From computer geek to IT guru
Dr. Davis Lee, unlike many physician informaticists, was a bit of a computer geek before becoming a doc. Lee attended Stanford University as an undergraduate, hung out with the bits and bytes crowd there and took “a bunch” of computer classes before deciding on a career in medicine.
After medical school and specialty training as a pediatric hospitalist, Lee arrived at Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital in Whittier, Calif., in 2006, just as it was planning the switch to an electronic health-record system. He jumped at the chance to combine his career choice with his old digital love and volunteered for committee work.
In 2008, he was named the 444-bed hospital’s first director of medical informatics. That same year, the hospital began “a rapid, rapid” health implementation cycle, “from CPOE to integrating the pharmacy system, nursing and physician documentation,” the works, Lee says.
In 2010, the affiliated physician group joined the hospital to create an integrated delivery system. In 2012, Lee, since elevated to chief medical information officer, and the renamed system PIH Health, began extending an ambulatory EHR to them, replacing an old “legacy” EHR some used with a new one.
The hospital, beginning in 2011, and continuing in 2012, as well as every ambulatory-care physician who had access to an EHR—58 providers in 16 offices—attested to meeting the Stage 1 meaningful-use criteria.
Much work remains, says the 35-year-old, who’s a 2013 recipient of an AMDIS Award from the Association of Medical Directors of Information Systems. In ambulatory care, “We still have another year to go to get the remaining 15 offices and 80 providers” up and running on EHRs, he says.
At the hospital, plans are to implement a bar code medication administration system and set up a data warehouse, Lee says. Those two projects stand between PIH and its goal of attaining Stage 7, the highest level in the health IT certification process developed by HIMSS Analytics, a unit of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society.
The hospital also plans to add a patient portal. “It’s really about patient engagement,” Lee says. “With our organization growing as big as it is, we want them to go to one place to look up their records and information, whether they’re in ambulatory, inpatient or home health.”