When I entered the healthcare information technology field in 1988, it was an industry that was not considered the “place to be.”
After all, one could make more money working in other industries. In 1988, I was armed with a newly received Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and a background in computer science, also coupled with summer jobs in college working for Shared Medical Systems (what is Siemens Healthcare today).
I was hired by a suburban Philadelphia community hospital as a Microsystems Coordinator. My role was to train administrative staff and help them realize the potential of standalone PCs that were fitted with a variety of software applications.
About 18 months into the role, the organization embarked on a hospital information system replacement, and my technical skills were needed to help with the implementation through MAGIC report writing. And because of my applications background first and foremost, I had the skill sets and abilities that were very desirable in this environment.
Not so different from then to today, the healthcare information technology environment represents an opportunity for many…clinicians, non-clinicians, and others…who truly have a passion to contribute to the wellbeing of patients. With dozens of departments in a “typical” community hospital, opportunities abound from patient registration, facilities, risk services, patient education, and a whole host of other disciplines.
As a health IT professional first and foremost, and with several promotions through the years, I had the chance to work with world-class clinicians to improve processes, re-engineer systems, and lead a team that confirmed that the hospital’s information management standards were Joint Commission-ready.
And from a professional development perspective, I never stopped learning: I attended as many HIMSS conferences and webinars as I could, I became a CPHIMS, a HIMSS Fellow, and I was awarded the PMP (Project Management Professional). By working in a hospital setting, I felt good about my accomplishments: I could positively impact the wellbeing of patients I never met by working together with others.
This is the passion that still exists within me today. What’s your passion in health IT?