Healthcare CIOs have what could be considered one of the most difficult tasks within an organization. Not only do they manage the IT teams and needs for the organization, they’re tasked with combatting a wide range of cybersecurity issues and patient-driven technology initiatives .
For Lisa Stump, the CIO of Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, a top-ranking metro hospital, what makes the job simpler is keeping the patient top of mind, as well as leveraging her clinical background.
“My personal philosophy is that our patients are our true north, and we are privileged to serve them,” said Stump. “The solutions we bring -- and we need to bring them proactively, sometimes leading the business -- need to enhance care and support the clinicians who deliver that care.”
“My background is as a clinician and in operations… and [I’ve] worked to establish and maintain IT’s connection with our operational colleagues,” she added. “We’re often the glue or the people connecting the dots across the organization because of the unique enterprise-wide view that we have: IT is everywhere.”
An Epic EHR rollout
This mission was most apparent in her first role at Yale-New Haven: Vice President and Epic Project Director. In 2010, Stump was tasked with leading the $300 million, multi-year implementation of Epic’s clinical and revenue cycle applications for the hospital system, affiliated physicians offices and the Yale School of Medicine faculty practices.
In a sector marred by many bumpy EHR installs, Yale-New Haven proved successful.
The project was transformational for the replaced the health system and the school of medicine’s disparate EHRs with a single, unified EMR and revenue cycle platform, explained Stump. And as the health system continues to grow, the platform extends with it.
The key to Yale-New Haven’s success? The dedicated team made up of key leaders from the health system’s hospitals and university, and the community, as it was crucial to learn from the experiences of others.
“We hand-selected these individuals based on their capabilities and motivation for the task at hand,” said Stump.
The project plan included input from Yale-New Haven’s doctors, nurses and employees, which Stump said was key to the process. Further, Stump said unnecessary variations in practice were also eliminated during the Epic implementation, as the organization committed to standardized workflows and content.
Throughout the project, Yale-New Haven recommitted to putting patients first and to holding each other accountable -- from clinicians to business owners.
“We lived to our scope, our timeline, and our budget, bringing the project in on time and under budget and achieving HIMSS Stage 7 status,” said Stump.
Patient-driven projects in focus
Patient needs are the driving force behind all Yale-New Haven strategies, which include population health initiatives, patient engagement, telehealth, genomics and even AI.
Yale-New Haven’s population health initiatives aim to lower care costs by zeroing-in on high-risk patients. To Stump, big data and analytics support clinicians in better understanding the needs of these populations and identifying care gaps.
The tools also provide insight into where stakeholders can increase value and monitor how interventions impact the patient population.
“We’re also focusing on patient engagement in the form of telehealth, education and outreach, access and research opportunities as a holistic approach to population health and care delivery,” said Stump. “Genomics, and pharmacogenomics as a sub-specialty, are also part of our strategy to enhance therapeutic outcomes and avoid adverse effects, both of which are key parts of the value equation.”
The health system is also leveraging AI in its predictive analytics projects, to fuel advancements in research, diagnosis and treatment.
“AI is a very interesting field right now and I believe will have profound impact on care,” said Stump.
“We’re actively deploying technologies and features in and with our patient portal to enhance patient engagement and improve the consumer experience,” she added. “Self-service features give patients and consumers more access and more convenience.”
Tackling physician burnout
For the coming year, Stump said Yale-New Haven is focusing on enhancing physician efficiency and well-being in response to physician burnout. The health system is currently deploying technologies to ease some provider burden.
First, the health system will launch MobileHeartbeat-Cure, a secure app for text communication and alerts, which integrates with the EHR to reduce communication delays and secure texts.
Yale New-Haven will also launch Imprivata Tap and Go to eliminate “redundant typing of usernames and passwords.” The single sign-on authentication tool lets physicians wave a badge over a reader to automatically log into virtual desktops.
And to reduce documentation times, the health system is launching two voice recognition projects.
The first leverages M*Modal Fluency Direct to capture the physician’s voice and record data discretely to reduce documentation and note-taking. The other, Virtual Scribes, provides the physician with a scribe via remote connection to assist with chart navigation, documentation, notes and pending some orders.
“We’re seeing significant time savings for our doctors as a result of these technologies, aimed at changing the fundamental paradigm for how we expect doctors to interact with the computer,” said Stump.
At its core, Stump said the health system is continuing to work with Epic to streamline documentation and improve user-friendly tools while making the data and decision support as meaningful as possible.
“Our top challenges are to bring ongoing value to the organization in the face of funding challenges in the health system market,” she said. “Maintaining a highly engaged and talented workforce is a key priority in addressing that challenge.”