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Innovative IT Strategies Behind Jefferson’s Honickman Center

 3 min read

While Jefferson’s Vice President of IT Strategy Andrea Mancaruso has been with Jefferson for close to a quarter of a century, her Honickman Center journey began in 2019. “I have a background in infrastructure technology, which makes building projects fit perfectly into my wheelhouse,” she says. “I have direct oversight over all IT technologies that are developed and rolled into the building.”

“My role is to make sure that technology is designed, installed, functions properly, and solves problems throughout the building,” she explains. “We want to ensure that we bring in new innovations with the patient journey in mind, and that enhance the patient and visitor experience. We have had hundreds of hours of design sessions with various people both inside and outside of the Jefferson family to make this happen.”

Patient and staff input was critical to developing the Center’s IT technologies. “We wanted the patients to have a say,” Mancaruso says. “We didn’t want to develop programs, buildings, and locations for people—we wanted to build them with them. We were able to get in front of our patient and family community committee, allowing them to actually experience these different technologies. That was probably the most valuable opportunity that we had as we developed the schematics for the building, and was integral to understanding not only the best technology for the environment, but how the technology fit.”

In addition, consultation with clinicians and the frontline care and administrative teams was vital to the progress and success of the IT technologies. “In IT, we also have the opportunity to work with care providers,” she says. “They’re the ones who are going to really run the daily operations of the building. All of us with our different levels of experience have been able to contribute positively.”

Mancaruso shares, “The exam room and the journey for the patient through the building is where the interactivity and innovation shine, and I’m excited about that. “One of the greatest innovations is the tremendous amount of interaction that can happen with the 50-inch patient whiteboard located in the patient exam rooms. The whiteboard will identify that the room is now dedicated to the patient, starting with a welcome message. The patient has control, and can not only pull up their chart and let clinical staff know they are ready to be seen, they can use the touch board to play music, view screens displaying various types of artwork, and finalize their visit through virtual checkout.”

The physician’s computer connects to the whiteboard as well, allowing them to show patients a radiology image, or walk through lab results. The technology may also be utilized for telemedicine and tele-consult. In addition, physicians can draw on the whiteboard, to helpfully illustrate anything they may be discussing during the patient visit.

Entertainment to enhance the infusion process and ensure patient comfort and relaxation is also being explored at the Center. “Nurses can provide our infusion patients with iPads, allowing them to login using their own streaming service credentials,” Mancaruso says. Once the patient has completed their infusion, the iPads will automatically be docked, cleaned, wiped of the previous user’s information for privacy, and prepped for the next user.

Mancaruso and her team are already planning new technological innovations. “We recognize that technology changes every six months,” Mancaruso says. “We’ve already started to explore a “Phase Two” in the exam room where the patients will be able to use voice activation to manage and control the whiteboards.”