After graduating from Queens University in 1999, I began my nursing career at SickKids Hospital in Toronto and fell in love with pediatrics. I spent my first eight years specializing in trauma and neurosciences when I then had the opportunity to join a hospital informatics project team for the implementation of a new EMR system. From there I was hooked on informatics! Don’t get me wrong, the transition was scary at first as I went from speaking my familiar clinical language to being in a foreign world of IT and clinical systems language. I quickly learned there was a whole other side to hospital operations that provided the systems and devices I needed to perform patient care. Joining this project early gave me the opportunity to experience the process of project needs assessments, analyst build, testing, training, change management, implementation, and finally followed by support and optimization. My love for teaching and supporting staff at the bedside translated nicely as a member of the hospital’s Informatics Education Team which consisted of nurses who all had several years of prior clinical experience at the hospital. We worked closely with our Information Technology (IT) Team, Informatics Nurse – Application Specialists (analysts), Project Managers, Clinical Managers, Educators, and Departments requiring our education services and consultations. I had the opportunity to develop curriculum and blended training programs for various clinical systems used hospital wide.
I have had various informatics opportunities over the years including demonstrating our HIS/EMR (Health Information System/Electronic Medical Record) workflows to eHealth Ontario, various Ontario Hospitals, international health ministry visitors, our non-clinical IT teams, and was a co-presenter at an Ontario Nursing Informatics Group (ONIG) Education Day. I spent several years as Co-Chair for the hospital’s Clinical Informatics and Technology Group and represented the hospital’s Informatics Nurses on the executive Nursing Leadership Committee. A few years ago, I joined the hospital’s project team for our largest implantation of our biggest integrated EMR to date, Epic! Alas, this is where I find myself today, in the trenches of Epic informatics advocating, building, and teaching my way towards improved workflows and efficiencies to our clinicians while bringing the safest and best possible care solutions to our pediatric patients!