You Have the Data. What Now? Creating Healthcare Data Interoperability
Episode

Sheena Rogers, Health Informatics and Business Integrations Director at Creative Information Technology

You Have the Data. What Now? Creating Healthcare Data Interoperability

Informaticists are always connecting health and human services!

 

In this episode of the Future of Global Informatics, TJ Southern talks with Sheena Rogers, Health Informatics and Business Integrations director at Creative Information Technology. Sheena talks about how informatics has collected massive amounts of healthcare data but must now figure out how to use it meaningfully. She explains Creative Information Technology’s work by extracting data from electronic health records to create interoperability across different systems beyond just one organization and between health and human services. She speaks of moving data from legacy systems to new ones and having a multifaceted team helming said transition, especially using informaticists to traffic the information. She then touches on mentoring, supporting, and highlighting informaticists. 

 

Tune in to listen to learn how informaticists can share ideas and get the right people in the right conversations to drive change! 

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You Have the Data. What Now? Creating Healthcare Data Interoperability

About Sheena Rogers:

Sheena Rogers is an innovative problem solver by nature. She is a strategic healthcare finance and operations leader with 10+ years of extensive experience in system implementation, healthcare technology, revenue cycle management, and informatics. Sheena is passionate about driving healthcare strategies through informatics and evidence-based decisions. She is an advocate and tech translator for both providers and patients, whether it be user-friendly designs, better patient outcomes, or transforming revenue streams. This includes leading through a patient-centered lens and working with local and regional networks to develop a bridge between health and human services.

 

Future of Global Informatics_Episode 8_Sheena Rogers: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Future of Global Informatics_Episode 8_Sheena Rogers: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast, where we discuss global informatics through conversations with industry leaders and innovators so that you can understand what it is, what it does, and how it shapes the healthcare of our future. I am your host, TJ Southern.

TJ Southern:
Hey, hey, hey. Good day, good day, good day, y’all. Welcome to another episode of The Future of Global Informatics. It’s your girl, TJ Southern, your host for this podcast today, and today we have Sheena Rogers. Let me tell you a little bit about this one, y’all. I had a little conversation with her before we even started the podcast, yes, this one is going to be lit. So I hope you got your pen and your paper because I’m sure she’s going to drop some gems for us today. Sheena, how you doing?

Sheena Rogers:
I’m doing good. Thanks for having me on. I’m excited to be here.

TJ Southern:
Oh, you are so welcome. Okay, tell the people about yourself. Tell them about yourself. What is it that you do?

Sheena Rogers:
Yeah, this is always the hardest part. I love diving into the technical side, but, so on my side, I’m currently the director of Health Informatics and Business Integrations at Creative Information Technology.

TJ Southern:
Okay, y’all. Did you all hear that title? Did you all hear that title? We’re carrying weight up in this mug. Come on, Sheena! Okay, go ahead.

Sheena Rogers:
Well, so we’re a consulting company. We focus on health and human services, and we have a pretty large client base. So I joined there with a background in revenue cycle management, clinical workflows, and operations. And before working there, I worked up my ranks in hospital and clinic settings. So I was, I did everything from patient access administration to revenue cycle management and provider workflows. I did that while doing my MBA, and since then, I really took the jump into informatics while working at the healthcare technology company, right? So I focused a lot on claims and electronic health record systems which heavily used data and informatics for the quality and performance measures, right? A lot of areas overlap there. So it was just a natural progression. I, kind of, I have a passion for it now at this point. There’s so many areas where we can do a lot of good work to help both patients and providers, and I just saw all of these areas and I knew, hey, I can make a difference here, I want to make a difference here, and so it just kind of sparked that fire.

TJ Southern:
Do they see the gem that we have in this …? Sheena, I am so excited to have you today. So what are the biggest? Okay, so now, Sheena has told us that she has been around the world in 300 and how many days, pretty much? Because you’ve done from the roota to the toota, okay? So you are very well versed in this topic and in this conversation that we are getting ready to have. So what are some of the biggest changes that you’ve seen since you started to now?

Sheena Rogers:
So I think the first one is we were really stuck in this phase of getting every provider and all of the clinics and facilities integrated with electronic health record systems, integrated with healthcare technology. And so I feel like we’ve done a great job at kind of getting providers and physicians and clinicians on board with, we need technology, and we’ve collected all of this data and now we’re in a position where we can start using it. So now we’ve said, okay, we’ve spent the last five years or longer collecting all of these, all of these data sets, all of this data, what do we do with it, and who do we share it with to meaningfully use it? Is it just the specific hospital or how can this hospital partner with the local state or local human services departments to help those areas, to help the community more? How do we use that data? I think that’s where it’s going.

TJ Southern:
And that is exactly it, sirs and ma’ams, that is it. That’s what’s getting ready to happen with our healthcare data. So with that being said, what is your organization doing currently? Is it with data? Is it analytics? What is your organization doing?

Sheena Rogers:
So we, currently, are focusing on how to meaningfully extract the data and use that data from electronic health records. How to create that interoperability across different systems. So not just within one organization, but maybe with a healthcare organization and health and human services, or between the agencies, between health and Human Services.

TJ Southern:
I love that.

Sheena Rogers:
Also, one of the major things that we see, we have an archival system known as DRIS, and in this archival system, there’s large networks that have just a lot of old systems sitting out there with a lot of data they can’t get to, and they can’t connect it to these other datasets they have in systems. And so how do we connect that? How do we pull it into one system? And then how do you use that data? How does that help your patient population? How can your patients access that data? Because some of those they can’t even get to in those systems. So we’re trying to bring that availability.

TJ Southern:
See? That was the thing that, when I worked on a project with Ascension Health, I remember being a young informaticist and you know, we were basically testing what systems we were going to use if we were going to use Allscripts or Athena. And we were coming from Allscripts, which was a legacy system going into Athena, but we could not get the data, and Allscripts wasn’t a legacy system. Allscripts is still around.

Sheena Rogers:
Absolutely, well, and there’s this huge uptake of kind of implementing new EHR systems like EPIC, right? So a lot of people are transitioning to these newer systems, EPIC, sometimes Cerner, NNI, like you’re saying, it’s hard to transition the data they have from those legacy systems over, but also making sure that they implement those new systems so that they don’t have the gaps that the old systems had.

TJ Southern:
And that is key, that is key. So now the question is this, who do you think should be at the helm of that transition?

Sheena Rogers:
So I have a unique perspective on that. I think because I believe it should be a governing group of interdisciplinary people, not one specific person. Like bring in someone with a clinical background, a physician, a nurse, bring in someone with a technical background, someone, bring in different stakeholders from your department so that you can make sure that you’re tackling it from different angles. Everyone’s going to have a specialty in something different that they can bring in how they’re looking at that system and that implementation.

TJ Southern:
But you know what? That is the classic, for all you project managers, EMR project managers, I’m one, I have my PMP, for all of you, EMR project implementation managers, that should be the classic implementation of your stakeholder, key stakeholders. You should have a clinician, a registered nurse, you should have a physician, you should have a pharmacist, uh, informaticists, you should have a technical team. You have to have, I mean, you have to have everybody at that team. You should account for everything in a governing body, even for one project. So, yes, I totally agree with you, everybody has a different point of view.

Sheena Rogers:
We can even start, and once you get that down, you can even start thinking about who can you add, right? So for example, if you’re operating on grants or you know that you’re looking for some substantial clinical research, bring in some advisors from those areas and make sure, are we capturing the right data to use this data for research? And if not, where does that need to be added?

TJ Southern:
So now, are there opportunities for informaticists, current opportunities in that space for informaticists?

Sheena Rogers:
I mean, absolutely. I would say informaticists can come from all walks of life. I mean, you could be on the clinical side, the revenue side, I think informaticists fit in all of these areas. They really are going to help make sure that the data isn’t just present but is present at the right place. So you’re setting up a new system, where is that alert? Where is that alert supposed to come in the workflow? How does that work, right? From a pharmacy module, or is that pharmacist getting the notifications? Are they sending them back? Is that process working, right? So they’re really going to be highlighting all of the areas that have to fall into place for that strategy to work, for the needs to be met.

TJ Southern:
Now, let me tell you, again, this is the classic job of informaticists. We are kind of like data stoplights, right, where we tell the data to go green, red, yellow, if it can go left or right, right? We’re that traffic director for all of this information. So I know that we have all of these titles for clinical informaticists, nurse informaticists, we have all of these titles, but informatics, at the end of the day, is informatics, and that’s our job. It’s to traffic all of that, all of that data. So my question to you is, how do we support informaticists, you know, coming out and going into these new roles? How do we support them?

Sheena Rogers:
I think the first thing is mentorship. I mean, mentorship is huge, and explaining what have you seen be successful and what has failed and why, right? I mean, definitely reading, but there’s so many things to read, you can only read so much. And so that firsthand knowledge coming in a summarized form, from someone who has direct experience, it’s crucial. And I think also talking through what are the use cases in finding their passion. Like, for me, my biggest passion is connecting health and human services. I am coming up with every way that we can think possible of how data can be shared between the agencies, and I just have a passion for that. And kind of going through those use cases, how can that help the community and them finding where’s their niche, where’s their passion? Because there’s so much to do in informatics, there’s so much good that we can fill.

TJ Southern:
… Sheena, … Sheena. So what are you, so I know that you’ve already told me what you’re most excited about, and I’m just so excited for you because that is absolutely amazing, like, world changer. That’s what that tells me, you know? Because people don’t understand the massive amounts of data with Health and Human Services, it’s massive. We’re talking about public health data, we’re talking about, you know, if you guys haven’t started to hear these terms, social determinants of health, structural determinants of health, like this is data that’s coming out that’s going to help us lower the black maternal mortality morbidity rates. Yes, that’s what we’re talking about here. So I am like astounded to hear that we have an informaticist where that’s their passion. That is their passion. So my question to you is, what do you think needs to be talked about more to bring awareness to this role? And the reason why I asked you that is because, right before this conversation, we were just talking about, you know, the necessity of just having conversations about this role. I know that we’re having conversations, but how do we get the word out that this is a legitimate discipline? We are a validated role, we are much needed out there, call us to the table, we will help you answer some of those critical questions that you have about this data, ask us.

Sheena Rogers:
I think part of it is creating an idea of, what are the use cases. How, I think a lot of people may not be connecting the dots or even know what the use cases are to bring us in, right? So one of the things I was thinking of recently, if we’re thinking of what could a use case be, right, so since 2018, suicide is the second leading cause of death among people aged 10 to 34. So if we consider that and we consider the increased rate of ER visits and data that’s being collected on behavioral health related to all of these changes we’re seeing from COVID 19, being indoors, being contactless, working from home, learning from home, what can that data tell us? What can, how can we help the human services understand what populations are being most affected by that data? What states and areas, right? Where can they aim those types of outreach and prevention hotlines and other suicide mental health support groups? That’s just one use case.

TJ Southern:
Come on, come on, come on, come on.

Sheena Rogers:
So I think talking about those and then having others, you know, as an informaticist, you can’t lead every single one of those efforts, but if we share our ideas and we share where can we start connecting these dots, and then we can get the right people in the conversation, right? So that leads me to who’s the right person in human services to do those outreaches, right? Who’s the right person in health networks to give that data? Maybe it’s HIEs, maybe it’s not even the hospitals. How do we continue that conversation?

TJ Southern:
Man, I told y’all at the beginning of this cast to have you a pen and a piece of paper, because I knew Sheena was getting ready to drop some gems. I pray that y’all picked up every last one of them. Sheena, where can the people connect to you at? Where can they connect to you at? Because, man, I would be trying to be your friend right now if I was them.

Sheena Rogers:
Well, I could talk about this all day, so I’m definitely open to any discussion. I mean, I’m on LinkedIn. I’m happy to talk anytime, but it’s important to talk about, and I’m so glad that you reached out and so happy to see this podcast. It’s such an important topic.

TJ Southern:
I am so excited. Well, Sheena, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for being on today, and trust, she will be brought back. The first DM, IM I get saying, can we talk to Sheena? Yes, I will be bringing her back.

Sheena Rogers:
I appreciate that. Thank you so much.

TJ Southern:
Hey, y’all! Thanks for joining us today for another episode of the Outcomes Rocket Network – The Future of Global Informatics Podcast. If your organization is looking for informatics talent, go to www.Beryllus.net. That is www. B E R Y L L U S .net, and we can assist you in finding some of the best nursing informatics talent this continent has to offer. We’ll talk to you later! Have a great day! See ya!

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Things You’ll Learn:

  • Creative Information Technology, Inc is a consulting company focusing on health and human services that extract data from EHRs, creating interoperability across different systems. 
  • Creative Information Technology, Inc has an archival system known as DRIS with large networks, old systems, and tons of data they can’t get to, but they can’t connect it to these other datasets, a challenge they are currently working on.
  • Transitioning data from legacy systems and ensuring new systems don’t have the gaps the old ones had is a challenge many currently face.
  • Having different perspectives in a team about handling data is important to cover every possible outcome. 
  • Every team member will have a specialty in something different, bringing fresh perspectives about systems and implementations.
  • Health and Human Services have massive amounts of public health data.

Resources:

  • Connect with and follow Sheena Rogers on LinkedIn.
  • Follow Creative Information Technology, Inc on LinkedIn.
  • Explore the Creative Information Technology, Inc Website.
  • For more information on topics related to informatics or on finding talented informaticists for your organization, please visit the Beryllus Website