By Douglas J. Guth | Photo by Thomas Skernivitz
For her new job at the MetroHealth System, Weiland has spent the last two years teaching colleagues the complex software that helps streamline the health system’s current and future building plans. Having another layer between herself and a project has presented new challenges for Weiland’s career, but that doesn’t make the work any less enjoyable, she says.
Officially, Weiland is MetroHealth’s facility, construction and information systems manager, which consists largely of using special software to address work orders, maintenance, and other day-to-day machinations at the hospital. Weiland is also proficient in e-Builder, a construction management software program designed to manage multi-tier building projects, starting in the planning stage all the way through construction and operation.
Weiland instructs MetroHealth’s management team on how to use the software, ensuring they have easy access to finance, supply chain, and other information relevant to whatever new construction project the hospital has in the pipeline.
The Taiwan-born software expert has much to keep her busy these days. MetroHealth is at the beginning stages of a planned campus overhaul for which construction could begin as soon as 2016. Hospital officials say the transformation of the system’s headquarters off West 25th Street in Cleveland is designed to update an aging main campus while also uplifting the surrounding neighborhood.
The project will likely consist of several massive phases, all of them existing in digital form in the hospital’s computer systems. With initial training on e-Builder already complete, Weiland’s colleagues can view architectural drawings and early financials via the program. “The end game is to make sure we are transparent to anyone involved with the project,” Weiland says.
The campus transformation is just one of 150 projects Weiland has in e-Builder. Although she’s comfortable with the technology, it has taken time to teach others some of the industry-specific terminology inherent to the software, she says.
Arriving at MetroHealth from her hands-on background with the Clinic presented its own unique demands, Weiland adds. During her seven years with Fairview Hospital alone she was behind the planning for such headline-grabbing enterprises as the heart center and the Jacobs Women’s Pavilion Birthing Center. “I was out there working with people and making field decisions,” she says. “There was definitely an adrenaline rush from that perspective.”
The workflow in her current position is different but no less satisfying, she says. The “human factor” is still present, as she’s working with managers overseeing new projects. The decisions made by project heads will eventually trickle down to both patients and doctors, Weiland knows, a mindset that fits with MetroHealth’s mantra of not just getting well but “staying well.”
“I was on the management side for 17 years, so I share perspectives (with project managers) even if I’m not talking to end-users,” Weiland, who moved to Cleveland in 1987 to become a student at Cuyahoga Community College, says. “Knowing I was helping people has always been my biggest reward.”
Although she misses some of the excitement of the old days, she is glad to leave the long hours and stress-inducing pressures of her Clinic job in the past. With a large project afoot, Weiland would often find herself at the office until 10 p.m.; a normal part of any managerial position, perhaps, but not always an enjoyable one for the married mother of three.
Still, as a former harried project manager herself, Weiland can more than empathize with folks in a similar position at MetroHealth. She’s glad to be another pair of eyes sifting through one stratum of a project that will one day impact the patients the health system serves. “Knowing I’m helping people has always been my biggest reward,” she says.
For more information: metrohealth.org