Gianna Zuccotti: Accidental Informaticist
When Gianna Zuccotti's husband was offered a job in Boston in 2008, the CIO at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, where she was an infectious disease specialist, suggested that she look for a slot in medical informatics, since Boston offered rich opportunities in the field. "'What's that?' I asked her, and she said, 'That's what you do!'" Zuccotti recalls. And it was true. Zuccotti had been deeply involved in helping MSK implement computerized physician order entry, and had participated in other projects that she'd considered "quality improvement," but that had a strong informatics component. A few phone calls later, she was a senior medical informatician for patient safety and risk management for Partners HealthCare. Over the next four years she analyzed 30 years' worth of malpractice claims to identify opportunities for improvement, and she also gradually became more involved with the organization's inpatient EHR. These days, as clinical content director, she spends most of her day shepherding the clinicians who are leading content development for Partners' implementation of the Epic EHR in its 17 hospitals. HDM talked with Zuccotti about how EHRs can reduce risk, and about how to reduce the risks of using an EHR.
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