Everywhere you turn technology makes our lives easier. Yet we take it for granted – until it’s not there.
I spent the holiday week in Boston with family. I observed every day, commonplace technology in my travels, our hotel stay, shopping, eating out, and more. We booked our airline tickets online. We check-in online or at an airport kiosk. We pass through security and find our current gate info on large screens conveniently located. Barely any human contact except when the flight attendant checks our seat belts and offers us pretzels and a drink. The safety information is a video and when we arrive we find the right baggage carrousel on another large screen. Continue reading
I had the chance to deliver the opening keynote talk at the NG HealthCare US Summit two weeks ago. I was to fit a 20 minute talk between the salad and the entree at a dinner. The summit organizers said I could talk about whatever topic I wanted; I just had to be inspiring.
I titled my talk: “Our Future Workforce – Unlocking the Potential”. As I posed the problem in a recent post “Technology, where are all the women?,” I talked about the fact that not enough women are going into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. I have been particularly concerned with the drop in women entering computer related fields.
Why does this problem exist, what are some of the programs that are helping address it, and what can IT leaders do about it?
The IT leadership conference where I was speaking was about 75-80% men, so I thought there might be a risk with this angle on the future workforce. I am happy to say the talk was very well received.
Afterwards, men talked to me about their daughters – whether they are in college studying in a STEM field or in grade school interested in computers and robots. Women told me about their own Continue reading
It’s been 18 days since the Ferguson grand jury decision and 9 days since the NYC grand jury decision. We have all seen the news and protests in cities around the country. Black lives matter.
Yesterday, another group demonstrated their support. Students at 70 medical schools around the country organized a national white coat die in. They lay down for fifteen and a half minutes. Eleven minutes to represent the number of times that Eric Garner said “I can’t breathe” as he was in a choke hold by police in New York City and four and a half minutes to represent the four and a half hours that Michael Brown’s body lay in the street after being shot by a police officer.
Medical students with the support of deans and faculty at prestigious schools such as Harvard, Yale, UCLA and Johns Hopkins said that racial bias is a public health issue. Physicians are trained to do no harm. They are trained to heal. They are trained to save lives. Yes, this is a public health issue. Continue reading
It’s a game-changer if it has the potential to change the outcomes. We often see how new technology creates a big shift in the market.
Uber car service has been taking hold in large cities over the past few years. It’s even come to Ann Arbor. Is it a game-changer in local transportation? Looks like it. I know there is plenty of controversy right now about Uber and their business practices but you have to admit they have figured out how to leverage GPS technology and mobile devices in new ways. I experienced this first hand recently when I used an Uber to get to the airport. No question it was easy and convenient.
And that’s what consumers look for in the products and services they buy: easy, reliable, convenient, and low cost. We all love that one-click purchasing on Amazon: buy a book and it immediately downloads to our Kindle readers – a game-changer in the book business!
We, health care IT leaders, are sometimes criticized for Continue reading
“Hansei” is the Japanese word for reflection. One of my UMHS colleagues, Dr. Jack Billi, told me he’s impressed that I am writing a blog and sees it as an example of Hansei. He says as leaders we don’t take enough time to reflect. I agree.
A typical day for me is running from one meeting to the next, driving back and forth from my office to the hospital campus, and squeezing in email when and where I can. Evenings are more email and prepping for the next day’s meetings.
The practice of writing a blog has indeed caused me to be more thoughtful about a range of topics. I find myself observing things differently. I reached out to one of my industry colleagues, Anthony Guerra, Editor-in-Chief of healthsystemCIO.com, for advice when I first considered writing a blog earlier this year. He encouraged me to do so. He told me that through the practice of writing a blog I’d start looking at things differently, observing things in new ways. He was right. Continue reading
I have been hesitant to talk about women’s issues here, but I’ve been encouraged to do so by many women colleagues. They tell me I have a platform, so use it! Young women tell me that I, a female CIO, am a role model and that they want to learn from me.
I’ll be doing an opening dinner keynote talk soon at an invitation only health IT conference. I plan to talk about unlocking the potential of our future workforce. So, what does that mean? Among other steps, we need to encourage more women to pursue careers in technology.
Here are some troubling statistics and trends: Continue reading
Spoiler alert! I don’t have the answer either and want to learn from others.
I remember the old days before email: we relied on talking to each other and on written communications that came on paper. On the day before a vacation I would finalize reports, make copies, and stuff them into inter-office envelopes after I’d taken care of all my follow-up phone calls. Now on the day before vacation I have to get through all the email that can’t wait another week and generate new ones as I work through my to-do list.
It seems endless. Everyone complains about too much email. Can’t we just shut it off? No, it’s the way we work now and there’s no going back.
Here are some of my tips:
Triage – I quickly scan for priority emails by subject, who it’s from and importance (some people actually use those flags as intended). Deal with what you have to in as timely a manner as possible. Continue reading
You start in a new leadership position and you want to make changes. Should be easy, right? After all, you’re the boss. You call the shots.
You inherit a history and a culture, ways of working and thinking and behaving. You inherit a leadership team and a staff. You inherit a department that works within a broader organization and its culture. Still, you are the leader; you can make some changes, but it will take more time.
When I started at UMHS, there had been a 6 month gap with an internal interim CIO. She had kept things going but was happy to handoff to me. Continue reading
I’m heading to the CHIME Fall Forum for a few days. Many of my health care CIO colleagues will be there. I look forward to the chance to network and learn from them in track sessions, and hear from keynote speakers. I’m even being pressed into service on a panel called “Leadership Stories Worth Telling” as there was a last minute cancellation.
I have been active in professional organizations for many years. Anyone who doesn’t take the opportunity to get involved in such organizations is limiting their own professional development and, in turn, limiting what they can offer to their employer.
I remember many years ago when I attended my first professional conference. Continue reading
Operation Baby Blanket? What’s that? Is that the code name for a new software implementation?
This CIO is the grandma of Hannah, an adorable two year old; two more grandbabies are on the way. While I’ve done various crafts in my adult life, I don’t do it enough to call it a hobby. And my crochet experience is limited. I did make a baby blanket for one of my daughters 30 years ago.
So I surprised my family two years ago when I told them that I would make a baby blanket for Hannah, and I actually did it. Now, a second grandchild is due in December. Could I make a baby blanket for her in time? Would I be able to squeeze enough time out of my evening email work session to get one done?
I needed to design and create a baby blanket in time for the baby shower.
I am happy to announce that I presented a finished crocheted baby blanket to my daughter, Katie, at the shower last weekend.
How did I meet this goal? Basic Project Management! Continue reading