NYU Langone Health's CIO & CDO is focused on creating excellent experiences: Q&A with Nader Mherabi

NYU Langone Health's CIO and CDO is all about creating seamless technological experiences for all, bringing value to the organization and investing in innovative tech. 

Nader Mherabi, NYU Langone's executive vice president and vice dean, chief digital and information officer, oversees all aspects of technology and digital transformation at the No. 8 best hospital, according to the U.S. News & World Report. He spoke to Becker's about his philosophy, the institution's goals and their forward looking investments. 

Editor's note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length

Question: What are some of the goals or initiatives of NYU Langone?

Nader Mherabi: A lot of our focus here a NYU Langone is on operational excellence. We want people to experience digital technology with minimum friction across all kinds of experiences, starting with the patient and their family. We also consider the experiences of our clinicians, researchers, educators and students with technology and always look at what we can do to ensure continuous technological improvements.

Q: How do you approach your role?

NM: My role is to build and bring value to the institution through technology, whether that's making patient care better through a more seamless digital experience; empowering our scientists through technology to make novel discoveries; or enabling our students to better learn through digital technologies. The same philosophy applies to our corporate team. We want to make sure that the information they are working with is secure whether they're at home or onsite. The philosophy that guides us is bringing value and improving productivity and access to care via our institution.

Q: How do you measure how you bring value?

NM: As an organization, we are very metrics and data driven and we use data to help improve patient care and our engagement. For example, we offer an NYU Langone Health app where patients can communicate with clinicians, make follow up appointments, and view test results all in one place.  Using this app, we are able to monitor how many patients per month download and log into our app, as well as what they used it for. When making follow up appointments, we can see how many patients use the app to schedule an appointment instead of calling. Once we have what we call a patient's “metrics experience,” we can evaluate how that translates to their overall experience and satisfaction

Q: What is the philosophy toward collaborations and partnerships, both internally and externally?

NM: Good partnerships are needed both internally and externally to ensure a digital transformation. IT can't do it alone and operations can't do it alone. Instead, we bring together a multidisciplinary team from operations, IT, and other parts of the organization and empower them to work together. We also rely on external partners, like the technology platforms we use, to create a better digital experience. 
Additionally, we innovate with our clinicians. For example, we recently made it possible for our patients who receive their imaging results to have one of our radiologists narrate the result and the image for them in a voiceover video format, rather than wait for their physician to call with the results. Patients really enjoy this because not only do they have the image and results more quickly, but they also hear the radiologist explain the result in a consumer-friendly manner

Q: Your role is both as CIO and CDO? What is the distinction between the two?

NM: Typically, CIOs focus on infrastructure, which is very important, but digital is also important as it connects the dots between technology, operations and care-delivery to create a first-class consumer experience. It's really transitioning the role, in my case, to achieve the institutional goals of transforming digital. I saw it as a natural progression. 

Q: What does the future hold for innovation at NYU Langone? 

NM: We're continuing to focus on improving the digital experience for patients and our employees. We are also investing in AI and predictive analytics to provide real insight into our workforce across the health system. We've also been investing in robotics and automated processes, to marry the power of the bots with AI to create efficiencies and insights for our workforce. We are also strengthening our predictive analytics capabilities and investing in natural language processing technologies. Additionally, we’re harnessing the power of the cloud in a more meaningful way that allows us to scale our operations.

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