At Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, we understand that as one of the world’s premier cancer centers we must also be at the forefront of technology. We rank in the top 1 percent of hospitals nationwide for technological advancement -- and we are a regular recipient of Healthcare’s Most Wired and Most Wireless awards.
In addition, our Information Systems staff has the satisfaction of knowing that what they do contributes to the health of Memorial Sloan-Kettering patients. At the end of the day, there is no better feeling than that.SEARCH JOBS >>
Pat Skarulis, CIO
We decided to put together an IT website for recruiting because as we were approaching doing print ads, we realized we couldn’t convey what we were about. A static image on a piece of paper wasn’t doing the job for us. So we decided if we could in some way convey in a more – showing our employees and getting an opportunity to show some of our technology, that it would be a better way for people to judge who we are, and hopefully be interested enough in applying for jobs here. One of the things about health care is some people think we’re on the low end of technology, when in reality, our hospital, MSKCC, and our medical center, are among the most very automated, and using advanced technologies, and this site, we’re actually showing all of the technology jobs, the IS jobs, that are both in the IS department, and then we have a number of where people work in the department directly. So we’re kind of a hybrid organization, but people – whether you’re inside quote IS or out in the user department – we all work extremely collaboratively together. I would have to say the characteristics would have to be: curious; very interested in learning; interested in the wider environment – “what is cancer care about,” “what are we doing,” being the person that might volunteer for a project in addition to what they’re doing. So it’s sort of a person that’s interested in learning and then taking on challenges. We feel it’s very important that we create an excellent environment for people to work in, where they feel valued, where they feel their contributions are welcome…I’ve maintained an open door policy, as do almost all the managers at the center. The other thing I implemented, which has been very well received, is doing coffee with the CIO, where anyone can sign up…we’re limited to about eight people, we’ll announce when these meetings will be, and just for an hour, people come and we’ll just sit and talk. We think the combination of great co-workers and challenging environment, and the tools to do your job – whether it be in databases or in virtualization, we have been on the leading edge of just about every single technology that is being used. I think if you talk to most of our employees they will all share with you the great satisfaction of not only working in a top technology organization with wonderful people, but the great sense of satisfaction at the end of the day of the feeling of the contribution that we can see, that our technology is making in the cure and treatment of cancer.
THE DATA CENTER
Located in Lyndhurst, New Jersey, Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Data Center houses all servers and related equipment for the entire institution. We install, set up, and maintain equipment, and we are also responsible for storage, security, hardware, and disaster-recovery planning. All patient data is stored here, and all applications are hosted on our servers. We are responsible for ensuring that information systems run at peak efficiency – which is why we are constantly making technological innovations.
The Data Center consists of 44,116 square feet and includes a computer room, a test lab, and office space. The computer room houses IBM mainframes, 250 Unix and Linux servers, 1,200 Windows/Intel servers, and 130 terabytes of disc storage. The Data Center is responsible for more than 1,400 servers and more than 1 petabyte of SAN-based EMC storage. The operating environments of the servers are Windows (with 20 percent under VMWare), IBM/AIX, HP/UX, Linux, and z/OS.SEARCH JOBS FOR THE DATA CENTER >>
Monica, Open Systems Team Lead
The work I do in some ways is directly or indirectly tied to the cure and care of cancer, and cancer patients. Really that gives a tremendous amount of satisfaction. I know that the work I’m doing is going to be appreciated. I have tremendous job satisfaction, and I know that if I want to do something new and different, that I think will have an impact, it won’t be shot down. Sometimes people have this misconception that just because we are a hospital, we are not using the latest technology, but that’s not true. We win awards every year…I think the last three years in a row we won The Most Wired – and also The Most Wireless – so we are up there in terms of technology. We are deploying really the latest; we are on the cutting edge. And for an IT person, I would say that is something that really attracts you…not to be using something old and outdated, but to be at the cutting edge. And to be able to bring in new technology, and see that it has a direct impact on the hospital. The one that I really sort of dived into as soon as I got here was a project called Enterprise-Wide Scheduling System, and that was like setting up scheduling for the entire hospital from scratch, from the ground up. And right now it’s probably the most widely used application in the hospital. They not only schedule patients, they schedule operating rooms, they schedule the devices, the instruments needed for the surgery for example…they schedule really everything through that, and it is from what I understand one of the most critical systems in the ORs.
Client Services is one of the largest groups within Information Systems. It includes the Help Desk, Telecomm Provisioning and Billing, the Call Center, Client Technologies, Data/Application Access Control, and Information Technology Procurement. We support more than 10,000 employees and more than 19,000 networked and wireless client devices across Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s main campus in New York City, the New Jersey Data Center, and our 22 remote locations throughout New York and New Jersey. We handle hundreds of thousands of calls for technical and operator assistance over the course of a year.
What makes us exceptional is that we work in teams, which include participants from departments across the institution. Because we “see the whole picture” right from the start, our projects are especially satisfying and successful. Our focus on enhanced customer service, technical support, and one-stop technical shopping is ongoing and ever evolving. Client Services combines the right people with the right technical and administrative systems to deliver information systems to all Memorial Sloan-Kettering users.SEARCH JOBS FOR CLIENT SERVICES >>
Margaret, Project Manager
Health care is where you want the best IT. You can make all the money in the world, but if you’re sick, you only want the best technology – you’re not going to care how much money you’ve got in the bank, you’re just going to want the best technology working to make you better. So IT’s got a huge role here…and we do IT better than, I think, a lot of the places on Wall Street. Every single project you do here, every request, makes you learn something, whether you want to or not. So your opportunities for growth here are incredible. Your exposure to the best technologies here, are fantastic. We have some of the most advanced storage out there. The clinical systems we manage are cutting edge. Everything that we do helps the patients, but it also helps your own growth, because you’re exposed to so much more than you would be elsewhere. One of the projects that we did was a really great project called Vocera, where we put in these communication badges for the nursing staff. It was fantastic, because you could immediately see the impact. Five minutes after we rolled out the badges on a particular nursing floor, people were sort of hesitant, and the nurses were “well, I’ll use it when I have to,” but they still went and talked to each other, and went and tracked down each other, but within a day or two, the noise level on the floor came down because they didn’t have to do all the overhead paging; they were calmer, quieter. You could just see the atmosphere on the floor had changed. So the impact of that for the patients is immense, because a quieter environment is a healthier environment when you’re recuperating. So it was impressive to see the impact of that little piece of technology -- a tiny little badge on someone’s lapel -- that it had on people. I like what I do, I like where I do it, I like the people I work with, and I can see that it’s not going to get boring. I’m never going to get bored here. Every time I think “well, I’ve kind of got this down pat, I really can’t learn too much more on this,” all of a sudden I’m whipped onto something new that’s a lot more exciting, or a lot more challenging, and it’s never boring.
Carlos, Field Tech
We are the actual field technicians that go out and do the day to day work, such as the computer installations, any troubleshooting that needs to be done at the end user. My particular role actually is working with departments sometimes to see what their needs are, see how IS can help them achieve those needs. They’re well thought out decisions here, as far as technology concerns. A lot of companies that I’ve been with or that I have friends at tend to buy usually what’s out there. Memorial has been very good, especially like in their ORs, to be on the forefront, to look at smaller companies, up and coming companies, where they see technology going. And a lot of times that’s where the market has gone, so they’ve been the leaders in certain ways. I would say the technology is very recent here compared to other companies. A lot of other companies tend to hold on to legacy, here we have very limited legacy applications, and we’re always looking to move forward. We do have in-house training where someone – another IT person – does “Lunch and Learns” where there may be a subject matter expert in something, and they’ll actually spend the time to give kind of a lunch lesson while they teach other people. The networking department for instance has a lot of their vendors come in, and they take the time out of their day, even if it backs up work for a couple hours, they’ll have training once a week, even if it’s for just a couple of hours. It’s very unheard of. Most, some companies completely cut their training budgets, which I hear from a lot of friends. And a lot of guys get together after work and do study groups on their own. That’s pretty common for my department. Now my super’s starting one next week. I met my wife here; I have some really good friends here. Some of my closest friends are my co-workers. I consider my boss my friend. Almost everyone whom I interact with is very close to me. And the technology is always changing. I would say this job does not get repetitive, that’s for sure.
The Enterprise Data group manages clinical and non-clinical data for Memorial Sloan-Kettering at the warehouse and operational levels, ensuring that data is current and reliable. We maintain data standards that are developed both internally and by outside vendors. We systematically distribute organized and integrated data throughout the institution, and we field numerous on-demand requests. Our group offers a highly challenging, stimulating, and forward-looking environment that is at the leading edge of database technology.
Enterprise Data is responsible for coding, maintenance, policies/standards, production support/migration, performance analysis, security, tracing, and more, using the latest database technologies that run various DBMS (DB2, SQL Server, Oracle, etc.), BI tools, and communication hardware/software. We also provide data-delivery services, training, and support to all staff and data-warehouse users who work with our reporting application.SEARCH JOBS FOR ENTERPRISE DATA >>
Steve, Project Manager
I’m a project manager for database operations. I support a multitude of database platforms – SQL server, Sybase, Oracle – and we manage everything from day to day operations to development, anything to do with databases. Initially I didn’t want to come to a hospital. Initially I came out of the financial world; most of my career is Wall Street. I got a call one day, I was looking for a job, it was from a hospital…to me Memorial Sloan Kettering at the time was just a hospital, and in the technology world, hospitals didn’t have a great reputation for being technologically savvy, and not having a lot of money to spend on technology. But I was looking for something different, and I came here, and I haven’t looked back. It’s almost been eleven years now, and it’s been great. I was pleasantly surprised and continue to be surprised about the effort, the money and the intellect that they put into technology here. We do training for everybody; we’re always looking to broaden everybody’s technology knowledge so we’re always sending people to school, including myself. We go to seminars, we do presentations, we’re submitting papers all the time, we get awards – technology awards – so we’re involved with all of that. And again from the top down it’s encouraged to do presentations, to socially mingle, to go to these conferences, to meet and greet, to meet peers and to give presentations, and to just, you know, all that stuff is highly encouraged. We try to stay cutting edge, leading edge, bleeding edge, however you want to look at it. I think they’re very much committed to the future; I think of lot of institutions out there are not, they’re busy just trying to, you know, status quo. But I think here at Memorial, and it comes from the top, I think they’re committed to using the best technology to do the best patient care, and just be a leader, and I think it shows.
NETWORK AND INFRASTRUCTURE
The Network and Infrastructure group encompasses many high-end technical specialties and provides 24x7x365 support to more than 30 Memorial Sloan-Kettering facilities. Our group includes the following: Network Engineering, Field Services, Infrastructure Security, Wireless Technologies, Video Services, and Infrastructure support at the New Jersey Data Center.
Network and Infrastructure is responsible for the technical design, engineering, implementation, support, and workflow processes that keep Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s Information Systems running. We constantly upgrade the infrastructure to make systems faster, better, and more reliable. We support high-speed wireless voice and data, self-service videoconferencing at all campus locations, 40,000 wired and wireless networking client devices, and more than 2,000 registered secure remote-access users. In addition, our group includes a desk-side first-responder team for telephony, workstations, and clinical devices (such as CTs, EKGs, and ventilators), as well as on-site service for all network-connected devices.SEARCH JOBS FOR NETWORK AND INFRASTRUCTURE >>
Jacqueline, Project Manager
I am the information systems project manager for major projects, and deployment TCO, which is all the new buildings that come online, and TCO is the Total Cost of Ownership project where we upgrade PCs every four years, and we also do phones. Two that we did that were really interesting was the Zuckerman Research Center – the Kettering Building, we used to call it – and it got torn down, so we got to see the project built from an empty space to a huge building, research facility, and we were part of the whole process. We work with the trades getting services into the building. It’s just so interesting to see because, you always hear about cancer research but you never meet any of the doctors who are doing the research, so we got to get involved with all of that, and this building was our first building in New York City that was voice over IP, completely. So that was a big challenge. When I first started here, it felt like it was just going to be a job, but then you get to see, like, the people going through the treatments, and your little part of what you do affects a patient, it affects patient care. You don’t think that way because you say, “oh I just work with getting the building going, and I just work with the trades,” but really, everything you do comes back to patient care. For me that’s it. Like you can go up to the hospital – you could be having the worst day – and you see this little kid who’s bald, and he’s smiling and he’s happy, and you’re like “how in the world could I be feeling bad,” when I see this little kid who’s going through probably the worst thing he’s ever going to go through in his life, and he’s smiling. So when my family used to say “I can’t believe you want to work at a place like that, it’s got to be depressing,” but it’s really not. It’s really not.
The Systems Development group creates and implements in-house applications and supports and maintains vendor products. We follow a project life-cycle methodology, which entails the following phases: requirement identification, design, coding, unit and integration testing, implementation, and support. Our portfolio consists of hundreds of different applications, from business to healthcare to financial, which are used by more than 10,000 employees.
We develop software solutions using the Visual Studio environment and numerous database platforms (SQL, Oracle, DB2, UDB, Cache). In addition, we code in a variety of languages, including C#, Java, VBScript, HTML, and .Net, and we make extensive use of ETL, SharePoint, and service-oriented architecture technologies.SEARCH JOBS FOR SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT >>
I do pretty much the whole project life cycle, when it comes to developing a new application for MSKCC. Usually you get involved in a large system, and you build this part of it. But I got involved in this one project, which was small enough that I was able to sort of complete the whole life cycle myself, but also see it being used in practice, and that was sort of unusual. We called it “paperless registration”…what happens is when you come into the hospital, you register. There’s a multitude of forms that goes with that, and instead of having folks sign in on paper, we presented them with this little signature pad, similar to what you’ll find in the checkout line, and the patient in this case just signs on it, and that gets transferred to the form, and it’s all electronic, so there’s a whole lot less of that. We also gave them a desktop scanner, so any forms they can come in with – HMO authorizations or patient identification papers, they can scan it there and it goes into the system, and hopefully streamlines the process. Recently my brother in law, actually, got uro-endocrine, which is a form of cancer, and when my sister first told me about it I was taken aback, but I felt a little better after she told me that she was able to get him a doctor here, and in fact he actually ended up seeing the head of the department… and so it was really nice to be able to at least offer him – you know, if you need anything, a phone number, any sort of advice about where to go, who to see, if you have any problems, that kind of thing – it was nice to be able to offer that to him. It was good.
Greg, Programmer Analyst
Basically I work for the software distribution group. What it entails is, we get requests from particular groups that need to stay updated with, say, a particular application that keeps track of patient scheduling…they have an update or there’s a particular module that’s not working, so maybe the patient doesn’t get scheduled in the right way, that they need to push that emergency update. So they’ll come with requirements, the files, and say to us “okay, so here’s what needs to be done.” And what we do is we take a look at it, install it on a clean workstation, and make sure that what they say is the way it actually works on a clean workstation. And then they test out their application and make sure that functionality is working as well. And then what I do is I take that requirement and I write a script, program, to actually install the application, to integrate it into the existing workstations that are out there. One other example that we’re utilizing now is called Blades. It’s somewhat of a newer technology that’s out there, that you don’t have to have a full-fledged PC sitting on a desk…you can just have a spare pieces of – for lack of a better term, generically speaking – just a box sitting there that actually connects to another location out there…say if you’re in an emergency room doing surgery, you don’t want to have to go in and reboot a workstation. You can just reboot it from another location, or update it if there’s issues with it. That’s one of the newer technologies that we’re working on. Every once in awhile I’ll just go down to the hospital and I’ll just come back and say “yeah, this is what I’m working towards,” and that’s where you kind of get that satisfaction back again, where you’re really making a difference in people’s lives.
RESEARCH AND CLINICAL IS
Our Research Computing group is dedicated to meeting the needs of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering research community, which includes researchers from all over the world. We are the Information Systems resource for the Sloan-Kettering Institute. SKI data storage comprises one-third of MSKCC’s entire electronic information data store. We provide technical support and strategic direction for Mac and UNIX devices in the enterprise. We help researchers with their high-end computing needs, including but not limited to robotics, visualization, grids, and cloud computing.
Our clinical group is made up of skilled information systems professionals, who support end users and analyze systems in clinical departments throughout the entire hospital. This group provides customized and enhanced data analysis and programming services to complement the strategic, centralized application development services within Information Systems.SEARCH JOBS FOR RESEARCH AND CLINICAL IS >>
Peter, System Administrator
I started off in the department of human genetics, and my initial job here was to support the department’s computing needs at a very direct and hands-on level. I wound up being promoted within that same department to where I was creating applications for them, that would work with them to either support their research or their clinical care. From there I moved over to the Open Systems department, where I work now. I started off as a UNIX systems administrator, and I was tasked with basically bringing Linux to the institution. From there I moved on to working with the medical library, doing web applications for them. I was the programmer for a while. From there I came back to Open Systems, where I’m now senior sys admin, and I’m working on this repository project. It was a collaborative effort between the library and Open Systems to get this repository technology – which comes out of the needs of the library for digital preservation, that sort of thing – and adapt it for use within MSK to make all of this huge, absolutely huge amount of data available to the rest of the institution. So everywhere I look there’s a new opportunity, there’s a new challenge, there’s a chance to do something that makes a difference. And that’s, I think, what has kept me at MSKCC for ten years now.
Ian, Team Lead
I started in this twenty-five man group putting out new computers, quickly was assigned to be a team lead. Eventually I was leading the whole deployment team at one point. After that project was done they took me and put me in field services. Pretty much right away I was already the third level, or highest lead person in the field services department, which was about twenty technicians. From there about two years later, I joined the SKI research computing group. And that group, they really needed the best of the best from all these subgroups – the best Mac tech and the best PC tech – specialized people, the best web programmers, and they kind of just took these elite people and they put them in this special group and said give these people the support they felt they weren’t getting before. There’s an abundance of new technology here. MSK seems to provide IT with very good funding. We always have the latest toys, gadgets we always seem to be able to have. As far as I knew in the data storage area we always had the latest and greatest technology. So in that fact you will get to be able to be hands on with the latest technology. This is not an archaic place with old stuff that you have to kind of keep running – it’s very modern.
- US News & World Report: #1 or #2 cancer center in America, 2000–2008
- Healthcare’s Most Wired and Wireless, 2005–2009
- Healthcare Informatics Innovator Award, 2008
- Innovating in a Mission Critical Environment, 2008
- ROI Award for Enterprise Management, 2004
- Computerworld Best Practices in Storage, 2007
- TDWI Best Practices Award for Data Management, 2007
- IBM Best in Class for Data Warehousing, 2007