'No better time' to work in tech, says Mass General Brigham's Jane Moran

Jane Moran brought a range of IT leadership experience to Somerville, Mass.-based Mass General Brigham when she became its inaugural chief information and digital officer in September 2021.

Ms. Moran was previously a global CIO for consumer goods giant Unilever and media conglomerate Thomson Reuters. She also serves on the board of directors of JPMorgan Europe.

In her year-plus at the Mass General Brigham, she has worked to boost virtual care and the health system's digital front door experience, collaborating with such big names as Epic, Amazon and Google along the way.

Becker's recently did an email Q&A with Ms. Moran about her successes — and challenges — thus far, and what ideas she brought to healthcare from other industries.

Question: What attracted you to the role at Mass General Brigham?

Jane Moran: Mass General Brigham's breadth, reputation, transformational vision, and its purposeful focus on areas such as equity and sustainability attracted me to this role.

Healthcare is in a period of massive disruption, and I see vast opportunity to better deploy digital capabilities and technology in the healthcare sector. This is an exciting period of transformation for Mass General Brigham as we work to become the integrated academic healthcare system of the future.

I was also excited to live in the Boston area. After spending over 14 years working in London, it is fun to be back in this vibrant and growing city where I'm close to both my sons who attend colleges nearby!

Q: How is your role different from a traditional hospital or health system CIO?

JM: As chief information and digital officer, I'm focused on using digital technology to make the experiences of our patients, care teams, researchers and employees better.

My role includes supporting our core technology, like our networks and core systems. It also includes identifying and implementing new digital capabilities through partnerships with some of the best technology companies in the world as well as using some of the new emerging technologies we have in healthcare.

The three key pieces of our digital transformation are:

— Focusing on our stakeholder experiences. Our mission is to better serve all Mass General Brigham patients and 80,000-plus employees with improved experiences through digital capabilities. In prioritizing the experiences our stakeholders need, we in turn focus on the right technical capabilities.

For our patients, this includes things like being able to easily book appointments online and finding the right clinician. For our care teams, we are focused on using technology to reduce their administrative burden so they can, in turn, spend more time with our patients. For our researchers, we are aiming to provide the digital platforms to help compute and analyze data that could ultimately provide breakthrough cures.

Last, but not least, for our employees we are providing better tools to make them more efficient, productive and happy while they are doing their jobs.

— Building our platforms. We are in the progress of building the modern technology platforms necessary to deliver on this digital mission. Our platforms are an interconnected set of technologies that support our patients, care teams, researchers and employees. We also have platforms for data, infrastructure and cybersecurity.

— Improving our enterprise technology architecture. Just as having the right architecture is essential in building a physical structure like a house, having the right architecture for our technology platforms is paramount. We are working to improve and modernize our technology architecture while, in parallel, delivering new digital capabilities.

Q: What has the transition to healthcare been like for you, and what lessons have you taken from other industries you've worked in?

JM: There's no better time to be in the field of technology. I spent the bulk of my career delivering technology for the finance and banking sectors, though my seven years at Unilever helped me to develop a deep appreciation for improving the consumer experience.

There are no better standards for modern technology architecture and innovation than in banking, and my digital consumer experience helps me to apply my learnings to deliver the best possible patient experience.

The transition has been a combination of a lot of work, learning, and a bit of fun. I've learned some important lessons from my past work experiences, the most important being that you need to see your users in action — actually watch them use the technology that they need to do their jobs. I've spent many hours over the last 15 months following Mass General Brigham clinicians, researchers and employees around and asking them questions about what works and what doesn't.

At Mass General Brigham we also have patient advisory meetings I've attended to get firsthand accounts from our patients. I've learned what they like about the systems they need to interact with, mostly Patient Gateway [the system's Epic MyChart patient portal] — what needs to improve and what new digital capabilities they would like.

Q. What have been the major health IT/digital health challenges you're encountered so far, and how have you overcome them?

JM: As the largest employer and largest health system in Massachusetts, Mass General Brigham's institutions have been self-reliant in regard to technology delivery, which has presented challenges like duplicative technology, inequitable spread of resources, and capabilities in our hospitals that need to be addressed.

Implementing and supporting future-proof digital capabilities plays an important role in bringing our academic medical centers (Boston-based Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital), community hospitals, specialty hospitals, ambulatory care and urgent care onto shared technology to better serve our patients, our research needs and our community. By becoming platform-based, we're enabling better cross-functionality across our system.

Q. What health IT/digital health innovations in your time at Mass General Brigham are you most proud of?

JM: We kicked off critical work for engaging patients at every major touchpoint of the patient journey — using technology familiar to most patients — to allow them to seamlessly interact with our healthcare system. In 2022, we focused on the following key programs of work, all involving key technology partnerships:

— We went live in August with a new MGB.org website redesign, built on Adobe, that modernized the site, and improved the overall look, feel and navigation.

— Our new customer relationship-enabled contact center using Salesforce went live in October and helps improve the patient experience in terms of speed to answer, calls handled, and scheduling appointments.

— Through Epic, our electronic health record system, we implemented patient self-scheduling at the end of September to allow our patients to schedule their own appointments.

— Our virtual urgent care capability, built on DexCare, went live at the end of October.

— Also in October, we further enhanced our virtual visit capability using Zoom.

— Our enterprise asset management dashboards went live for nine of our institutions this past fall. Built on Snowflake and Microsoft technologies, these dashboards help our institutions' administrators improve operations.

In 2023, we are looking forward to building on these platforms and:

— Enhancing our researcher experience through improved compute and data management with partners like Nuance, Nvidia, Informatica and more.

— Improving all data access and management capabilities through partnerships with Microsoft, Google, Amazon Web Services, and Snowflake.

— Improving the management of technology services through the implementation of ServiceNow.

— Improving the employee experience through upgrades to Microsoft's Office 365 suite and Workday.

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