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Chris Hickie
Systems Analyst
Mahaska Health Partnership, Oskaloosa

Why did you choose this as your career?  Early in my IT career I worked for a biomedical computer manufacturer where I was always fascinated with the equipment we engineered and how it was used. Growing up with my mother as an RN, and now my spouse as a veterinarian, I have continually been exposed to hospitals and healthcare in general so working in healthcare just seemed like a perfect fit for me. I have funny memories of being little helping my mother stuff bags full of trial items and giving to mothers-to-be during childbirth classes she taught. As a kid, at the many hours spent helping as a volunteer in the occupational therapy department at the hospital my mother worked at gave me a glance into what my future would eventually become. 

What are the challenges and rewards you experience in your work? We in health care IT are always faced with new challenges, whether it is emerging EMR technologies, new personal computing hardware, wireless or the often updated HIPAA security requirements to name just a few. New technologies are always on the forefront, so juggling the implementation and maintenance of current IT systems often leaves little time to stay current on the leading edge of technology that the health care sector frequently gets left behind on. At the end of the week, just one of the rewards is looking back and knowing I have contributed to a significant footprint in how the organization functions both clinically and financially. It’s always a great feeling knowing that the work I do daily has a real effect in how our staff performs their jobs, which equates into the best possible outcomes for our patients. 

With that, there has never been a more challenging and exciting time to work in health care IT! With the stimulus package impacting the current and future adoption of the electronic health record, we in IT must be the technology enablers for our organization and be the purveyors of change. Healthcare in general is constantly evolving and changing which is an ideal fit for my personality. I find that working for a rural Critical Access Hospital gives me the opportunity to utilize my IT skills and abilities in a way that truly makes an impact in how our patients receive quality health care. 

What are your plans for the future? Future plans would include gaining further knowledge of clinical processes so that I can have a deeper understanding of how best to apply and recommend technology in our organization. Additionally, I would like to get more involved in societies such as HIMSS and local associations so that our voice is heard from a rural hospital perspective.  

How has the hospital supported your career? Working for a smaller rural hospital gives me many of the opportunities that a large organization offers, except that I get much more emphasis focused on my personal satisfaction which carries across to many aspects of my career. Mahaska Health Partnership is always doing a tremendous job of seeking ways to improve employee satisfaction through a number of initiatives which I am always appreciative of. I’m given many opportunities to participate in and lead projects, which only makes me a stronger resource on the team at MHP. 

Lastly, it’s great to feel proud that I work for an organization that truly values its patients, employees and providers - that sentiment alone makes me want to excel in my career and do everything possible to ensure a positive day-to-day experience.

About Chris Hickie:

Education: Herzing College – Madison, WI; Microsoft Certified Professional 

Years with hospital: 2


6 Responses to “Featured Employee: Chris Hickie”
  1. Stephanie Faulkes says:

    Working with Chris over his two year span at MHP has been an opportunity to learn from and partner with someone who takes an active and professional lead in many projects within our organization. He is very knowledgeable and thoughtful in his approach to the myriad considerations of marrying existing programs to new processes to the benefit of each user, and he delivers in an understandable manner. Chris, along with his director and peers, has enabled our organization to plan for and move toward the future of healthcare technology.

  2. Joyce Vonk says:

    I have worked with Chris for two years and have had the opportunity recently to work with him on a couple major projects. In the past five months we have started a Provider Based Clinic and installed new billing software.
    For the PBC project we needed to fully combine our clinic software with the hospital software. These two systems were separate for nine years so you can imagine the complications that this involved. Chris was always on top of everything, wanting to understand every process so that he could help with the software issues that came up. He came in early and stayed late and even moved his office to our office for a week so that he was right there when we needed him.
    We installed three databases for the billing software during the time that we became a PBC. The installers at the software company stated that this was one of the smoothest installs they had in a while. We give the credit to Chris. Once again, he sat through our billing training just so he could understand the process to be able to better help us in the future.
    Chris is a great co-worker and I am glad that he part of the MHP Team!

  3. Deb Foglesong says:

    Chris was very patient, helpful & knowledgeable when installing a program to send fire alarm reports directly to our server due to a local printer always going “offline”. It was a challenge but he kept with it & now my job is easier & calmer!! Thanks Chris & congratulations!!

  4. Sue White RN says:

    Chris has been a great asset to Hospice/MHP. I have had numerous trouble with my computer to the point that it crashed and needed to be replaced. He always came over to help me or talk me through something on the phone. He was always very pleasant about assisting me/Hospice staff with all our computer problems. Very patient guy. Thanks Chris and congratulations

  5. Melinda Wheeler says:

    Chris is a great partner in MHP! He is patient, efficient and always willing to help. “No problem” is a statement that I frequently hear. He is knowlegeable and always willing to share that knowledge. And Chris gives in the organization in areas that are not IT related which shows his great teamwork and interest in the organization as a whole, not just through a computer screen. His sense of humor helps as much as his skills when working through problems. Thank you Chris for all you do and congratulations on your recognition! You deserve it.

  6. Clint Carlson says:

    Hey all! Clint from Herzing University here. Reading articles like this remind me why our work is so important here. It’s looks like you’re doing a great job Chris! I shared a link to the article on our facebook page. Check it out and become a fan!

    Take care!

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