Current Affiliation: Director, Informatics Strategy, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York
BS, Nursing, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
MS, Nursing Informatics, Columbia University, New York
How do I describe my work to those outside the field …
I generally say that I serve as the bridge between the information technology folk in the hospital and the clinicians, and I help to translate back and forth. That’s my quick response. My longer response is more along the lines of assisting with clinical work flows using technology. Now, I am starting to work more in the area of assisting patients with their work flows in using health information technology. I do a lot of work in piloting health care apps to patients. I study how the patients are using the apps, what’s working for them in changing their health care behaviors, and then I do a bit of work on the clinical work flow side, collecting data. Essentially through those health care apps I am looking for how we can use these patient generated data to assist our clinicians and their work flows. It’s a new area for me because when I first started over 10 years ago, it was more about how can we implement clinical systems for the providers? How can we make sure the doctors and the nurses know how to use the systems? How is it fitting into their workflows? How is technology helping with efficiencies and patient outcomes? That is where my work in informatics started and now I feel over the last few years it has started to shift. Since I am a nurse, I can bring that patient perspective to our work in informatics in considering what data can we collect as we nurses engage patients, and then how can we use those data in our clinical work flows to then translate into knowledge and wisdom.
Years of experience:
While working as a nursing instructor, technology really became a factor in our work and our hospitals. I realized very quickly as I was educating staff that my nurses were very busy, and wondered how I could get information to them in small snippets, first of all, and second of all, how I could increase their access to education. I wasn’t able to grab them all at once and teach them, so as a result, I began to look at computer-based teaching for the nurses. It was at that time I recognized that technology can really help us in the workplace. Then as electronic documentation started, I already had some knowledge from my computer-based teaching, so I decided to go back to graduate school and pursue informatics as a career. That’s when the light bulb went off for me, realizing the importance of what technology and data can do to empower clinicians and make a difference in patient care.
What are your ambitions? At the end of your career, what do you hope to have accomplished?
I want to make an impact on nursing, specifically, to bring a strong nursing voice to the field of informatics. Also I am very interested in bringing patient-generated data and environmental data into the healthcare setting by including the social and behavioral aspects of health and life - using data and technology to really connect with the patient’s life as a whole. I think in healthcare a lot of what we do is episodic, it’s very focused on what is going on during that clinical visit or during that inpatient stay. I’d love to see my work impact the intersections of illness, wellness and prevention.
Who or what are your “key sources” in the informatics field?
AMIA is a tremendous source of wealth. I am constantly learning and rely on my colleagues and their research to stay up to date because it is an area that is moving so quickly. So from an academic and research perspective, I think it is very important. I also consider Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI) to be a key source because it provides the opportunity to collaborate across numerous nursing informatics groups to provide a unified voice for nursing informatics. Through the ANI emerging leaders program, I was provided a thoughtful, insightful mentor, Susan Hull, who continues to be a tremendous source of support for me in the field. And last but not least, I’m fortunate to have Dr. Gil Kuperman as the best coworker to provide regular guidance and to answer all of my burning informatics questions.
Articles that spotlight my research interest …
Sheehan B, Lee YJ, Rodriguez M, Tiase V, Schnall R. A Comparison of Usability Factors of Four Mobile Devices for Accessing Healthcare Information by Adolescents. Appl Clin Inform, 2012;3(4):356-366,(PMID: 23227134)
Lucero, R., Sheehan, B., Yen, P., Velez, O., Nobile-Hernandez, D., & Tiase, V. (2014): Identifying Consumer’s Needs of Health Information Technology through an Innovative Participatory Design Approach among English- and Spanish-speaking Urban Older Adults. Appl Clin Inform. 5(4),943-957.
Prey, JF., Polubriaginof, F., Kuperman, G.J., Tiase, V., Collins, S.A. & Vawdrey, DK. (2016). International perspectives on sharing clinical data with patients. International Journal of Medical Informatics. 86; 135-141.
Hobbies/Interests outside AMIA ...
My very big hobby is that I am an elite triathlete and regularly compete in Ironman triathlons. I also am a triathlon coach, which gives a unique perspective because I have a bird’s eye view of what data athletes are collecting in their everyday lives. That helps me in my work life to make the connection and understand the potential of what we can do with this performance and health data. All of my athletes are required to submit heart rate and power data from their workouts. I have them enter data on their sleep patterns, and the food that they are eating, so it is bringing that exercise, wellness, prevention piece into the health realm. The more data the better!
AMIA is important to me because ...
One, it helps with understanding the latest in the field - staying up to date on research. And then there is a camaraderie with like-minded individuals, people who want to learn, people who want to research and be curious. I think that’s the neat piece about AMIA. One of my most favorite things is I organize an informal run at AMIA which I’ve been doing for the past 10 years which is always a fun way to get that camaraderie going and chat informally about what we are doing in a non-lecture, non-conference, relaxed setting.
I am involved with AMIA ...
I serve on the leadership team for the Nursing Informatics Working group, and I also serve as an AMIA mentor for new students coming into the field.
It may surprise people to know ...
I lived in Spain for a summer so I am proficient in Spanish. I’m not completely fluent, but people are always surprised that I can pick up when they are speaking Spanish. I’m also a huge trivia buff, and I’ve been trying to get on Jeopardy. It’s a multi-year plan.