University of Southern Indiana

MHA Alumni News

Highlights from the Health Informatics Tri-State Summit

at the University of Southern Indiana


The world tells us that technologies and informatics are boring, cold, and impersonal. Even the definition of health informatics-the interdisciplinary study of the design, development, adoption, and application of IT-based innovations in healthcare services delivery, management, and planning-is long, complicated, and boring. I believe the future of healthcare depends on our ability to turn this impression on its head, change the way the population views health information, and use innovative technologies and solutions to deliver the highest quality patient-centered care that our healthcare system has ever seen. The Health Informatics Tri-State Summit inspired me to observe the changing practices around me, collaborate with professionals in multiple disciplines, and be a part of the disruptive change technology is creating in our healthcare system.


Kym Martin, a four time cancer survivor, perfectly set the stage for the summit with her keynote address, reminding us all the real reason for the day: the patient experience. It is easy to get caught up the ever taxing details of our healthcare system. We worry about finances, policies, and protocol-always looking at the big picture. That is the 'what' of our job, but the 'why' will always be the most important. Without the patients, none of our work matters. Kym outlines excellent patient experience with five nonnegotiable parts: Clarity, Connection, Compassion, Collaboration, and Course of Action. She stressed the importance leading patients on their path to engagement and taking ownership in their own personalized care. Kym urged us to think of patient engagement as an evolutionary process for which we, as healthcare professionals, need to take accountability and to ensure that no more survivors fall victim to gaps in healthcare transitions.


Following Concurrent and Plenary sessions stressed the importance of population health, social listening, healthcare interoperability, digital footprints, and social media. Dr. Fred Wallisch and Mr. Mike Wade defined population health as bringing the right care to the right patient, at the right time, in the right setting. They spoke of the revolutionary programs that are helping them to identify risk groups and gaps in the care and documentation of these patients, using technology to predict patient needs, and to aid physicians in delivering better patient-centered care focused on prevention and care coordination. Mr. Chuck Christian expressed the importance of not only creating advances in health information, but creating better ways to exchange this information. He used real world examples to convey the flaws in our current interoperability and endorsed focusing on ways to exchange data from many sources to improve the patient experience no matter where they are receiving care.


Concluding the Summit, Dr. Bryan Vartabedian delivered a message about building a powerful public profile and dictating what the world is taught about you and your organization. He addressed the negative stereotypes most health professionals associate with social media and the internet, but urged the audience to change the way they thought about it. Dr. Vartabedian acknowledged the risks associated with social media and addressed the negative stereotypes that most health professionals associate with it, but advocated for the opportunities that social media can provide. When answering questions about the possibility of organizations receiving negative social media coverage, he explained that the best solution is dilution, stating that creating a lot of positive material will outweigh the negative. Dr. Vartabedian also explained the importance of a digital footprint because it is what the world will find when they look for you, but the additional importance of a digital fingerprint, accentuating what makes you unique.


Overall, the Health Informatics Summit was a day filled with encouraging ideas, and inspiring people. It was a great leap in collaboration and improvement in health care and the patient experience, paving the way for disruptive and innovative changes in the Tri-State. It was an honor to be a part of it.


Author: Haley Fisher, MHA student at The University of Southern Indiana

Alumni Spotlight

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Brad Futrell - MHA Grad 2006
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Kelly Schneider - MHA Grad 2007
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Tonya Heim - MHA Grad 2004
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Liz Adams - MHA Grad 2006
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Faculty Corner

Elkins ,-ethel

Ten Things I Learned in High School
By Ethel Elkins, DHSc, MHA, MA
Assistant Professor
Health Services/Health Administration

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Affordable Care Act...What's Ahead?
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Kevin Valadares, PhD
Chair of Health Administration
I recently came across an interesting piece in The Wall Street Journal entitled "Ten Tips for New Executives" by Fay Vincent, former commissioner of Major League Baseball. Read his entire article by clicking here.


The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Smartphone Usage in Healthcare
By Gabriela Mustata Wilson, PhD, MSc
Assistant Professor
Health Services /Health Administration

Contact Dr. Kevin Valadares
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