Health Data Management recently announced the honorees in its program to recognize the Most Powerful Women in Healthcare IT. All will be recognized at our event May 12 in Boston. In leading up to that event, HDM editors are highlighting some of the honorees—today, we feature Myra Davis, who is senior vice president and CIO at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.

Name: Myra Davis

Title: Senior Vice President/CIO

Organization: Texas Children’s Hospital, Houston

Years in HIT: 13 years

Previous responsibilities:

  • Vice President, IS, Texas Children’s Hospital, 2009-2012
  • Assistant Vice President, IS, Texas Children’s Hospital, 2006-2009
  • Director, Customer Support, Texas Children’s Hospital, 2003-2006

Current job responsibilities:
As senior vice president and CIO at Texas Children's Hospital, Davis is responsible for formulating, communicating and driving the top-ranked pediatric hospital’s technology vision. Davis places an emphasis on customer values, building healthy partnerships, teamwork and the implementation of successful operational practices. She provides leadership and fulfills strategic responsibilities while overseeing the operations of the IS department.

Primary achievements:

  • Launching an enterprise data warehouse (EDW) in record time, porting data to the EDW over a four-month time frame.
  • Successfully partnering with clinical and quality leaders to drive data-based performance improvement projects that are improving patient outcomes and reducing costs.
  • Receiving the CHIME-AHA Transformational Leadership Award in 2013 for developing and deploying transformational technology.
  • Winning the ECRI Institute’s 10th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award after revamping the hospital’s alarm management program to make alarms more meaningful and actionable for clinicians.
  • Being named a “Most Wired” hospital two years in a row by Hospitals & Health Networks, and receiving the publication’s “Most Wired Innovator” Award for the hospital’s rapid communication system.

Impact on HIT:
Since joining Texas Children’s Hospital, Davis has effectively orchestrated the implementation of a system wide electronic health record (EHR), EDW, data analytics platform and other key IT projects. These technological advances have given physicians, nurses and others at Texas Children’s access to data that allows them to determine how to improve care for children and and reduce unnecessary costs. For example, one cross-functional workgroup reduced the number of unnecessary chest X-rays ordered for asthma patients by 35 percent. Another group that looked at appendectomies decreased complications and lengths of stay for children who undergo this common surgery, in part by standardizing the use of a mono-therapy antibiotic.

Davis has been instrumental in nurturing a data-centric culture at Texas Children’s by educating leaders and staff across the organization on how to conduct their own data analysis using tools available through the organization’s data warehouse. This approach has not only energized performance improvement activities but also has reduced the cost of developing reports by about 70 percent, compared to when IT staff had to manually pull the data from the EHR.

Davis serves on the board of trustees for College of Health Information Management Executives (CHIME). She is also a board member for GenesysWorks, a non-profit organization focused on giving underprivileged high school students the opportunity to work in corporate environments. Davis has also served on the CIO Executive Council of the Executive Women in IT Steering Committee and makes it a priority to mentor and coach women leaders on an ongoing basis.

On her leadership style
“I try to actively cultivate clinical and business partnerships to provide technical solutions to challenging problems. To do that successfully, I focus on finding ways to improve care with technology, demonstrating a commitment to our patients. I also invite honest feedback and aim to be resilient when faced with complaints.”

Her advice to women HIT leaders
“I think women technology leaders should aim for a culture of inclusiveness. Because we work in a field that is predominately male, I think women leaders, in particular, need to have an open mind about inclusiveness. Let’s not let our gender difference be an excuse for who we are.”

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