New Stanford Health Care CIO Oversees Covid-19 Support, Digital Transformation

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Michael Pfeiffer leads 900’s IT team aimed at providing ‘hi-tech, high-touch care’

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Stanford Health Care is part of a larger medical enterprise called Stanford Medicine, which includes two Stanford Health Care hospitals, Stanford Children’s Health, two outpatient clinical networks, and the Stanford University School of Medicine. Stanford Medicine employs more than 22,000 physicians, nurses and other staff and is widely regarded as one of the nation’s premier medical institutions.

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Dr. Pfeiffer takes on the responsibility of driving the organization’s digital transformation by supporting front-line staff caring for COVID-19 patients. Stanford Health Care is currently treating nearly two dozen COVID-19 patients and says it has provided care to more than 2,200 since the start of the pandemic.

Dr. Pfeiffer, who specializes in internal medicine, will help him meet the challenges.

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He leads a team called Technology and Digital Solutions, which has approximately 900 IT personnel, and supports Stanford Health Care and the School of Medicine. He also directs Stanford Health Care’s IT strategy and oversees its systems and networks.

During the pandemic, Stanford Health Care’s TDS team upgraded electronic health systems with new COVID-19 care plans and enhanced the organization’s telemedicine capabilities, providing more than 2,500 caregivers with new or upgraded computers on which television can be operated. Stanford Health Care, which had about 1,000 video visits in February 2020, was operating about 70,000 two months later.

TDS is also supporting digital transformation, which aims to create an organization that Dr. Pfeiffer calls “hi-tech, high-touch care.”

“It’s really about changing the way we care for patients, the way we teach our students, the way we care for populations, the way we do biomedical research,” said Dr. Pfeffer said.

As part of the transformation effort, TDS deployed a system developed by Stanford Medicine researchers called the Clinical Informatics Consult Service, which helps doctors make clinical-care decisions. Doctors enter anonymized patient information, including their diagnosis, and the system uses advanced analytics to evaluate that data and look at previous hospital procedures, prescriptions, clinical notes, and other records to suggest a patient care plan. Compare it to the store.

Dr. Pfeiffer cited two keys to successfully balancing a digital transformation with ongoing IT support services.

“You have to have a really talented IT organization. That’s the first step, people who are flexible and dedicated—and passionate about what they do. And we have that here,” he said. A very strong association with.”

Dr. Pfeiffer meets daily with Stanford health care leaders, including the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Operating Officer, to help the organization decide how to target resources. Hospital supplies, testing sites and other issues are discussed.

“We’ve gotten really good about being able to allocate resources on the fly,” he said.

Earlier this year, the group coordinated the establishment of more than half a dozen Stanford Health Care COVID-19 mass vaccination sites. IT supplied the infrastructure and systems to operate facilities, manage vaccine supplies, schedule patients, and report metrics to external government agencies.

Strategic advisor Tim Crawford, CIO of Los Angeles-based consulting firm AVOA, said supporting digital transformation and the pandemic is no easy task.

“It is important to be able to manage COVID patients and adapt and scale accordingly to deliver really solid patient care and patient experience,” he said. “And doing so, in the midst of any kind of digital transformation, is challenging.” Mr Crawford said prioritizing activities such as building an IT service and ensuring teams are on the same page are the two constraints.

John McCormick [email protected] . Feather


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