An Appointment With: Emily Kagan-Trenchard, VP, Digital & Innovation Strategy
When Emily Kagan-Trenchard started her career at Lenox Hill Hospital in 2007, she was responsible for overseeing and modernizing their website with a new look and feel. She quickly saw the critical role that our digital tools play in the way we deliver care to our patients. From there, Emily embraced the opportunity to continue to expand Northwell’s digital footprint, eventually joining our corporate digital marketing team.
Today as vice president of digital and innovation strategy, Emily helps to lead the Digital Patient Experience (DPX) team who are setting the vision for our patient-facing digital tools to enhance their overall experience.
We sat down with Emily to discuss the innovative work of our DPX team.
Tell us about the Digital Patient Experience team and how they impact the organization.
We know that our patients want to access tools and services from Northwell in the same ways they manage the rest of their life – through simple, seamless apps and websites. The DPX team is focused on innovations that help us care for patients in this brave new digital world. We’re a group of architects, engineers, designers, researchers, analysts, strategists and more, all dedicated to building a connected digital experience for Northwell, especially within the ambulatory experience. From booking online to digitizing forms, paying a bill to reaching customer support, we’re making it possible for patients to easily complete these tasks online, and manage their care all in one place.
What are some innovative projects you are currently working on?
We recently launched the Northwell app, which allows patients to manage their personal information, book appointments online with a growing list of doctors, see past and upcoming appointments, pay bills, find care, connect to Follow My Health and more. While this app unlocks essential features for our patients, it’s really just the start of what will be possible.
A few other innovative initiatives include:
- Developing a completely virtual check-in process, and already have a pilot program where you can complete your doctor’s office forms digitally at home.
- Testing several kinds of biometric identification tools so that one day patients can check into a doctor’s visit with nothing but a selfie – the same way Face ID technology opens our phones.
- Developing tools that will help personalize a patient’s visit such as nicknames, hobbies or interests – so they are remembered wherever they go at Northwell.
Why is having a team like this important to Northwell and our patients?
Technology has the potential to make so many complex things simple, understandable and stress-free. The DPX team identifies new technologies and trends, evaluates how technology could help us better care for our patients, and then drives the development of solutions. A critical part of what we do is make sure that patients’ feedback is incorporated every step of the way, and patient feedback is one of our most important measures of success. The DPX team keeps the patient voice at the table, shaping every part of how we care for the patient in the digital world.
What attributes do you look for in your team members?
Our team is a great place for people who like to solve puzzles. There are no easy answers in the work we do, and we are challenged to find clever solutions. Our team looks like many modern software development teams. We have IT roles such as software engineers, architects, systems analysts and QA testers. We have a strong user experience practice that keeps human-centered design at the heart of all our products. These include roles like visual and interface designers, user research and testing. We have analytics and strategy roles such as business and data analysts, who work at understanding how our products perform and identify where we have opportunities to improve or develop new features. And then we have a whole group of team members who ensure that we provide new products and features on a regular basis; these roles include product owners, project managers, and scrum masters.
What is your advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell?
My advice for someone looking for a career at Northwell is that just about anything it possible here. People sometimes think of healthcare as just what takes place in a hospital or doctor’s office but, there is so much that happens behind the scenes both before and after those moments of care, to make it all possible. And because healthcare is at a really dynamic point in its evolution, people who have skills and perspectives from other industries have a real opportunity to bring fresh thinking to the work. I will also say, as a person who has had a long tenure with Northwell, it’s a great place to grow your career. I get to do work that makes a meaningful impact on our communities, and within an organization that’s always looking to be better tomorrow than it was yesterday.
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