Myra Davis Defines Innovation at Texas Children’s Hospital

Before joining Texas Children’s Hospital over twenty years ago, Myra Davis spent years in IT consulting. While she loved what she did, she wanted to work for an organization that allowed her to make a difference. Texas Children’s was the perfect place.

“I had never been in healthcare before, but once I was hired, I never looked back,” says Davis, who serves as chief information innovation officer for one of the top children’s hospitals in the country. “Every day was a new day; the mission attracted me and became more infectious over time. Who doesn’t want to contribute or be part of making kids better? Now, it’s kids and women, so all the more infectious the mission becomes.”

Davis has had the chance to make contributions in several roles of progressive responsibility. She started her Texas Children’s journey in 2003 as director of customer support. She was brought in as the industry shifted to electronic medical records—and as the hospital built support structures to prepare for that transition. From there, she helped expand the project management office as vice president of information services and oversaw the development of world-class data centers as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO).

In 2019, Davis took on the title of chief innovation officer to supplement her CIO role at the request of CEO Mark Wallace, which gave her an opportunity to “define innovation” for the hospital. Currently, she oversees an IT organization of 520 that consists of teams focused on data and analytics, medical device integration, and process reengineering. She also heads up the hospital’s newly established, multidisciplinary Innovation Hub. The unique combination has made for unique opportunities.

“Really, it has been a chance to promote the fact that innovation is everyone’s responsibility. I’m here to foster it, encourage it, and engage with the possibilities, whether it’s through data, understanding workflows, or leveraging technology,” she says. “But our organization is filled with really smart people with great ideas. My colleagues and I at the Innovation Hub take those ideas, put structure around them, and accelerate them through our organizational processes.”

The innovation process starts with a problem statement that allows employees in the hospital to articulate their needs, their challenges, and how technology could address them. That not only facilitates dialogue between IT and their partners but empowers them in more ways than one, Davis says.

“It allows us to rationalize the technologies we have in place and shed light on whether the problems we’re trying to solve have anything to do with technology,” she explains. “We want to empower our partners to have a business conversation with us about how to solve problems and empower us all to share goals.”

Out of that process, Davis and her team have implemented an ERP solution used by the supply chain, finance, and HR teams. They have also set up a virtual care clinic, a cyberprogram, and a self-serving platform that allows employees to access critical data.

Myra Davis Texas Children’s Hospital
Photo by Allen S. Kramer

Building critical IT infrastructure, spearheading digital transformation efforts, and promoting innovation are just a few of the many highlights of Davis’s tenure at Texas Children’s. But by far, her biggest accomplishment has been the growth of her team, which has increased by hundreds of members since she started in the early aughts.

“Some have gone on to become leaders, CIOs, and executives,” she says. “Other leaders have come from other industries [like] oil and gas or energy and made the decision to be part of our mission. It shows that there are still people out there who want to work for a cause and not just financial gain. I’m really proud of that.”

As a leader, Davis believes in having accountable and successful partnerships with her staff and colleagues outside her department. “That means it’s bidirectional,” she explains. “Yes, we provide a service, but it goes both ways. I should have a transparent conversation with you when our dialogue isn’t meeting our needs, and you should do the same.”

She also believes that strong and successful teams are the product of diverse individuals.

“As someone whose background wasn’t originally in healthcare, I recognized that you need talent in order to support an organization of this size, scope, and depth,” Davis says. “I’m proud of the talent I was willing to hire outside of [the healthcare] industry. The lesson learned there is to just open yourself up and be willing to do that.”

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Texas Children’s Hospital (TCH) is recognized as one of America’s best. With Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) as a key strategic partner, they’ve been able to push the boundaries of healthcare technology. This powerful alliance is driven in part by Myra Davis, Texas Children’s Chief Information and Innovation Officer.

Crossing multiple disciplines, TCH and HPE are tackling the ever-growing challenge of managing vast amounts of medical data, which is key to unlocking new possibilities in patient care, research, and personalized medicine.

This collaboration showcases how the use of AI and analytics is leading to a brighter future. A future where a patient’s complete medical history is securely accessible, and where researchers can analyze vast data sets to identify new treatments for childhood diseases. This is the future HPE and TCH are building together.

The Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Texas Children’s Hospital partnership illustrates how technology can revolutionize healthcare. With Myra Davis at the helm, this collaboration will help significantly improve the lives of countless children across the globe.

The post Myra Davis Defines Innovation at Texas Children’s Hospital appeared first on American Healthcare Leader.

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