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As the new chief data informatics officer at Geisinger, David Vawdrey sees his role as helping to drive innovation in the use of electronic health information, ensuring that it flows seamlessly across the enterprise.

Geisinger is a leading innovator when it comes leveraging electronic health records, data analytics and personalized medicine for the more than 1.5 million patients in Pennsylvania and New Jersey that the organization serves through 13 hospital campuses, a nearly 600,000-member health plan and two research centers.

“One of the secret sauces at Geisinger is really that integrated delivery network,” says Vawdrey. “It represents a very significant commitment to informatics, data science and analytics for Geisinger to have a senior-level position of this nature.”

Vawdrey, who is charged with harmonizing data across Geisinger’s clinical care, research and health plan, previously led NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Value Institute and its 200-plus-member team responsible for enterprise analytics, quality measurement, and electronic health record integration.

David Vawdrey

He contends that the advanced data infrastructure at Geisinger is unrivalled, given its nearly “25 years of electronic health records” combined with the MyCode Community Health Initiative, a precision medicine effort that includes more than 215,000 participants enrolled.

Also See: Geisinger taps EHR, genomics to identify high-risk patients

“We want to leverage these data assets and the workflow integration that is possible only when you have a foundation like this—and to do something that matters,” adds Vawdrey. “The challenge is translational—in other words, how do you get the right information to the right person at the right time so they can make a better decision.”

At the same time, he cautions that Geisinger’s goal is not to implement technologies for technology’s sake, but rather to adopt transformational solutions and delivery models that ultimately benefit patient care.

“The real commitment is not to artificial intelligence or machine learning—these buzzwords that come and go—but to healthcare transformation, making care better, more affordable, more accessible and higher quality,” concludes Vawdrey.


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