Texas Children's is building a 'startup culture' with innovation, tech at the forefront

Myra Davis became the CIO and chief innovation officer at Texas Children's Hospital in 2019, overseeing a culture change to promote new ideas within the largest pediatric center in the nation.

In a Forbes article, Ms. Davis outlined how she has been able to promote "outside-the-box" thinking since her tenure began more than a year ago and how the hospital was able to overcome challenges during the pandemic. Ms. Davis was co-leader of the hospital's telehealth efforts and leveraged technology to "reinvent" patient interactions.

A few key initiatives include:

1. Transitioning the process for insurance information gathering from in-person before the visit to online through the digital portal patients can use to register for appointments.

2. Implementing technology to take temperatures upon entering the facilities.

3. Placing QR codes on mobile devices for digital patient transfer.

Prior to the pandemic, Ms. Davis had begun changing the culture by launching an innovation hub for employees to share ideas about how to improve healthcare delivery and held "idea rallies" to solicit suggestions. She also developed an innovation advisory group that included physicians, the chief nursing officer and general counsel to review promising ideas, including one to automate low-value administrative processes.

The project so far with the best potential is an investment Texas Children's made in Configo Health, which aims to develop a pediatric patient data repository. Ms. Davis also wants to see small ideas succeed going forward. "We're building a startup culture internally and that's going to take time," she said.

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