***Note - The questions below assume the "position" is located in a hospital or other healthcare delivery organization. Questions would of course be differenct for a Vendor based role/position. ***
Suggested Information Technology/Nursing Informatics/Information Systems JOB INTERVIEW QUESTIONS From the CARING Listserve during the week of 2/4/08 from Kathleen Kimmel, RN, MHA, CHE, FHIMSS, Vice President Nursing Informatics, McKesson Provider Technologies
The best questions you can ask will come from delving into the specifics of the job description. Go through each item on the job description and ask defining questions. Besides thoroughly understanding the job description you may want to consider asking some of the following questions:
* Where within the organization does the Position reside - nursing, IT, or jointly reporting to IT
* Which VP does nursing and IT report to?
* Describe the organization's existing cultural attitudes toward
nursing informatics and IT?
* Ask about collection of metrics, pre and post project
* Ask about the use of standardized terminology - SNOMED, LOINC,
NIC, NOC, NANDA, etc.
* Ask about system integration, failover system redundancy, and
* Ask about system security.
* Ask about hardware, software and devices.
* Discuss end user training and the use of super users
* What is the IT department's track record with respect to on-time
and within budget implementations?
* Does the IT department have project managers?
* Are the project managers nationally certified? Is there a program management office that tracks, monitors and reports on all project progress?
* What type of change control process is in place when end users
* Is there a change control board?
* How often does it meet?
* Ask about RFID and wireless.
* Ask about system maintenance, performance and downtime.
* Ask about adoption of clinical systems? Is there resistance?
* Have there been any failed IT implementations? Describe.
* Ask about senior management's leadership and support of IT
* Ask about system support resources.
* Ask about the organization's track record in supporting IT.
* What is the budget for IT? Is it growing or shrinking?
* Are there plans to outsource IT or will it remain in-house?
* Ask about the use of data warehouses and data marts.
* Are there a lot of free-standing analytical applications? What data query systems are used, (e.g., COGNOS, Business Objects, etc.)
* What type of knowledge management systems are used?
* Ask about how IT is being used to drive evidence-based practice?
* What type of clinical decision support is used? Ask about
clinical content. How often is clinical content updated? Is the
content point-of-care oriented?
* Are there some major problems or software glitches with some of
the existing clinical, financial or administrative IT systems?
* How does nursing IT ensure relevancy? That is, how does IT know
they are solving the right business and clinical problems?
Are there ties to the existing nursing governance structure? What committees does nursing IT interface with?
* Discuss the strategic plans for nursing informatics - how does
it fit in with the organization's clinical IT strategic plans?
* Is this a new position or an existing position? If it is a new
position, why was it created? If it is an existing position, why did the person who was in the job leave? Does the position have a history of turnover? Why?
* What IT systems/applications would you work with?
* Will you be working directly with IT vendors? If so which ones?
* What are the duties and expectations of the position you are
* Who would you report to?
* Describe the specific job expectations. That is describe a
typical day in the life. What are your daily, weekly, monthly tasks,
* duties and responsibilities?
* What type of education, training, etc. is provided? Will you be
able to attend one national conference a year?
* What are the work hours? Will it require on-call coverage?
* Will you receive on-call pay? How often would you be on call? Will you be working nights or weekends? If so how often.
* Will you be spending most of your time at the hospital? If so,
will you have office space there or will you be commuting between an
off-site IT office building and the hospital?
* Will you be able to work from home?
* Who can you turn to for support if you need help?
* Are there flexible job hours? If you need coverage for
school-related demands, (e.g,) time off for midterms and finals, who
will cover you?
* Will you have access to a mentor if you need or want one?
* How will your work be measured? That is, if one were to say you
were doing a great job, what specific behaviors would you exhibit and
* what tasks would you be accomplishing?
* Is there a career ladder? After several successful years in
this position describe potential promotion opportunities.
* Is your remuneration based on a nursing or IT pay scale?
* Ask if you can interview a person who is currently doing this
job. Ask what he or she likes and does not like about the job, etc.
* Ask about the culture and morale of the department.