Why CalvertHealth's Melissa Hall is creating 'data warehouses'

Melissa Hall, BSN, MSN, RN, serves as CIO at CalvertHealth Medical Center in Frederick, Md. 

Ms. Hall will be on the keynote panel "Leveling the Playing Field for Women in Healthcare and IT" at Becker's 7th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle, which will take place in Chicago from Oct. 4-7.

To learn more about the conference and Ms. Hall's session, click here.

Question: What are your top priorities today?

Ms. Hall: I feel like I have so many top priorities that it is difficult to keep track of them.

Cybersecurity – I am sure that everyone agrees with this one.

Aging Technology – My team has been actively working on replacing all our 2008 servers and now we must shift our focus to 2012.

Improved patient access – We are working on having one electronic health record between the hospital and the ambulatory practices. 

Staff retention – Keeping our staff is a challenge, and trying to attract new, experienced talent is difficult due to our proximity to multiple organizations and the federal government.

Q: How are you thinking about growth in the next two years?

MH: I am trying to take a multi-faceted approach:

Staff education/retention – I have made it a priority to ensure that our teams are being educated on best practices and advancements in the field so our organization continues to move forward with what we can provide to both patients and staff. Their ability to be agile is going to be vital in the next couple of years as we continue to improve our systems.

Data Analytics – Due to the size of our organization, we have been challenged when it comes to data management, meaning we don’t have a standardized approach when pulling the data. I have tasked my data team with building a "data warehouse" to help us put some governance in place and improve our reporting capabilities. I expect that over the next two years, we will have expanded this service to the entire organization.

Patient facing technology – With the implementation of one single EHR, I expect to be able to expand our ability to capture and ingest patient-reported information. We have not had this opportunity in the past, and I think it will be a big satisfier for our providers and patients. 

Optimization of Technology – We will be looking to implement other pieces of our EHR options so that, as we expand our services within the organization, our medical record is able to keep up and adjust accordingly. 

Cybersecurity – I will continue to work on expanding our cybersecurity team and applications so that we are able to improve how we monitor and audit our systems.

Q: Where is the best opportunity to disrupt traditional healthcare today?

MH: As a nurse and family nurse practitioner who is working in information technology, I can see the disruption happening all over the place. But I believe the best opportunities we have here at my organization are the following:

Consumer-centered care – This piece is getting larger and larger as we have learned that telehealth is here to stay. By being able to make healthcare available at any time and any place, we have changed the arena in a way that was not being considered prior to the pandemic. It was one of the first times that I observed traditional healthcare be agile and willing to change very quickly. 

EHR and big data – The changes in what we report and how we report it will continue to drive how we deliver healthcare going forward. The security requirements around the data will force us to constantly change how we approach capturing and storing the data. 

Q: What are you most excited about for the future?

MH: As a clinician, I am excited to see how far we can push the boundaries with the Internet of Things and AI. These two advancements have the potential to change the way we interact with our patients. The idea that almost every piece of their health can be uploaded and easily digested by the medical record is amazing to me. This means that I can spend more time with my patient discussing the important pieces and improving our relationship.

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