Martin’s career at Sunoco moved through software support, database support, then infrastructure support for manufacturing facilities. As his responsibilities grew, he honed his ability to look at information systems from a business perspective, understanding that technology stands alone unless it’s implemented in a way that helps advance the goals of the organization.
Martin worked his way up to head of technology at Sunoco’s north-east manufacturing facilities — translating the needs of plant leadership to the technologists who would implement new applications and infrastructure to enable them to succeed in the marketplace. After 12 years with the company, he learned of an opening in the Information Services department at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia for a systems manager who would be responsible for core infrastructure technology. It was a lateral move, but Martin saw it as a huge opportunity to take his career to a new, exciting industry.
After 18 months in this new role, Martin had yet another opportunity to move into a group that was focused on healthcare data and information, and using data to improve the care provided at CHOP. It was 2008, and CHOP was leading the way in the healthcare information management space. The new position of manager of Analytics Development, Enterprise Analytics, put Martin in a place where he could make technology work to get data and information out of the Hospital’s many systems and applications in a meaningful, effective way.
CHOP had begun implementing the electronic medical record (EMR) years before, but it was starting to grow exponentially. Growing use of the EMR meant growth in the amount of data it was collecting. It was time to take that data and do something meaningful with it. Martin’s group was charged with using that data to answer difficult questions: How is revenue working through the Hospital system? What does patient flow through the Hospital look like? How can we streamline operations?
As time passed, the enterprise analytics group began answering questions focused on patient care and clinical pathways: How are we treating patients? How are they getting better?
In December 2012, Martin was appointed director of Information Management. He is responsible for all enterprise analytics and reporting and the development of procedures, algorithms, protocols, mathematical models and training programs to improve the healthcare delivery system by mining the vast amount of data at our disposal.
“My goal is to support CHOP’s mission to provide the best pediatric healthcare possible,” says Martin. “That includes ensuring we’re financially viable, making sure children move through health system safely and effectively, and enabling the clinicians who make this place great with the information and evidence they need at their fingertips.”
Among the many accomplishments of the enterprise analytics team is the development of the CHOP data warehouse, an enterprise integrated repository for all the clinical, financial and operational data from the CHOP health system, some of it dating to the late 1990s. Data can all be sliced and diced from any angle, to answer almost any question, regardless of what system the data initially came out of.
Having that volume of data available for analytics is significant, but even more powerful is an interface built by CHOP IS called Enterprise Self Service Analytics (ESSA). This lets people from departments Hospital-wide pull out whatever information they need from the data warehouse using customized, desktop analytic applications.
“Technology is about enabling better things to happen,” says Martin. “The work of my team is all about getting the right information, to the right place, in the right way and the right time. We’re helping the institution stay ahead of the curve.”
His career advice: “Sometimes you have to make lateral moves, whether it’s in the type of work you’re doing, or the place you’re doing the work. Don’t be so concerned with your title; focus on the opportunities to learn more, do more and go farther.”