Biomedical Informatics Industry
Student Experience in Non-Academic Settings
After completing his master's in medical informatics from Northwestern University in 2010, Chad went to work at Intermountain Healthcare as a software engineer to gain experience in the clinical domain. For the past 5 years, Chad has lead engineering teams in the creation of many critical clinical systems. His work has spanned organ transplantation systems that interface with UNOS and help automated clinician workflow, integrated open-source FHIR-based growth chart applications for the NICU, and redesigned the problem list workflow, which is the current focus of his PhD research.
Chad was an invited speaker at AdvancedMD where he discussed his work around using graph databases to predict problem list entries based on similar patients. He was also awarded the Bruce A Houtchens award in 2015 for his problem list workflow paper he has published at AMIA.
As both a working professional in the field of public health informatics and a PhD student in the University of Utah’s Department of Biomedical Informatics, most of the knowledge and skills I learned were applied immediately in the course of my job. Fundamentals of health care informatics provided grounding in the broad domain of informatics and current events such as “Meaningful Use” and their impact on my day job. Courses in research design, standards, and vocabularies provided background information and skills for grant writing and reporting.
I was able to focus my research on a project of immediate relevance to my career and, now that I am finished, I am working to put my research into practice to improve processes for my employer, the Utah Department of Health. Most importantly, working with many faculty and fellow students over the years, I was able to broaden my network of peers in Utah and beyond. Many of my fellow students are now my colleagues in partner organizations throughout the state.
I participated in a collaborative project with System Made Simple (SMS). The BMI courses prepared me with an understanding of health IT standards. These standards form the cornerstones of health IT systems’ interoperability. At SMS, I helped create some test data that comply with these standards to test a healthcare information management system under development.
This experience gave me hands-on exercises using standards in real world, which in turn which helped me gain much deeper understanding. In addition, this project lead me to think about research ideas from industrial perspective, which are similar but slightly different to academic oriented ones. I also enjoyed discussing these ideas with SMS colleagues and my supervisors at BMI. It was a great experience to work with SMS.
I am a BMI student and I have been working as a part time employee in the Information Technology Service (ITS) of University of Utah Health for the past several years. This position offers me great opportunities to participate a variety of different projects in real clinical settings with the focus of data warehouse and clinical decision support.
These real-world experiences have helped me to learn the reality of clinical data, understand clinical work flow and explore different EHR systems. Most importantly, this opportunity has allowed me to implement informatics solutions in operational environment to improve health care, which I am always trying to pursue.
Jingran spent the summer of 2015 at the Mayo Clinic working in the Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery. She completed a project to predict diabetic patients using EHR data and recommends the internship experience to other students.