'Keeping the patients at the center': How this innovation VP is leading in '24

Becker's recently connected with Michelle Stansbury, VP of Innovation and IT Applications at Houston Methodist, to hear her perspective on the past year and how she will lead the hospital group in 2024.

Question: What was the project or initiative you oversaw from the last year that yielded the best results?

Michelle Stansbury: Houston Methodist has one of the largest virtual nursing programs in the country and rolled it out systemwide in 2023 to augment a workforce experiencing high turnover and burnout. After successful pilots showed significant improvement in staff workflow, considerable reduction in heavy documentation tasks and overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff and clinicians, we've now expanded to seven acute care Houston Methodist hospitals, 45 patient care units and have 1,200 patient beds covered. Through November 2023, we've completed over 87,000 admissions and discharges, which equates to approximately 36,000 hours of time given back to bedside nurses allowing nurses to focus on patient needs. The hospital system is expanding on the success of our virtual nursing program by using advanced technology that gives back time to our clinicians. This remote monitoring technology called BioButtons are wireless sensors that monitor and collect patient data and facilitates the early detection of potential acute events through trend monitoring and delivers timely data for informed medical decision-making. Use of programs and technologies like this will ensure leading quality hospital care despite workforce challenges and better supporting our patients.

Q: What is your mantra for the next 12 months and why?

MS: Keeping the patient at the center of what we do will continue to be our focus as we head in 2024 and beyond. From the use of predictive analytics and our continued expansion of our care redesign initiatives across all of our hospitals, to our smart hospital of the future set to open in 2025 — the landing point for the innovations and technology we've been testing across all of our hospitals — it's our No. 1 priority to meet the evolving needs of our patients by using digital technology that will allow us to give high quality patient care to everyone who steps foot in our doors or receives care virtually.


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