My path to joining the University of Washington has not been straightforward. I started my academic journey as an undergraduate in Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. After a senior year capstone project at the University of Michigan hospital, I developed an interest in how information systems, combined with operations management, can be used to enhance healthcare operations, quality, and patient satisfaction. After my undergraduate program, wanting to explore the intersection between healthcare and information systems further, I received a Masters of Science in Information Systems Technology from The George Washington University. This coursework provided me with a deeper understanding of information systems design, development, implementation, and evaluation.
During graduate school, I worked at the Altarum Institute in Alexandria, Virginia. My main project supported the newly formed Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. As a research analyst, I was involved in one of the first national efforts to understand personal health record use, the potential of these systems to help individuals manage their health and wellness, and the barriers that users were experiencing in the market place. This work has shaped my passion for using technology to span the gap between hospitals, clinics, and home-based care. It has also provided me with an understanding of the significant barriers that healthcare organizations and patients face when trying to use these personal health records and patient portals.
After graduate school, I spent several years working for the University of Chicago Medicine as a performance improvement consultant. My role was to lead multi-disciplinary teams to improve clinical operations. Our work focused on developing workflows, enhancing clinical technologies, and promoting patient-centered practices to improve the effectiveness of our clinical care. Most of my projects involved working with publically reported measures such as 30-day hospital readmissions, Medicare quality outcomes, and patient satisfaction.
My research at the University of Washington explores how technology can support patients and families in the care transition from hospital-based care to home-based care. Most of my projects during my PhD have involved working with community-dwelling older adults, informal caregivers, and their clinical care teams. Many community-dwelling older adults face these difficult transitions, and are often simultaneously managing chronic conditions. My dissertation explores the usability, feasibility, and preliminary effectiveness of personal health records with homebound community-dwelling older adults.
I believe that information systems can help share clinical information, coordinate care, and support self-management routines at home. To achieve this the industry has to overcome the challenges of designing these technologies. More importantly, however, we also must better understand the expectations, desires, and needs of the end-user populations (clinicians, caregivers, patients, and administrators). My goal is to help technology and healthcare organizations come together to build products that have robust functionality, are easy to use, and fit into existing patient and provider care management workflows.