One of the most recognizable buildings in the landscape of downtown Sioux Falls is the former Midland one with the reflective windows. Avera Health recently moved its information technology team into that building and as Nancy Naeve Brown tells us the brains behind the computer brains are now able to work together in one spot.
For 30 years, the downtown Sioux Falls building with the gold glass windows was headquarters to Midland National Life. That day has passed. These signs show a new name and a new era. Avera Health moved 200 employees in technical support to the top two floors of the downtown building. Before the November move, the IT staff was scattered all over the city in all different locations. By consolidating it makes it for those employees to collaborate.
Avera Health Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations Daryl Thuringer says, "Interesting thing about a modern day health system is that IT is such a core component in delivering health care to patients. The staff, the physicians, nurses, everybody depends on all the people and core of IT to keep the system running day in, night all shifts in order to provide that quality care to every patient, every time."
The first floor of the downtown Avera building is under construction. When it's done it will be a conference center and training facility which is so important because as technology changes updates on training have to follow.
Avera Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Erickson says, "The other thing that's important when you think about technology is electronic medical records which the staff in that building supports. Being able to have that information so it's lab, x-ray, scans right at the point of care with the patient. So instead of having it as a paper copy with 10 different locations and you can't find it. Being able to have all that info in one source right at the point of care is very important for patients and physicians and I think that's what helps improve quality of care and lowers cost because you're not duplicating tests."
Even though you will probably never see these people in person, they don't wear white coats, scrubs or carry stethoscopes, the work they do at their computers is just as important and now they can do it under the same roof.
Since the IT team is the backbone to technology, someone is always at work in the new building 24/7.
Avera has been recognized by Hospital and Health System Magazine as one of the most wired health systems.