Dirk Stanley, MD, MPH, is a board-certified hospitalist, informaticist, workflow designer, and CMIO 

Dr. Stanley is the Chief Medical Information Officer of UConn Health. A native of Hartsdale NY, and a proud father and husband, he is board-certified in both Internal Medicine and Clinical Informatics. He is a passionate patient safety advocate, workflow designer, and social media ambassador, and has won acclaim for his redesign of high-risk clinical workflows. He is also the recipient of the New England HIMSS 2010 Physician of the Year award. His musings on clinical Informatics and workflow design can be found on his blog

Clinicians Role in Health IT

Very often physicians go to medical school to learn how to treat disease. We don’t learn so much about healthcare operations workflow design or EMR configuration. By being a physician who does both, I help empower teams of physicians to play an active role and not a passive role in our configurations. I also represent all the nurses, pharmacists and other clinicians. Healthcare is a team sport, and we all need to work together to take good care of the patients.

Overcoming Challenges in Healthcare

As a physician, I think the main barrier is just time. It’s making sure that there are some physicians who have both the time and the expertise to create solutions that can really deliver that great measure. Sometimes it can feel challenging, it can feel daunting like you’re swimming in a vast ocean of administrators’ regulations, and things that don’t seem to fit together. And, you just want to take care of the patient but what I can tell you is it is getting better. The right conversations are happening. It’s important for young physicians especially to be involved, actually go to those quality meetings and participate in the project.

The more physicians are engaged and participate in developing solutions, the less it feels like healthcare is happening to you. The more it feels like you’re helping to steer healthcare and drive change. I had that feeling myself and I’ve learned how to turn things around, how to take bad situations or bad workflows or bad whatever and create awesomeness. And once you feel that sense of control, then you don’t have a sense of frustration, helplessness, and burnout that a lot of physicians have.

This interview was recorded at Expo.Health Conference