Michele Lauria, MD, MS
Chief Medical Information Officer
Dr. Michele Lauria became EMHS’ first chief medical information officer in 2015. Her job is to work closely with clinical and business disciplines to embed informatics and analytics into care processes and clinical service planning. This involves making sure information systems are well-designed, easy to use, and provide the right information at the right time so that patient care can be delivered effectively and efficiently. EMHS’ information systems should enable the understanding of data in ways that help EMHS continuously identify ways to improve outcomes.
The road to here
Before coming to EMHS, Michele was the associate medical director for information services at Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire and Professor of Obstetrics & Gynecology and Radiology. She is board-certified in clinical informatics, maternal fetal medicine and obstetrics and gynecology. She says that throughout her career she has enjoyed teaching and working collaboratively with teams to solve a problem and find opportunities to continuously improve healthcare delivery.
Make it easy to do the right thing by providing the right information to the right person at the right time.
Seventeen years ago, over lunch with a colleague at an institution who directly competed with Dr. Lauria’s institution, she discussed how hard it was to collect and display data on healthcare processes and outcomes. Without good data, it is hard to know if the changes you make to care delivery are beneficial or harmful, she said. “We decided to jointly develop a web-based registry for obstetrical care. Eight hospitals now use the registry. We also began a quality improvement organization, which used data from the registry to identify areas where care could be improved.” This organization, called the Northern New England Preinatal Quality Improvement Network (NNEPQIN), now has more than 40 members who use the data to identify process and outcome measures with significant variation between organizations and then asks what the leading organizations are doing to succeed. Success stories are combined with the national literature to create pragmatic care guidelines, which define the basic care that every patient needs to receive every time. The guidelines also point out the areas where care processes must be tailored to the care setting and include tools that have been used by successful organizations to address the medical issue described in the guideline. “During this journey, I have learned that every organization, no matter how big or small, does something really well and also does something poorly,” she said. “We can learn from each other if we engage in open and respectful dialogue. Everyone has something important to contribute. Together, we will always be stronger.”
What she is trying to do
Michele said that her goal at EMHS is to improve information systems so that it is easy to provide effective and efficient care to the patient in front of us and to the population as a whole. This entails implementing excellent user interfaces to both collect and display clinical data during patient care. It also includes crafting easily accessible and interpretable reports on aggregate measures of care processes and outcomes to help us better care for the population. Enabling patients to see and interact with their health information is an important part of putting them at the center of their care.