UConn Health’s IT efforts have been recognized and lauded in the 2021 Digital Health Most Wired award program, achieving Special Recognition in its Digital Health Certified Ambulatory Level 7 category.
Based on comprehensive surveys measuring implementation, goals, progress and results, the award acknowledges the organization’s criteria for being designated as “most wired.” That reflects UConn Health’s successful deployment of technologies and strategies such as population health/cost-of-care analytics, Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), telehealth and enhancing the patient portal. This award also reflects meaningful clinical and efficiency outcomes.
The mission of the CHIME Digital Health Most Wired program is to elevate the health and care of communities around the world by encouraging the optimal use of information technology. The program does this by conducting an annual survey to identify, recognize and certify the adoption, implementation, and use of information technology by health care provider organizations. The results are intended to improve patient safety and outcomes by driving change in the healthcare IT industry.
Laura Marquez is assistant vice president, IT Applications. This award, she says, shows great commitment on the part of UConn Health’s many technology employees and leaders to embrace and implement new tools and systems, always with an eye on using tech as a catalyst to better help the communities they serve.
“So much has changed, for the good, in the past several years on the health technology front,” Marquez relates. “The amount of growth I have seen in interoperability and putting patients at the center of our work is inspiring. Thanks to Khadija Poitras-Rhea [assistant vice president, Population Health] and the Population Health team, we have established robust roadmaps for tracking chronic diseases and stratifying patient risk. With the support of the Access and MyChart teams we have increased patient engagement, expanded features in the patient portal and, in the face of COVID-19, rapidly evolved our telehealth capabilities to facilitate access during the pandemic and beyond.”
Marquez joined UConn Health two years ago, migrating east from Seattle. She had been working with Epic systems since 2012 at the University of Washington and at Valley Medical Center in Washington State, she explains, and was excited by the opportunity to join UConn and help with technology implementation and efforts in both the ambulatory and inpatient arenas. She has a keen interest in building highly effective teams by promoting positive cultures, and says has seen tremendous growth in the UConn IT teams, which has yielded true digital transformations.
“The ambulatory space has been my ‘bread and butter’ area of expertise, so I was very attracted by the work UConn was doing, and their willingness to stretch and accelerate implementation in response to the COVID crisis,” Marquez explains. “This ‘most wired’ process was such a team effort, both in terms of the projects we’ve been doing to put personal health information at our patients’ fingertips, and the effort to apply for this award, which reflects multiple levels of activity and support. The work we’re doing here within IT, continuing to invest in security, and all of the patient-centered activities and advances is dynamic, changing daily and truly inspirational . . . I’m very proud of this team.”