Sound’s IT Team: Thought Leadership through Innovation

Sound’s technology team, led by Chief Technology Officer, Josh Nelson, is empowering Sound to provide effective, whole healthcare for the people and the community we serve. Always asking the question, “How can we innovate better?” Nelson’s group is doing just that.

2018 was an extremely active year, with the team making sweeping changes across the whole organization, implementing tools and training team members on several key technology platforms.
Directives from the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and the necessity to protect client information obliges healthcare organizations to invest in IT infrastructure, talent and application systems. These regulations and the need for meaningful use of data are the driving forces behind Sound’s technology team and are at the heart of Sound’s mission, leading the way in whole person care and team member support.

Nelson’s team continues the transformation of Sound into a more data-driven organization that is focused on implementing tools that make the lives of team members easier and enables them to make the best decisions for clients’ care.

“We’re giving our clinical teams tools that are intuitive and easy to navigate. These tools work together, hand-in-hand with hospitals and other care facilities, ensuring the very best care possible for the people we serve,” says Nelson. “Improving access to data means improving care outcomes.”

The team continued to work tirelessly to add even more client-focused technologies for mining and tracking data, managing whole person healthcare and integrating those tools with healthcare systems. “It’s really important that we keep in lockstep with the healthcare community.”

One tool that Nelson’s team is very excited about is the implementation of the Emergency Department Information Exchange (EDIE), a shared tool that allows for emergency departments to interact with Sound clinicians. Nelson reports that Sound is the only organization of its kind in Washington to integrate the EDIE system.

EDIE is a standard system in most emergency rooms. It is a collaborative, case management framework, automated and done as events occur. It is a targeted tool for proactively notifying interested stakeholders of relevant patient-specific events or behaviors.

When a person goes to an emergency room, EDIE enables ER staff to see relevant patient information, such as health conditions and prescribed medications. It enables providers to be aware of the patient’s relevant history and also collaborate on a single patient-specific plan of care shared across all providers and clinicians, making the best possible care outcome. The system also sends a real-time alert to the patient’s providers and clinicians. This notification helps Sound keep within the scope of county healthcare guidelines, which specify a requirement for client contact within seven days of an emergency room visit.

Sound is also implementing healthcare key performance indicators with Tableau, a platform that allows organizations to create customized dashboards complete with interactive charts, graphs and infographics to help display
essential information.

“Tableau enables users to enjoy a visual representation of sometimes complicated information,” says Nelson. “Tableau allows clinicians and providers to understand important data at a glance.”

“It’s crucial to be a part of the medical information community,” Nelson says. “As Sound rolls out more primary care, we have to adapt our technology
to support our providers and care teams. We just have to.”

Sound is also using telemedicine, connecting patients to providers in several Sound locations. Telemedicine is real-time, HIPAA compliant and secure. Practitioners using telemedicine are
held to the same standard of care as practitioners engaging in traditional in-person care delivery.

What’s next for Sound? More technology innovations, of course. “We will always be learning and implementing new technology solutions. We want to make these very high-level tools easy and intuitive for clinicians to use,” says Nelson.
”We train team members how to use the tools in person, online and in the second quarter of 2019, we’ll offer some very user-friendly video tutorials.”

Continuing to grow as a data-driven organization can be challenging, but the Sound technology team is moving Sound forward with vision and passion.