Although some might consider my transition from clinical medicine to health IT as atypical, I see it as a logical and purposeful evolution of a life dedicated to helping people achieve better health and well-being.
During my traditional path into healthcare, I discovered a strong interest in technology. As I traveled down my path in medicine, my interest in health IT and its incredible potential to improve healthcare grew.
My desire to pursue a career in health IT was undeniable.
As the lowest member on the “clinical totem pole,” medical students are tasked with much of the preliminary information gathering that the more senior team members (i.e., residents and attendings) use to drive their diagnostic and treatment plans.
Whether fetching old charts from medical records or tracking down labs, X-rays, and other diagnostic results from the myriad departments across the hospital, I quickly learned how inefficient and, at times, ineffective healthcare could be.
In contrast, while I spent time making my trips to the bowels of the hospital to retrieve charts and X-rays, my friends in industries like banking, travel and retail were using IT to facilitate financial transactions, flight reservations and online purchases.
This is when the great potential of health IT became clear to me. I have taken every opportunity within my own clinical work to leverage health IT, whether using 5 Minute Clinical Consult on my Palm III or implementing an EHR prior to the dawn of Meaningful Use.
Even with my passion for health IT, I understood it would take more to be an effective health IT leader. I attended business school to learn from and work with people who were applying IT well in other industries.
My goal remains unwavering – realize the power of IT to improve the quality of health and healthcare delivery.