One Nurse’s Health IT Journey: A Story of Passion and Commitment

Carin Mann

I decided I wanted to be a nurse in the eighth grade. I knew that nurses worked hands-on with patients to get them better. That's what I wanted to do: Make a difference in people's lives.

While working on a medical unit with an ICU step-down unit, I became involved with the Clinical Practice Committee, examining how we can help nurses do their jobs better. That became my next passion. I moved into a management role on an ortho/trauma/medicine unit and continued to look for ways to improve the daily lives of nurses, nursing assistants and medical clerks. I was then invited to join the day-to-day decisions for implementation of the hospital’s EHR. This was my introduction to asking physicians and nurses how they wanted to interact with the computer.

Due to cutbacks, I started looking for other ways to use my passion to improve the workflows of clinicians and explore the power of EHR systems. I was hired at Allscripts to help test clinical documentation. Working for an EHR vendor was a change for me and them. Since that first role at Allscripts, I’ve been looking for a better way to get it right.

Then entered the User Experience (UX) team. This is where I thrived. As a part of the UX team, I have the opportunity to improve and rethink the way we work and interact with computer systems.

As we celebrate National HIT week, I am reminded of the importance of focusing on what is most important in my job: Representing our users. I’ve learned that if we aren’t helping clinicians or patients, then we are missing a great opportunity.

My eighth-grade self didn't know about software and User-Centered Design theory. But she did start me on my journey which has taken me to places I never imagined.