South Western Nova Scotia District Health Authorities Information Systems Strategic Plan
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The internship placement reported to the Director of Information Services for the three District Health Authorities of South Western Nova Scotia. The objective was to construct a five-year information systems strategic plan for all departments in the Annapolis Valley, South Shore and South West Nova District Health Authorities. The districts support three regional hospital facilities, eight smaller health and hospital facilities and a number of clinics and public health offices. The internship work was performed from May 10 to August 27, 2004. The author’s role was to define, plan and complete the project of collecting the information and assembling the strategic plan. The majority of the information gathered was through interviewing over ninety departmental representatives in thirty different departments across the three districts. Information from External organizations such as the Department of Health was also gathered. The information was synthesized into themes that became the basis for the strategic plan. The strategic plan was comprised of a summary of current and future initiatives within clinical, administrative and infrastructural areas. The initiatives covered operational areas from engineering maintenance through human resources to financial and materials management. The clinical aspect covered areas such as acute care services, rehabilitation, addictions and public health. The infrastructure initiatives dealt with the computer and network building blocks needed to implement all the initiatives. The internship proved to be a valuable learning experience for the author and provided exposure to the operations and clinical functions of acute care facilities as well as community and public health services. The direction of the strategy follows the strategy of the provincial department of health toward provincial hospital systems and is only the very beginning of the strategy building and implementing process.