The Pivotal Podcast

From Patient Care to Healthcare Technology with Peggy Jenny

July 11, 2023 Ben Season 1 Episode 3
From Patient Care to Healthcare Technology with Peggy Jenny
The Pivotal Podcast
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The Pivotal Podcast
From Patient Care to Healthcare Technology with Peggy Jenny
Jul 11, 2023 Season 1 Episode 3

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Join us on another episode of The Pivotal Podcast as we delve into the remarkable journey of Peggy Jenny, Director of Value Intelligence at the prestigious Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Discover how Peggy seamlessly transitioned from direct patient care to the world of healthcare technology and analytics, leveraging her unique skill set to drive improvements in healthcare outcomes. Tune in for an inspiring conversation on the power of data and its pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Pivotal Podcast. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you enjoyed this episode, we would appreciate your support. Please consider leaving us a review, providing feedback, or sharing the podcast with others who might find it valuable.

To stay updated on future episodes, make sure to subscribe to The Pivotal Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

For more resources, show notes, and additional content, visit our website at Follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes insights, announcements, and discussions.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to bringing you more exciting episodes in the future.

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Join us on another episode of The Pivotal Podcast as we delve into the remarkable journey of Peggy Jenny, Director of Value Intelligence at the prestigious Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Discover how Peggy seamlessly transitioned from direct patient care to the world of healthcare technology and analytics, leveraging her unique skill set to drive improvements in healthcare outcomes. Tune in for an inspiring conversation on the power of data and its pivotal role in shaping the future of healthcare.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Pivotal Podcast. We hope you found it informative and engaging. If you enjoyed this episode, we would appreciate your support. Please consider leaving us a review, providing feedback, or sharing the podcast with others who might find it valuable.

To stay updated on future episodes, make sure to subscribe to The Pivotal Podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

For more resources, show notes, and additional content, visit our website at Follow us on social media for behind-the-scenes insights, announcements, and discussions.

Thank you for your continued support, and we look forward to bringing you more exciting episodes in the future.

 Welcome to the Pivotal Podcast where we unlock the future of healthcare technology and explore the journeys of those making waves in the industry. Join us as we explore the innovative minds, game-changing companies and inspiring journeys that are shaping the future of healthcare. Whether you're a tech enthusiast, a healthcare professional, or someone looking to make a career pivot, this is the podcast for you.

I'm your host, Ben Marley, and I'm thrilled to have you join us on this exciting episode of the Pivotal Podcast. Today we have a special guest who is at the forefront of healthcare, technology and analytics. Please welcome Peggy Jenny, the Director of Value Intelligence at the Medical University of South Carolina, MUSC.

It's the only integrated academic health sciences center in the state with a special mandate to serve the state through education, research, and patient care, which is also the oldest medical school in the south. Peggy brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table with a background in direct patient care and it and a successful transition to the world of healthcare technology.

As a director of Value Intelligence, she plays a pivotal role in leveraging technology and analytics to drive improvements in healthcare outcomes.

Peggy, it's an absolute pleasure to have you on the show today, and I really do mean that. 

Oh, I'm, I'm thrilled to be here. 

Awesome. So let me just dive in with a question here, cuz I know, like we were just talking about a second ago, your background is a little bit different. So when I say, Hey, you transitioned from direct patient care into healthcare and technology, that kind of misses like a big prelude into even before you got in direct patient care.

Right? So can you tell me a little bit about your background and, and how this all got started? 

Sure. So my first career was I consulting. So I, I got a degree in integrating science and technology at James Madison University. And that's really the degree was around being the, the person between the super techie people and the customer.

So help translate. And so after about 10 years of that, I. I was having, I wanted a little bit more of a connection to to the work that I was doing. I wanted it to have more importance. And so I did some, some soul searching and decided that I was going to become a nurse. So I went to nursing school.

That's what actually brought me down to Charleston, South Carolina. I went to M U S C and became a nurse and really funny the first day on the floor. So I became a labor and delivery nurse. That was the area of medicine that that called me. And on the first day on the floor at, on Labor and Delivery at M U S C all the nurses started asking me all these technical questions.

And so so over time after, after a couple of years they started pulling me into supporting their, their medical record, their electronic health rec record at the time. And To the point where the person, when they would go on vacation that was supporting it, they would ask me to pull, they'd pull me off the floor to do the support while she was on vacation.

And so after a couple of years, I realized that the combination of I, it and clinical care is pretty unique. And so I thought I, I should marry those two. And And that's when I actually joined and made the transition into the health, health I it realm. 

Wow. Yeah. That's amazing. Especially because if you were getting pulled out of the nursing work that you were doing, when, I feel like for a while now there's been a shortage of nurses, right.

So to, to support that person when they were on vacation, that lets you know how critical that role is. Right. They're like, listen, this is even more important than like the labor nursing you're doing right now. 

Right. And and you know, when the EHR goes down it's it's bad news. I mean it's, you know, it's, it's a lot of extra work for the nurses and then we lose all the fun clinical decision support that exists.

And so absolutely it was, it was definitely a, a sign to me that I should, I should probably combine those two skillsets. 

Yeah, absolutely. And how long had you been a nurse when you made that transition? 

So about three years. Okay. Nursing on the  📍 floor. I made that transition. 

By the way, as someone with three small children, I'm super, super grateful for labor and delivery nurses, so I really, really appreciate all the work that you did. Wow. Okay. So how did you even go about making that transition? Obviously from your experience, you saw, Hey, there's definitely an opportunity here.

Right? But so like, what, what did that look like? 

So I was fortunate at the time. We were we were making a transition from EHRs and we were going with Epic. The, the mega, the mega Epic. And and so I, I, they were hiring to build up that team. And so I was fortunate that I applied and, and got the role.

And that's what started me down this path. It's been, it's been quite, quite quite a journey. 

Yeah. So now, so you're able to stay within M U S C when you made that transition?

I, I was. 

Okay. Okay. And then so walk me through like when you first started in that new role. Like, what kind of a difference was that?

Like what were you actually doing versus what you had been doing, like as a labor and delivery nurse? And then how did you feel about, you know, your new role and responsibilities? 

Sure. It, so, so the lifestyle changed pretty drastically because typically if you're an inpatient nurse, which is what I was, I was doing 12 hour shifts, three, three times a week.

And I shifted from, from that to just essentially a nine to five. And and so that's a big change from a, from a, from a lifestyle perspective. Fortunately I've been working days already, but there are nurses out there that work nights, and so that would've been an even bigger change. And my daily tasks change drastically.

So instead of. You know, laboring a mom or you know, trying to keep a, keep, you know, keep a mom in preterm labor from having a baby. And, you know, providing medications and you know, working with, with the care team or, you know, doing c-sections or whatnot. I was sitting in front of a computer and meeting with people and understanding their needs and then trying to make the, the ehr The ehr, do what we need from a clinical perspective.

And then when I, so when I, when we first started that position for Epic in particular, There there's a training course and there's a certification when you become an analyst. And it's, it's very well structured. The epic trainers are spectacular and they're there to help you. And so so typical requirement around becoming an analyst is to get an Epic analyst anyways, to get Epic certified.

So that was, that was our, that was kind of the introduction into the foundation of how to actually configure Epic and customize Epic. 

Okay. So when you started doing this, were you in person in an office or did you immediately start working remotely?

Well, so this was 10 years ago. Okay. And actually it was in 2011.

So that was prior to, prior to COVID. And so we were in person in an office, and when I, and to get Epic certified, we actually traveled up to Madison, Wisconsin. There were three different trips, so we went three times and then there were some tests and and some projects to demonstrate your skills.

Wow. Okay. 

So that's great though. I mean, to have that kind of support coming in, right? Because even with the IT background, I would imagine that anytime you do something new, especially like new software, it's a little intimidating probably, right? Oh, sure. What, so how critical was it to have, like I'm sure it was helpful, right, to have your IT background, but do you feel like it was critical for your success?

Stepping into that analyst role, or do you think that somebody that comes from like a clinical background only, like say just some, not just, but someone who has just the nursing background and not the IT background, would they be able to make that transition? 

Absolutely. I've seen it done. Multiple times.

I've got amazing success stories, which might be another podcast for you later down the road. I, I have a friend that has been a nurse for 26 years, and so after I think it was 15 years, she had done she had done inpatient nursing, she had done outpatient nursing. And so she and she has made a successful transition and she's one of the best analysts that I know.

Cool. And she had no it background prior to that, so it's, yeah, absolutely. 

Wow, that's awesome. So how long does it typically take, or from your perspective, when you see someone coming in from the clinical background to become an analyst, like how long does it kind of take them to hit their stride and get comfortable with, you know, their daily workflows?

Sure. So it's, so the certification itself is usually two or three months. And that's when, that's really when the learning begins. And so, because I think the the certification itself is more about learning the foundations of how to work with Epic and then you get your first project or, or what for your first assignment as, and and that's when the rubber hits the road.

I would say it probably takes. A year or two, maybe a year, to really get comfortable in your position. And so, you know, one thing, it's okay to be uncomfortable. Mm-hmm. Discomfort means you're learning. And and so another key is to find a team that is really supportive so that you feel comfortable asking questions and and, and, and can step in when you need that assistance.

Yeah, absolutely. That. I think like that's true when you're learning anything or stepping into any new role, like having that collaborative, supportive team makes a huge difference. So when you talk about the rubber meeting the road and getting like your first project, do you remember what yours was like or what does it typically look like when someone gets their first project now?

Oh, so interesting. So I don't know that there's a typical first project because. Every hospital is at a different, is it a different spot in their in their in their adoption of their EHR? Okay. Everyone, every hospital has different needs. Everyone has. So, you know, just to give some examples, if, if, if the team that you're joining is in the middle of doing an implementation of a particular module then you might be assigned to that particular module and implementing that, or there's or you could be doing maintenance or enhancements.

So building out clinical decision support for or modifying clinical decision support to keep up with the updated regulations around how often you need to do colon cancer screening. And so those are, you know, so those are lots of different scenarios. You could also be tasked with trying to address you know, support existing users.

So, you know, when you call that help desk, somebody needs to, you know, somebody needs to be helping that person answer that question. So that's a really great, great way to learn how the system is configured is to talk to the user, understand what they're doing, understand how the system is configured, and then trying to fix it.

So, so lots of different tasks for for what could be your, your first assignment. 

Yeah. So, and what was when you made that transition what was your first title when you were working with this, with Epic here with Healthcare Technology? 

So my first title, I was a systems analyst. Okay. I think that's what it was.

Okay. Is that a pretty typical a pretty natural transition for, say, a nurse who wanted to get into healthcare technology? 

Yeah. So so depending on the hospital, it could be titled different things, clinical Analyst systems Analyst. I, I think those are probably gonna be the, the two primary. And depending on what system you're working on.


And so I asked about how critical it was to have the IT background and it's, I think, great news that, you know, it was maybe helpful but not critical, right? Mm-hmm. How critical was it to have the clinical background. 

So again, it's a nice to have, but it's not it's not absolutely mandatory. You know, it's interesting because some of the most effective analysts that I know are not clinicians.

Yeah. It just, they, you know, the thing that made them as successful is a willingness to learn. And and then just paying attention to detail and you know, I think just exposure to as much healthcare as possible. 

Hmm. Interesting. So, and the reason kinda the heart behind that question is given the time of year it is, and the nature of what I do with my recruiting business outside the podcast I've been speaking with a number of teachers recently who opted not to renew their contracts.

Right. And now they have. A lot of questions as to, well, what, what would be even a good transition for me? And based on a conversation I was having with Joey Trahan just the other day he was really emphasizing how he didn't have a clinical background, right? And he was talking about having a love of spreadsheets and data and analytics, and he said that made for a really effective transition, actually.

And I thought, well, well, I actually found myself having a conversation with a teacher who started talking about loving spreadsheets and data, and I thought, Hmm, maybe this could be a natural transition for you as well. 

Mm-hmm. Well, and so, so yes, if you, if you've got that passion around data and helping, I think those are, those are two key pieces for going into the IT side of it.

But for teachers in particular, there's also systems education that needs to occur. Mm-hmm. So, To you know, to work for our clinicians, we need folks to actually work with those clinicians to communicate that to them. So there's, there's classes that need to be taught for new hires, but there's also a wonderful position around helping clinicians actually use the system while they're in clinic, while they're while they're in the hospital.

And so so typically those folks are called like adoption specialists or something like that. And that's great for the heart of a teacher. 

Yeah, that sounds amazing. 

Yeah, it's it's, you know, and again, you know, I've got, I've got great folks you know, I've, I've seen some really great folks that that do have that, that part of a teacher and have that skillset, and you can take that skillset of teaching.

And apply it to technology and how to run reports and how to address a particular BPA or best practice advisory. Sorry. Sure. 

No, that's great. Yeah. And so, okay, so this is basically the equivalent of a corporate trainer, but in the healthcare setting and specifically related to like the electronic health record, right?

So, and you said again it was called an adoption specialist. Is that right? 

So so the titles we use here at M U S C I do believe are systems educators. Okay. So that's your, your, your person that's going to help write tip sheets and write quickstart guides and write curriculum for, and teach classes to new hires or, or continuing education.

So that's our systems educator. An adoption specialist would be somebody that is out in clinic and has, has that deep understanding of how the system is supposed to work and can teach the clinicians maybe a more efficient way to to get or to place an order or an efficient, more efficient way to you know, to, to pull their data out and see how am I doing with.

My, my quality measures or how am I doing with you know, with, with, with my patients. 

Yeah, absolutely. So, and with these roles for either a teacher or a nurse would these be something that they could directly interview for and step into, or would they need to get some sort of education and training on their own before they came and tried to apply to one of these types of positions?

So I believe our entry level analyst positions and systems educator positions, I'm not sure about adoption specialists, but I think those don't require any any pro probably anything more than like a bachelor's degree. Mm. Wow. Not entirely sure, but of course, you know, to, to, to make yourself more marketable, I think.

You know, including any exposure, any additional classes you've done around, or any certifications you might have, you know, depending on what direction you wanna go, if you wanna become that systems educator, if you have more of an education background, if you you know, anything that you can add about your background that would make your, your resume more appealing would, would be beneficial.

Okay. And similar to like for a systems analyst position where you're. I think including any any projects that you've done that any project that you've done that might highlight your tech savviness would be, would be beneficial. 

Interesting. Okay. And so these could be maybe projects that you just pursued as like passion projects, even like on your own time?


Okay. In fact, I think, I think Joey, when we interviewed Joey, I think. What he presented was, was something that he had done in his own time. 

What was great about Joey was he showed the technical adeptness. And he didn't have healthcare, but gosh, he showed that he was willing to learn and he had that self motivation. 

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely.

That's really great though. I mean, I feel like that's the kind of, I. That initiative and that innate curiosity and love of learning, it really sets people apart regardless of what type of role you're looking to transition into. Because it shows that even if you don't have the exact specifications or the exact background or whatever, if you're willing to learn and you're excited about learning and you're an intelligent person, you can learn whatever you need to almost on the job right now.

Right. Some specific roles. You can't obviously, but for the most part, you know, it's that willingness to learn that innate thing that can't be taught. 

Well, and so here's an a fun tip that not a lot of people know about. So if you belong to your public library, they will typically have a a membership to what used to be known as

I don't know, I think it's changed hands, but Okay. That is a resource for getting training and certifications for free. Wow. And yeah, and so, and you can get it free through the library. And so it's Microsoft certifications, it's programming certifications. It's not Epic certifications cuz you have to get that through Epic.

But you know, if you can put on, if you can do some of those certifications around you know, even just advanced Excel using access, Microsoft Access and having database concepts. That is an amazing way to set yourself apart to say, yes, I, I want to understand these things and I want this job to further that to further that understanding.

Does that make sense? 

Yeah, yeah. No, I think it does. And I, I was kind of just searching for it as you were telling me that right then. So Linda, it was l y n d a Linda do com, correct? Yep. So I just went there and it says is now LinkedIn learning. All of Linda dot com's content expert instructors are now on LinkedIn learning.

So, and then it says, start my free month and then buy for my team. So maybe, but if your library has access to it, then. Right. 

So  if you have your library membership, you can get to it through your library most of the time. Like I know Charleston County does have does have the membership, the free membership to, I guess LinkedIn learning.

Yeah. Yeah. And I think that's huge. You from home. Yeah, no, that totally makes sense. And so you could find just by searching either through maybe job descriptions for roles you were interested in the types of things that they emphasize and say, okay, wow. Let me go figure out what I don't know here and then go find that on LinkedIn Learning and go ahead and pursue that now, because it shows a prospective employer, Hey, I'm being really proactive in this.

And, and it gives you a taste too, cuz if you start going through it and you find, wow, I'm really not interested in learning about this, it's probably a good indicator. You don't wanna spend eight hours a day working on that type of stuff. Exactly. Yeah. That's phenomenal. Thank you so much for that resource.

I love that. And it's like, I had no idea that was gonna come from this conversation and anybody listening and they're like, Hey, there's a little nugget that can help you along your journey here. That's amazing. 

Right. Well, and it's so just, just a little bit more about, I guess LinkedIn So it's that things around, you know, making videos and photography.

I mean, it's not just tech. 

Yeah, it's very, very broad, so Wow. So it's like anything you could potentially, anything you could want to learn, you can. It's like Khan Academy for grownups or something. 

Yes, absolutely. 

That's awesome. I love that. Huh. Cool. So speaking of like kind of surprising things today was there anything that you can recall when you made your transition into an analyst role that really surprised you, that was really different from what you expected it to be?

So, I think what I have gained through this, through, through my, my it, my healthcare IT background is how vast medicine is and how, how different each, like each, each specialty. So understanding what the difference between internal medicine and, and and ob. And so, and, and you know, I guess each specialty has such nuance and so the broader, another tip I would say for somebody wanting to get into healthcare, it is try to learn as much as you can about as much medicine as you can.

And not, and not even just and just understanding the difference between I'm trying to remember like, like orthopedics and and PT and OT and what that relationship is and referrals and knowing when a patient should be referred to pt. So it's, it's in this role you are always learning, which is fantastic.

And so the more you can learn prior to getting into a role like this, the better off you'll be. 

That's amazing. Yeah. And, and for somebody who's got that innate curiosity, I mean, the opportunity to continue learning is phenomenal because then you don't have to worry about getting bored. And I feel like that's really, really good news for nurses because, oh, I had a conversation with a nurse.

Either last week or the week before who was an ER nurse. And she said, the thing that drew me to that was I knew that no day would ever be the same, that I would never get just bored doing something. Right. So, and I think that, that a lot of people in that very hands-on role can think, man, if I, if I'm behind a computer for eight hours a day, am I going to lose my mind because I'm just doing the same tasks all the time?

But it doesn't sound like that. It sounds like there's an opportunity for continuous learning and growth. 

Absolutely. I, every day I learn something every single day. So I was a labor and delivery nurse and some of the stuff I'm working on right now is around heart failure and chronic kidney disease.

And so the more you know, I get to learn about those disease processes and the challenges that those patients have and the challenges those clinicians have, and. And, and then I can try to figure out how to help with that, with, with those challenges. Wow. It's a, it's a fabulous job. 

Yeah. Yeah. That's phenomenal.

And so now your current role is director of value intelligence, right? What is, can you unpack that for me? What does that actually mean? Like in layman's terms? Sure. 

So, goodness. So, so my, my quick two sentence explanation is that I support. Our population health initiatives from an IT and analytics perspective.

Okay, so where does the value come from? And so, so the value is based on a shift in healthcare from volume-based care to value-based care. So historically doctors or hospitals would get paid when clinicians or when patients would come to see a clinician. The problem with that is it incentivizes clinicians to bring you back and it doesn't incentivize preventative care.

Mm. And it doesn't really prevent, it doesn't really incentivize quality care necessarily. It, and so, so what the, the government has been trying to do through programs like Meaningful use, which is what it was originally known as quality Payment program is what it's known as now. Through different programs is trying to shift our healthcare system from that volume-based care to value-based care.

And the, and so in order to do that shift, you need, we're trying to shift the incentives to high efficient care and high quality care. And in order to do that, you've got to define those things. Hmm. So you've gotta define what quality care is, and you've gotta define efficient care. And so that's, that's the, the value in value intelligence is trying to bring value to healthcare.

And the intelligence part is, is around you know, bus business intelligence and using the EHR to provide that value. 

Wow. And so, and practically speaking then do you measure that based on like a, a revisit rate? Like, hey, somebody came in, they saw a clinician, and then okay, they didn't come back for more than 30 days or something like that.

Are there metrics like that, that you're looking for?

 Oh, there's so, yes. The world of quality metrics so it's, and this is, this is what's so amazing about healthcare is in order to define quality, you need to. Define, you know, you need to have a measurement. And so there are hundreds of quality measures that exist.

And so there's entire organizations that are measure stewards that define the measures and then monitor them and change the measures over time as medicine evolves. Cuz one of the fun things about about healthcare is medicine is always evolving. New medications are coming out, new treatments are coming out.

So you know, and so in order to say, so for example, let's give you an example. So let's see. Breast cancer screening is recommended for all women 40 years and and above, I think every two years. Oh gosh. Go for you. I'm not a so, but let's say that's what it says today. Sure. And so so there's a quality measure that you, that defines okay, so what are the screenings that meet that every two year cadence?

And as new screenings are developed and as new tests are developed, we need to update that measure spec. In order to reflect that, the evolution of medicine. And so one of this is where we get into the IT realm, right? So, okay, so as that measure spec evolves, you need your clinical decision support to reflect that change.

And you also need any quality measure performance reports to reflect that change as well. So that's, that's some of the fun stuff. So so for each doctor, you can report of all of your women that are, for all, all of the patients that you see that are 40 years and above, what percentage of them are meeting that meeting that recommendation.

Wow. Okay. And so that come, that's part of that population health as well. It's like, hey, this is a specific population and we're measuring this. And then, okay, for the people that are falling outside of our, our target there, then what steps do we need to take to get them like on track? 

Absolutely. So that's where we get into some care coordination.

So remember I talked about wanting to incentivize. Preventative care. Yeah. Well, guess what? If we can identify the patients that have not had that breast cancer screening, there's a bunch we can do about that. We can call them, we can send them an email. We can we can schedule an appointment. We can, you know, like there's a bunch that we can do in order to close that gap in here.

That's so phenomenal. I love, love, love seeing the like practical application of this data that's being collected, right? It's like we're not just collecting this just to collect it. It's like, no, we're literally trying to affect change and improvement in the quality of care that's being I don't know, being provided.

That's, that's exactly what we're trying to do. We're trying, so clinicians spend so much time entering information into the ehr. What we wanna do in population health is take that information and use it to improve both efficiency and the quality of the care that we're providing. So close those gaps, you know, so for example you know, for patients with diabetes if we don't have an a1c, which is a measure of how well we're controlling your a1c or, or controlling your your diabetes, if we don't have one on file, let's get one.

And, you know, if we haven't, if we have a high a1c, and so you're at risk and we haven't seen you in a while, let's figure out what's going on with you. Let's call you, let's bring you in, let's, let's see what's going on. So it's, it's, what I love about population health is it's using all of the data that we collect to to improve the, the cost and quality of care.

All right, Peggy, so, With everything that you've been talking about with all of these different types of all these different areas of care, right? I know M U S C is a massive organization, so are there a number of different teams that are monitoring this data and analyzing it, or how does that work?

There is a large number of people that work to support the value-based programs and the population health group. So in the population health group department in particular, we have a group of folks that are working with clinicians to divine evidence-based practice. So that's one area.

And so just to give a concrete example of that. So in order to take care of patients with chronic kidney disease, so chronic kidney disease is a progression. And so that's where your kidneys start failing. And there's, there's many different stages. And when you get to end stage renal disease, you wind up on dialysis and that's not a fun thing because you have to go to the dialysis center two, three times a week and it is a life-changing thing.

So you wanna prevent that as much as possible. So what does the evidence say about. The most, the best time to to get a a nephrologist involved. So, you know, if, if you get diagnosed early, very early, then you're probably gonna be managed by your primary care provider for a while. But what is that optimal time according to the evidence, to get a specialist involved to help take care of.

To help take care of that, that chronic kidney disease. So that group works with clinicians to to to develop ideal care plans. That's what we call those ideal care plans. Mm. And then we work to get those into in front of clinicians to make it easy to know what the evidence says. That's one group.

We also have a group that does care coordination. So for For, they do outreach to try to close those gaps. They try to address barriers to care. So for example what are considered social determinants of health. So if you're a patient that is worried about where you're going to be able or how you're gonna be able to feed your family tonight, I doubt you're going to go and fill an expensive medication.

Mm. So So we work to address those barriers to care and address those social determinants and, and help you help make it easier to follow through on the plan of care that your clinicians have made for you. And then we have my group which works from a data perspective and you know, under trying to understand all the population health initiatives and help.

Translate to the, the actual IT folks that that gonna do the build so that we. So I am again in that translation mode. So, and I, I try as director, I try to set vision and and help us get to where we'd like to ultimately be. So and then we, I mean, that's not even it cuz we work with clinicians, we work with our IT partners.

We work with our quality and safety managers. So it absolutely takes a village. It is far from just me. 

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. How many people are on your team? 

My team that the, the value intelligence team is me and one other person. 

Okay. Okay. Wow. Okay. And then is there a, a larger overall team that you guys are specifically a part of?

So, what I was just describing was our population health team. Okay. The, the folks that work with clinicians to do the evidence-based practice and then the care coordination folks, and then, and then my team. 

Okay. Gotcha. That makes sense. And so I know earlier I asked about, you know, remote opportunities and we talked about how 10 or 11 years ago that wasn't a thing.

How much of what you do now is remote versus do you have to go in person at M U S C or is, is that the case for your team? 

So my team is is fully remote and I do choose to go to a couple of key meetings in person, but that's fully my choice. And. Depending on your role. I, I think one of the beautiful things that came out of Covid was, was it opened people's minds to the option of of remote work.

So So I think especially if you're not doing direct patient care, it really depends. ATC in particular, I think it really depends on the team that you're joining and the, the supervisor and, and and then your personal preference. You know, my team member prefers In person interaction. And so so we try to get together so to meet that, that desire of hers.

Sure, sure. Absolutely. That's amazing. Thinking about, about the landscape of healthcare technologies just a little more broadly, cause we've just got a few more minutes. Are there any. Any, I guess, new developments that you're anticipating or opportunities you see coming kind of down the pipe here that you're really particularly excited about?

Oh, I am so excited about what's coming. So in particular Chat GPT is getting so much so much airtime right now. Sure. And so I think that there's a lot of potential to apply that technology in the healthcare setting. So, for example if a patient has been admitted at the end of that admission the discharging provider writes a discharge summary, spends, sits down, spends, I don't, it depends on how long the the how long they the, the actual admission has been.

But, you know, they can spend hours probably writing that. Wow. Depending on how long the admission was. Admission was. Well, why not use a computer if all the information is already in. The EHR use the computer to summarize that. Now, granted, you wanna use, you know, you want to edit that, you don't want the computer to do that independently.

Because unfortunately not everything always makes it into the eh h r. The eh h r might not be fully reflective of everything that happened for that patient. So so it's definitely you need to use that pilot, co-pilot concept. But definitely some potential there. And then another area that's super cool is genetics and genomics.

Mm. So imagine knowing in advance. So you know, if, if you're a clinician and you've got a patient that is newly diagnosed with cancer and you know, based on their their genetics, what treatment is going to be best according to evidence, it can take a lot of the trial and error out of it. So it's, you know, and that's not just for like oncology, that's, it could be very broad.

You know, that could be to, to treat depression, that could be to treat all sorts of things. So, you know, it really just staying in lockstep with with, you know, the, the combination of technology and research, it's, you know, it's, it's really an exciting time. 

Yeah, that's amazing. Being able to leverage this data for really impactful decision making to adjust the care to affect better outcomes.

That's phenomenal. I love that. Mm-hmm. That's great. Well, Peggy, thank you so much for joining me today. I really have enjoyed this conversation and I get the feeling that there's definitely so much more that we could talk about. So maybe we'll get another opportunity to do that again in the future.

I'd be happy to. Yeah. Well, to anybody listening thank you so much for joining us on this episode of the Pivotal Podcast. We hope Peggy's story and expertise have provided you with a deeper understanding of the opportunities that await and the field of healthcare technology. Really as we continue this exciting journey, we've got a lineup of thought-provoking conversations and innovative minds and game-changing companies that'll really shape the future of healthcare.

So again, whether you're a tech enthusiast, A healthcare professional or somebody that's looking to make a career pivot, stay tuned for more episodes packed with inspiration and knowledge and powerful insights. Remember to subscribe to the Pivotal podcast so you never miss an episode. And you know, together we're gonna unlock the future of healthcare technology and embark on this transformative journey.

So, until next time, thanks for joining us.

Peggy's Career Journey and Motivations
Embracing New Challenges
Navigating Success in Healthcare Tech: Certifications, Teams, and the First Projects
The Importance of Continuous Learning in Healthcare Technology
Improving Cost and Quality of Care Through Population Health
The Value of Collaboration in Population Health
The Impact of Technology on Healthcare Outcomes