16 min

Q&A with Laura Marquez, Part 2: “Culture Change Is Hard, But We All Play a Part.‪”‬ 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.

*Editor’s note: After this interview was held, Marquez announced she was starting a new role as Senior Director for Transformation at University of Utah Health in July of 2022.



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



Bold Statements

Saying no is hard, but it’s so important. Because the more you deviate away from the foundation system and the more you deviate from how the EMR is set up, the more maintenance you’ll have long-term and the harder it is to continue to support and maintain. (1:15)

With every project, I encourage my teams to ask two questions: what are we missing? What did we not consider? And taking that a step further, what possible downstream impact could this have? Because when we have a questioning mindset, I think that’s what continues to promote a culture of safety. (3:30)

In order to move forward and get to the bleeding edge of pioneering and trying to new things to really digitize healthcare, we have to remember that every single person matters. What they do matters. And we have to reconnect it to our mission, vision, and values. (6:14)

It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to block out your calendar. It’s okay to turn off your camera. I think that really helps set clear expectations and remove anxiety, especially in this virtual world. (8:20)

I never thought in a million years that I would be leading virtual teams. I’m an extrovert; I thrive off the energy of others and I love being in the office. (10:05)

Q&A with Laura Marquez, Part 2 [To view Part 1, click here.]

Gamble:  You mentioned that sometimes when requests are put in, the people who make them aren’t aware of the downstream effects. That’s a challenge so many organizations are dealing with, and I imagine it has to be handled pretty carefully.

Marquez:  Yes. Especially before IT resources are dedicated to trying to build out a solution. At one of my prior organizations, tickets could only be submitted by managers and above for enhancement-type requests or optimizations. That had to be vetted at the departmental level because we wanted to make sure there was a little bit more oversight. It couldn’t just be anyone submitting a requested change.

In terms of governance, it’s important to have a body, whether it’s a physician advisory council or nursing advisory council. That’s the next step in our growth to establish smaller councils where we can have that continued input and have physician builders or other informaticists at the table to say, ‘This really doesn’t make too much sense. That’s not a workflow that we would want to support,

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.

*Editor’s note: After this interview was held, Marquez announced she was starting a new role as Senior Director for Transformation at University of Utah Health in July of 2022.



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



Bold Statements

Saying no is hard, but it’s so important. Because the more you deviate away from the foundation system and the more you deviate from how the EMR is set up, the more maintenance you’ll have long-term and the harder it is to continue to support and maintain. (1:15)

With every project, I encourage my teams to ask two questions: what are we missing? What did we not consider? And taking that a step further, what possible downstream impact could this have? Because when we have a questioning mindset, I think that’s what continues to promote a culture of safety. (3:30)

In order to move forward and get to the bleeding edge of pioneering and trying to new things to really digitize healthcare, we have to remember that every single person matters. What they do matters. And we have to reconnect it to our mission, vision, and values. (6:14)

It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to block out your calendar. It’s okay to turn off your camera. I think that really helps set clear expectations and remove anxiety, especially in this virtual world. (8:20)

I never thought in a million years that I would be leading virtual teams. I’m an extrovert; I thrive off the energy of others and I love being in the office. (10:05)

Q&A with Laura Marquez, Part 2 [To view Part 1, click here.]

Gamble:  You mentioned that sometimes when requests are put in, the people who make them aren’t aware of the downstream effects. That’s a challenge so many organizations are dealing with, and I imagine it has to be handled pretty carefully.

Marquez:  Yes. Especially before IT resources are dedicated to trying to build out a solution. At one of my prior organizations, tickets could only be submitted by managers and above for enhancement-type requests or optimizations. That had to be vetted at the departmental level because we wanted to make sure there was a little bit more oversight. It couldn’t just be anyone submitting a requested change.

In terms of governance, it’s important to have a body, whether it’s a physician advisory council or nursing advisory council. That’s the next step in our growth to establish smaller councils where we can have that continued input and have physician builders or other informaticists at the table to say, ‘This really doesn’t make too much sense. That’s not a workflow that we would want to support,

16 min

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