14 min

Q&A with Laura Marquez, Part 1: “Having the voice of the consumer is so important.‪”‬ healthsystemCIO.com

    • Technology

For healthcare leaders, creating a culture of collaboration can be extremely challenging, particularly in groups that include both extroverts and introverts. Laura Marquez has a solution that involves doing something out of character for those in senior positions.

“I have an idea, but I’d like to hear from you guys first.”

Doing so, she said during a recent interview, “opens up the platform” and encourages individuals to float their own ideas. It’s one of many pieces of advice Marquez, AVP of IT Applications at UConn Health, offered to colleagues based on her own experiences.

During the discussion, she shared insights on what it takes to build “a culture of safety, her approach in leading virtual teams, the critical role IT governance strategies can play, and what UConn Health is doing to more effectively engage with patients.

LISTEN HERE USING THE PLAYER BELOW OR SUBSCRIBE THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE PODCASTING SERVICE. 



Bold Statements

We’re also taking a step back to say, how can we improve access for our patients in terms of reducing new patient lead time? Let’s stand up direct scheduling. Let’s implement fast pass in more areas. We want to leverage the tools that we have at play.

It’s imperative that we’re working both with the marketing and patient experience offices, as well as our other business stakeholders throughout the organization. We want to make sure we’re rowing in the same direction.

We wanted a diverse selection of patient volunteers who would then have access to our test environment. That way, before new features are rolled out, we’re able to bring it to the work group. We get their candid, honest feedback, and we’re able to pivot.

I think all systems struggle with the fact that there’s never a shortage of work. As a matter of fact, there are far more projects submitted than we could even get accomplished.

 

Gamble:  I’m really glad we could set aside time to chat. Can you start by providing a high-level look at UConn Health — what you have in terms of hospitals, where you’re located, things like that?

Marquez:  Sure. We’re a 224-bed academic medical center located in Farmington, Conn. We pride ourselves on serving the community as a state organization. We have a great ambulatory network with clinics representing a wide variety of specialties. We also have the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. We’re diverse in who we serve. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to continue to use technology in different ways to help our caregivers.

 

Gamble:  In your role as AVP of IT applications, what do you consider to be your core objectives?

Marquez:  We’re an Epic shop, and so there’s no shortage of work keeping up with the quarterly updates and the new migration to Hyperdrive. One of the really important things on our roadmap is our partnership with Connecticut Children’s to stand up a NICU within our hospital. As part of that, we’re bringing them onto our electronic health record. It’s been a great cross collaboration with Connecticut Children’s to partner and find some creative solutions for how we can best serve those critically ill babies.

 

Gamble:  Were they already on an EHR?

Marquez:  They were still on paper. UConn went live on the EHR in 2018, but because the NICU is owned and operated by Connecticut Children’s, it was out of scope for the EMR implementation. We certainly had plans to bring it live much sooner, but unfortunately, the pandemic got in the way of our priorities, as it did for every organization. And so, we made it a point to make sure we circle back and get them brought up to an EHR.

 

For healthcare leaders, creating a culture of collaboration can be extremely challenging, particularly in groups that include both extroverts and introverts. Laura Marquez has a solution that involves doing something out of character for those in senior positions.

“I have an idea, but I’d like to hear from you guys first.”

Doing so, she said during a recent interview, “opens up the platform” and encourages individuals to float their own ideas. It’s one of many pieces of advice Marquez, AVP of IT Applications at UConn Health, offered to colleagues based on her own experiences.

During the discussion, she shared insights on what it takes to build “a culture of safety, her approach in leading virtual teams, the critical role IT governance strategies can play, and what UConn Health is doing to more effectively engage with patients.

LISTEN HERE USING THE PLAYER BELOW OR SUBSCRIBE THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE PODCASTING SERVICE. 



Bold Statements

We’re also taking a step back to say, how can we improve access for our patients in terms of reducing new patient lead time? Let’s stand up direct scheduling. Let’s implement fast pass in more areas. We want to leverage the tools that we have at play.

It’s imperative that we’re working both with the marketing and patient experience offices, as well as our other business stakeholders throughout the organization. We want to make sure we’re rowing in the same direction.

We wanted a diverse selection of patient volunteers who would then have access to our test environment. That way, before new features are rolled out, we’re able to bring it to the work group. We get their candid, honest feedback, and we’re able to pivot.

I think all systems struggle with the fact that there’s never a shortage of work. As a matter of fact, there are far more projects submitted than we could even get accomplished.

 

Gamble:  I’m really glad we could set aside time to chat. Can you start by providing a high-level look at UConn Health — what you have in terms of hospitals, where you’re located, things like that?

Marquez:  Sure. We’re a 224-bed academic medical center located in Farmington, Conn. We pride ourselves on serving the community as a state organization. We have a great ambulatory network with clinics representing a wide variety of specialties. We also have the School of Medicine and School of Dental Medicine. We’re diverse in who we serve. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to continue to use technology in different ways to help our caregivers.

 

Gamble:  In your role as AVP of IT applications, what do you consider to be your core objectives?

Marquez:  We’re an Epic shop, and so there’s no shortage of work keeping up with the quarterly updates and the new migration to Hyperdrive. One of the really important things on our roadmap is our partnership with Connecticut Children’s to stand up a NICU within our hospital. As part of that, we’re bringing them onto our electronic health record. It’s been a great cross collaboration with Connecticut Children’s to partner and find some creative solutions for how we can best serve those critically ill babies.

 

Gamble:  Were they already on an EHR?

Marquez:  They were still on paper. UConn went live on the EHR in 2018, but because the NICU is owned and operated by Connecticut Children’s, it was out of scope for the EMR implementation. We certainly had plans to bring it live much sooner, but unfortunately, the pandemic got in the way of our priorities, as it did for every organization. And so, we made it a point to make sure we circle back and get them brought up to an EHR.

 

14 min

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