Introducing Healthcare Management Assistant Academic Director Rachel Rogers
University College is pleased to welcome Rachel Rogers (RN, MS), the new assistant academic director for Healthcare Management and assistant teaching professor. Rachel comes to University College from Denver Health, where she worked as an RN informatics specialist. We asked Rachel about her background, the field, the Healthcare Management program, and advice she has for students.
Can you tell me a
little bit about your background in the healthcare field?
I have been in healthcare for my whole career. I started out as a speech-language pathologist and then moved into nursing. As a speech-language pathologist, I was able to work with my patients in a very discrete and specialized way. I admired the nurses that we’re able to care for the whole person. Once I became a nurse, I was able to see healthcare in a new way. My favorite bedside nursing was during my time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. It was stressful, but very rewarding!
How did you
transition from being a nurse manager to an RN informatics specialist?
During my time as a nurse manager, our facility transitioned to an electronic health record. I was able to provide input into the clinical content as the record was built and customized to meet the needs of our hospital. I found it fascinating. I also found that I enjoyed helping others become more confident and competent using new technology in the clinical areas. When the opportunity arose to move to the Nursing Informatics team, I jumped!
How were you able to
use your background in nursing to transition to the informatics field?
I found that the problem-solving skills I gained as a nurse were very similar to the way the Information Technology (IT) folks solved problems. I considered my job as a clinical informaticist to help the people who were helping the people. While I wasn’t delivering direct care to patients, I was able to use my experience as a nurse to help the IT team understand some of the challenges faced by clinicians. If we were able to bring new technology to the bedside that made patient care easier, better or more efficient, that’s what we considered a win!
What perspective can
you bring to students from your time working in the field?
Listen to your end-users! It sounds simple, but often us techie folks want to implement something we think is the best solution because it is new and cool and fun. If no one consults the end-users about their ideas, their fears, or how the technology will mesh with their workflow, it’s a recipe for disaster!
What advice do you
have for students looking to pursue a role in informatics?
Do it! The informatics field is growing with alarming speed, and the healthcare industry is far behind other industries in our collection, sharing, and use of all the data available. I think we are on the precipice of something wonderful!
What’s next for the
field of informatics?
If I had to choose one thing for healthcare informatics, I think I would have to pick Precision Medicine. Precision Medicine is the ability to tailor the healthcare of a patient around all of the individualized information available–genetics, lifestyle, behavioral/mental health, geographical location, and things that we lump into “social determinants of health.” The more information we collect, the easier it is for experts in informatics to use tools like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning to create individualized care plans.
What goals do you
have for the Healthcare Management program? Will there be opportunities for
partnerships and collaborations in the future?
I want to continue offering high-quality, relevant, engaging courses to our students that will prepare them for a wildly successful career in healthcare management. As for collaborations, my specialty area as an informaticist was in ambulatory care. While we want to continue to grow our relationships with hospitals, I think there is a great opportunity to move into the ambulatory care space. Healthcare innovators are working diligently to keep people out of hospitals. It is expensive and less efficient than providing patients with better care before they need to go to the hospital or emergency department. Think about it. Your family doctor probably knows way more about all of the interconnecting pieces that impact your health than the doctor in the ER stitching up your finger after a cooking disaster! I think some opportunities for our students to get into the community to see where healthcare and life intersect would be amazing!