Get to Know MedIT

From everyday computer problems to large-scale projects, MedIT has a solution

By Shelby Soke

You may have called the Service Desk after an unexpected computer glitch, but how much do you know about all of the services MedIT provides?

Here are three areas in which MedIT supports the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

MedIT support at the heart of Cardiology

For Bernadine Dubé, divisional administrator for the Division for Cardiology, support from MedIT is an invaluable asset.

"If we didn't have MedIT we couldn't do our jobs," said Dubé. "We rely on technology and need it to do our jobs every day. MedIT helps us do that."

Dubé said whether it's a staff member retiring, setting up a workstation for a new recruit or troubleshooting a problem, she frequently accesses MedIT's services.

"Sometimes I think they have rollerblades on or something, they're there so quickly when I call for help," said Dubé.

Dubé was most impressed when MedIT staff worked with her to find a solution for her unique needs. As an administrator, she has a large amount of data and emails from over the years and her computer would often crash when she tried to access them. MedIT suggested a hybrid virtual computing system (VCS) machine so she could reliably access all of her information.

"Everything runs smoothly now, and I always have access to everything that I need," said Dubé. "They're experts at what they do."

Above all else, Dubé appreciates the human element of MedIT. "Whoever I speak to in Med IT has a sense of humour and in our division, we are big on humour. We laugh at ourselves often. Humour calms frustration and anxiety and MedIT understands this," said Dubé.

"MedIT is never condescending, nor do they treat us like numbers."

Space savers

Facilities management boils down to how much space there is, where it's located and who is using it for what purpose, said Jon O'Hara, director of Facilities Planning and Projects (FP&P).

With almost a million square feet of university space and more than 8,000 staff, faculty members and learners occupying and using space, managing space for the faculty is no small feat. After construction of the Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation and the Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy and Health Research, the faculty's facilities management team purchased a computer assisted facility management (CAFM) system by AssetWorks. Called AiM Space Management, the system was implemented in 2016 in partnership with MedIT.

Thanks to AiM, O'Hara said his team is able to respond quickly to requests such as expanding a lab space or setting up an office for a new recruit. It also provides a valuable storehouse of data that helps the faculty evaluate a number of space metrics.

"The system saves a ton of labour and allows us to make the best use of the space we have available," said O'Hara.

His office has worked with MedIT since 2016 to support and maintain the system, said O'Hara, which pulls data from central data sources, PeopleSoft and a number of other programs.

"We don't know IT, and MedIT doesn't know space. There was a high degree of interaction required to align our business requirements with what the technology could do, which was critical to the success of the system," said O'Hara.

Bringing dentistry onboard

The School of Dentistry has moved within the MedIT infrastructure, a transition that started in October 2018 and is now nearing completion.

Suzanne Roy, assistant chair of administration in the School of Dentistry, said that MedIT has been working collaboratively with her IT team to meet both the school's specialized needs and the faculty's policies and security standards.

"We deal with patient information in a different way than other programs," says Roy. "Our services (dentistry) don't fall under Alberta Health Services like medicine's, as we are responsible for providing the students the environment to undertake their clinical training."

Roy believes having an integrated system and access to the existing MedIT resources will benefit the School of Dentistry, as will the increased security.

"Another benefit will be the synergy we can create across the faculty since we will be using the same tools and processes," said Roy.

As the transition comes to a close, Roy said that her team's experience with MedIT has been positive.

"IT can be misunderstood. Sometimes the rules and limitations can be frustrating," said Roy. "We are very lucky to have a group like MedIT that always looks for workable solutions."