Our 2018 series of pioneer profiles have chronicled the contributions of healthcare’s own 10Xers – the productive disruptors whose data-centric commitment to delivering high-quality care while containing costs has elevated their work to the top echelons of the industry. While some are scientists and researchers who have become household names, others are technologists in healthcare organizations, such as Audrey Parks, CIO at Salinas Valley Memorial Health System, who eschew the spotlight while attaining significant improvements in the communities they serve.
Parks, profiled here, has been SVMHS’ technology lead for 15 years and recently celebrated 25 years of service with the system. In her career, she has overcome numerous personal and professional barriers while fighting to provide patients – who come from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds – with access to high-quality, data-driven healthcare.
What kind of work are you currently focused on? What most excites you about the work you’re doing?
Sometimes those are two very different questions! Right now, we’re focusing on strategic initiatives such as physician alignment. Our goal is to give our patients and the community we serve a single healthcare system view for their wellbeing and health maintenance, so we’re rolling out MEDITECH Ambulatory that’s fully integrated with our hospital-based system. With a new oncology module and a new patient portal, we will provide a better view of patient care over the continuum of time as well as environments where the patient is interacting with their providers. We’re very excited about the ability to provide a patient-centric view of data for clinicians and patients.
What big challenges need to be addressed? How does new technology make a difference?
Fully integrating data from disparate sources is a key challenge that technology can address. Imagine a world where there’s just one record because I'm one patient. Imagine you're able to harmonize and reconcile data like my demographic information, my allergies, my medication list, my past procedures, my family and social history, and the documentation of care that’s provided here in the hospital. That enables my provider to be able to make an intelligent, informed decision that’s clinically relevant, whether I’m here in the hospital, or visiting him or her in the practice. I think that’s the best care that we can provide for our patients and in this day and age, we really need to be able to rise to that occasion and that level of care.