Ahh, the good ol’ days of personal health care – so personal in fact, that they came to you.
The history of physician house calls goes back to the 1930s, when doctor home visits were very common. It was a standard practice for doctors – with trusty medical bag in hand – to travel to patients’ homes. You saw the doc (not his assistant); he knew you, your family and your family’s history, often making holistic diagnoses more informative, more effective and more reassuring.
Obviously, the “face” of healthcare today has changed. Technology has made diagnosing more accurate, more successful, less invasive and – if you live beyond access to quality care – logistically viable. Digital transformation has enabled healthcare IT to accelerate the capability, quality and reach of treatment to levels never before imaginable.
There’s no doubt that the technology of care has evolved. For many healthcare practitioners who have made the medical field their calling, the delivery of that care is no less important than it was decades ago when the family doctor made house calls. One such individual, passionate about the advancements technology has made in her field, and compassionate for those who it helps, is Tina Sheppard, trauma services director, HonorHealth®, in Scottsdale, Arizona. Tina is a key contributor to the HealthPath® Internship program; a week-long program sponsored by leading Tech Data vendors HPE and Microsoft, held semi-annually at HonorHealth’s Military Partnership Simulation Center.
This internship, the only one of its kind nationally, is aimed at helping technology solution providers learn first-hand about today’s use of technology in an actual clinical setting. Understanding the very unique needs of technology in healthcare – and more importantly – its role in a triage environment where life and limb lie in the balance, ensures trauma victims are cared for as humans, by humans but with capabilities beyond humans.
An Early Calling to Serve
Treating traumatic injury isn’t something most adults are ready to handle, much less a child. Yet Tina Sheppard, as a kid in Southaven, Mississippi, just south of Memphis, Tennessee, stepped up to the challenge; she was 12.
A quiet weekend at home was interrupted when Sheppard’s mother, an emergency medical technician (EMT), received a call on her dispatch radio.
“It was a call on an accident right around the corner from the house,” said Sheppard. “So, Mom and I grabbed some jump kits and ran to the scene. It was a 22-year-old woman with her two-year-old child, both of whom had been on a moped that was hit by a car.”
Sheppard’s mother immediately took charge of the scene, while the town’s on-duty emergency medical services (EMS) team was en route. She began to administer care to the child while directing Sheppard to the injured woman.
“My mother was calling out to me what to do – ‘Are her eyes open?’ ‘Is she talking to you?’ ‘Are you seeing her chest rise and fall?’,” said Sheppard. “And I’m doing whatever she’s telling me to do.”
“As the EMS team rolled up, I stepped away. When the family was medivacked out, I headed home. My mother, not seeing me anywhere, walked back to the house, thinking ‘What have I done to my daughter?’”
“She found me in my room – with my face in my hands. And, she sat down and said, ‘Tina, I am so sorry,’ and I looked at her and said, ‘That was so cool!’ – and I’ve been in EMS ever since.”
Fast forward to present day, and Sheppard now runs the Level 1 Trauma Program for the non-profit, five-hospital community-based healthcare system comprising a network of experts connected to their patients and to each other. HonorHealth is home to 11,600 employees, 3,400 doctors and 3,000 volunteers, all working in partnership – with a legacy of 150 years’ combined experience serving communities in greater Phoenix, Arizona. HonorHealth is dedicated to “making healthy personal,” and has a dedicated cancer research institute and community health centers to help the local citizenry, including the most vulnerable populations.
With her expertise and enthusiasm for sharing how healthcare technology works in the real-world environment, Sheppard is a crowd favorite when presenting the HealthPath Internship Program. In the clip below she briefly discusses the value Tech Data and its partners bring to the HealthPath Internship.
Knowledge Transfer in Healthcare IT
Throughout the HealthPath Internship program, healthcare IT channel partner attendees get the opportunity to discover and learn through valuable insights delivered directly from HonorHealth healthcare professionals. The internships are sponsored by leading Tech Data technology vendors, such as HPE and Microsoft. The intent is to provide a rich learning opportunity to facilitate knowledge transfer that helps attendees deliver better technology solutions, including mobile technologies in healthcare, to organizations across the country – even across the globe!
HealthPath, a proven program utilized by hundreds of Tech Data channel partners over the last 15 years, provides customers with the knowledge and support needed to develop robust vertical market practices with a deep understanding of healthcare-specific regulations, issues and needs. Through the application of Tech Data's Practice Builder™ methodology, the enhanced program offers customers the ability to leverage business accelerators such as cloud, security, analytics, mobility and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions – as well as education – when applying these technologies to healthcare environments to enhance patient care.
Specifically, the internship program includes 20-plus educational and interactive activities, including sessions with hospital leadership teams from Surgery, Pharmacy, Community Programs, Research Institute, Trauma, Helipad, Operating Room, Military Partnership Simulation Lab, IT and Finance, among others, across three HonorHealth hospital campuses. For example, HealthPath interns can attend a compelling immersive simulation of a military medical triage setting with simulated patient traumatic injuries, emergency treatment, communication and transport – all with lifelike sights, sounds and actions.
Through this unique training program, attendees are enabled, in an actual hospital setting, to develop the skills needed to become "trusted advisors" to their healthcare provider accounts. Over its duration, there have been more than 200 graduates of the Tech Data HealthPath Internship program.
As the final course in the HealthPath curriculum, the internship provides Tech Data partners with an environment where they can build on previous knowledge to gain a deeper understanding of healthcare IT from a clinical perspective to better serve their healthcare customers. The program differentiates Tech Data in the IT distribution industry, and the curriculum gives attendees the opportunity to not only hear from representatives from several different departments of the hospital, but to also engage in discussions with these professionals throughout the week. In addition, partners participating in this program can gain the necessary skills and knowledge to apply for CPHIMS (Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems) certification.
The HealthPath Internship gives technology solution-provider professionals the real message and scope of how their technology is applied and used in the real-life clinical setting. Participants can personally talk to ER nurses who utilize the technology, equipment, etc. This immersion into the ER experience allows internship participants to leverage what they see, learn and feel to address gaps in service and care quality. Participants also leave with a better understanding on how the technology interacts with patients’ families and the medical staff – a key measure in addressing patient satisfaction.
People create technology. Understanding its utility – as determined by need – provides the petri dish for developing new solution “strains,” making people involved in technology critical to the future of healthcare. What exists today is a fraction of the technology that will be available in five years, 10 years or 15 years, making the HealthPath Internship a conduit for change, innovation and ideas.
The HealthPath Internship is world-class program. By bringing technology to life, the program is a living example of how Tech Data is connecting the world with the power of technology™.
Click the button below to learn more about Tech Data HealthPath Internship coming up in April 2020.
About the Author
Wally Campbell is the Public Relations Manager, Americas, for Tech Data. He’s been in Arizona for 20-plus years, after relocating from Tennessee to earn a Master of Mass Communication degree at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University. He and his wife enjoy the great weather in the state and can often be found at the Chandler (Arizona) Tennis Center playing sets with other couples. He is also a private pilot and loves flying around the Southwest to such places as Sedona, Show Low and beyond. Some of his favorite causes include the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, America’s Walk for Diabetes, Pilots N Paws Pet Rescue Services and Little League Baseball.