien praised Brenckle's ability to bring together stakeholders "to develop a shared vision for IT."

Pratt is a Computerworld contributing writer in Waltham, Mass. You can contact her at marykpratt@verizon.net.

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