Enterprise projects are shifting to a consumer focus

Kristin Myers has a top IT leadership role at The Mount Sinai Health System, and new initiatives aim to pay off with better service to patients.

Healthcare is changing, and technology departments in provider organizations are focused on providing business value and being trusted advisors. Kristin Myers, senior vice president of technology at The Mount Sinai Health System, has seen her role evolve as she has taken on more responsibility in the application space.

For the last 14 years, Myers has led the transformation of the Epic clinical and revenue cycle implementations at the New York-based health system. The organization has had success with its electronic health records initiatives—it was awarded the HIMSS 2012 Enterprise Davies Award of Excellence in 2012, and all four of its hospitals are now on Epic. The Mount Sinai Hospital and Mount Sinai Queens, Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai West facilities have achieved Stage 6 on HIMSS Analytics’ Electronic Medical Record Adoption Model, with hopes of achieving Stage 7, the highest level possible, this year.

With the ability to have transparency in workflows and make data-driven decisions with the use of predictive analytics, Myers addressed some of the new directions ahead for Mount Sinai in a recent interview with Health Data Management.

What is the scope of your responsibility at Mount Sinai? After 14 years, doesn’t it get a little tiring?
My role now oversees application strategy, as well as responsibility for all clinical applications, the Epic platform, interoperability and the IT Program Management Office. As an academic medical center, there is a lot of innovation, and we are able to work on exciting programs that are aligned with the overall health system strategy, which keeps the team and I motivated.

In what ways is the system hoping to use predictive analytics?
There is a collaborative relationship between the technology team and the data science teams to improve patient care by running predictive analytics in the clinical workflow. The use cases around predicting falls, delirium and sepsis are the first areas that have been focused on, which is very exciting work. We are also using analytics to develop daily management centers in the hospitals and a centralized command center—if we can develop real-time analytics and predictions in a central setting such as that, we can improve capacity and throughput as well as patient outcomes.

In what other ways are IT systems being used to improve care delivery at Mount Sinai?
Another large program we have is around access—to ensure that access to care is a consistent experience throughout the system. We need to be able to track every patient interaction with the health system, whether it is via the access center on the phone, email, text or chat. We are developing an enterprise customer relationship management strategy to ensure patients have a consistent experience and ensure we’re personalizing our communication with them in the way that they want, whether that be through text or phone calls or through our portal.

In your current position, who do you interact with in the Mount Sinai network?
I work closely with our CMIO, clinical and business operations and our executive team to understand the priorities and strategy so that the technology portfolio is aligned. It is important to be a trusted partner and for the teams to be able to deliver consistently. I also work closely with my leadership team, with whom I am honored to work.

How do you advance innovation in healthcare IT at Mount Sinai and learn of innovations that the organization can apply?
It is critical to network within healthcare, to go to conferences, or seek training to educate yourself. Looking outside of healthcare at other industries to see their transformations is essential. For example, customer relationship management is something that’s prevalent in other industries, but it’s hasn’t been widely adopted within healthcare. I like to collate those use cases from other industries and relate them back to healthcare.

What are some of the near-term IT projects that you are working on at Mount Sinai?
Finalizing the customer relationship management strategy for the health system to support the consumer experience as part of the overall access strategy for patients is a high priority. From an enterprise application strategy, finishing the Epic clinical and revenue cycle implementation across the health system is a priority. We also have a three-year plan for ERP transformation across the health system that kicked off recently with a focus on HR, supply chain and financials.

You also are actively involved in looking for ways to advance the role of women in healthcare IT. What kinds of activities are you involved in?
I’m passionate about women’s leadership and diversity and inclusion, and being able to see changes in the industry. We have developed a mentoring program for our department, with a specific focus on women-to-women mentoring. We encourage women leaders in the department to join panel discussions on leadership. We also ask outside speakers to speak to the department and share their stories on career journey. As a leader, it is critical to lead and participate in these programs.

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