How innovation takes root through fellowship, MEDITECH leaders and ACHDM fellows weigh in

November 2, 2023 |  C-level, Healthcare IT, Transformative Technology


If you’re like me, you’re amazed by how quickly the healthcare landscape has shifted over these last few years. There is no doubt that these are challenging times as healthcare organizations grapple with workforce shortages, declining reimbursement, and countless other obstacles. But one thing I’ve always appreciated about this industry is that we, as healthcare professionals, always find a means to rise above our challenges. 

It’s during times like these when innovation shines the brightest. Artificial intelligence, virtual nursing, hospital at home — these concepts are now blossoming as we look for more efficient ways of providing quality patient care while reducing the burden on clinicians. But as we all explore new ways to innovate, there is one common ingredient that is necessary for our collective success: fellowship.

As leaders, it is critical that we learn from one another and collectively build upon what we have learned. Healthcare organizations, vendors, government agencies, and industry bodies all have valuable insight to share, and it's through fellowship that all the best and brightest ideas come together to reshape the way we provide care.

This summer, five of my colleagues and I were fortunate to be accepted as fellows into the American College of Health Data Management — a society where we can expand professional relationships and share industry perspectives and ideas. Now over a hundred fellows strong, ACHDM provides me the opportunity to connect with like-minded peers, gain meaningful insight and knowledge, and contribute to the conversation alongside other healthcare leaders. My perspectives are now published on Health Data Management’s website, and more importantly, I’m gathering insight from other published contributors. 

We can all find value in fellowship, whether through organizations like ACHDM, or in our everyday leadership roles. I asked the five other MEDITECH leaders selected to reflect upon what fellowship meant to them and where they have found the most value. Here’s what they shared:

Helen Waters, Executive Vice President & COO

“Fellowship is crucial to success in healthcare. As leaders, it is important for us to share our experiences and learn from each other. At MEDITECH, we believe in open innovation — an EHR platform that can easily work with other vendor products to achieve the customer’s current and future goals. That openness also extends to our partnerships with customers and other technology companies. These collaborations are important because we are all so much more efficient when we are working and growing our knowledge together.”

Catherine Turner, RN, Chief Marketing and Nursing Executive

“Working with nurse leaders across the country, in collaboration with AONL, ANIA, and the CNO/CNIO HIMSS Roundtable,  we recognize the need to leverage technology to the advantage of patients and the nurses that care for them. The traditional paradigm of the nurse at the bedside is only one of many care delivery models, as virtual nursing, hospital at home, and smart rooms are now becoming embraced. We are just at the tip of the iceberg in leveraging AI to reduce the documentation burden for clinicians so they can spend more time with patients which is the reason they entered this profession to begin with. I am honored to work with our customers who recognize how technology can provide safe and efficient workflows, as well as help engage the patient and their family as part of the care team, to positively impact care outcomes.”

Dr. Andy Burchett, Executive Director of Medical Informatics

“Being a practicing physician and also a director at MEDITECH, I’ve learned so much from both the EHR user and the developer perspectives. Having an open dialogue between healthcare professionals and technology vendors is essential because each role has unique information that the other needs in order to be successful. No one knows a physician or nurse’s pain points like the clinicians themselves. And EHR vendors know the best ways to optimize their systems, to get the most out of the technology and address those challenges. Bringing those different viewpoints together benefits all of us in the long-term, and in the short-term, too.”   

Mike Cordeiro, Senior Director, Interoperability Market & Product Strategy

“It’s often said that competition drives innovation. But it could also hamper innovation, if you’re not careful. That’s why it’s important to know when to put aside our differences and work in fellowship with other technology companies — be it friend or foe — to solve complex challenges with data information exchange. Some of my proudest moments were those when I could help bridge this divide and collaborate with other EHR vendors and technology companies to help define an agreed-upon set of interoperability standards. When we put the patient first in everything we do, and engage our competitors as allies in this goal, there is no limit to where our innovation can take us.”

Kate Jenkins-Brown, Ed.D., Product Manager, Population Health and Care Management

“Fellowship provides an opportunity for individuals with unique perspectives to come together and unite their knowledge and strengths in the pursuit of a common cause. When that cause is addressing inequities in healthcare, the need to embrace alternative perspectives is paramount. Fellowship fosters an environment of conversational exchange that helps us all to identify unconscious biases and work constructively for positive change.”

No one can or should try to face the challenges of our industry alone. The lives of clinicians and patients depend on all of us working together to make it happen. I’m proud to stand with my colleagues and other leaders as we leverage the power of fellowship to reach our goals and make the healthcare space a better place for everyone. 

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Written by Rachel Wilkes, Director, Marketing, MEDITECH

Rachel Wilkes is the Director of Corporate Brand and Lead Generation Marketing at MEDITECH. She oversees MEDITECH's corporate communications, branding, events and market research, and serves as executive sponsor of MEDITECH’s generative AI efforts. Over the course of her MEDITECH career, she has also served in various roles in Marketing and strategic Product Management. Rachel is a Certified Product Manager and holds an MBA from Bryant University.