Q/A with our Director of Clinical Analytics
In honor of National Nurses Week, we’re featuring Lana Davis, Certilytics’ Director of Clinical Analytics.
In her two years with the company, Lana has used her background in clinical nursing to help Certilytics achieve important industry certifications and ensure our products meet the highest clinical standards.
Check out her Q&A below:
Q: What led you to want to be a clinical nurse?
A: Two things: becoming a mother and the memories of my grandmother losing her battle to malignant brain cancer. I was an aerospace engineer, but 18 years ago the labor and delivery nurse at my son’s birth inspired me to help people in a different way. Although a labor and delivery nurse inspired me, I knew that was not where I wanted to land. I saw my grandmother suffer and ultimately lose her battle with cancer, which is what drove me to work on the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant unit. I was able to use my clinical skills as a nurse, work on an interdisciplinary team with doctors, pharmacists, etc., as well as care for some of the biggest fighters ever!
Q: What is a favorite memory from your time as a clinical nurse?
A: It would not be a memory – but the patients in general. It is the thing I miss most about bedside nursing. Healthcare is not just about the physical needs and systematic interventions – but human connection. Finding a hand drawn picture of you hanging on a hospital door or making a patient laugh while you try attempt to sing along to the Little Mermaid–those were the times I valued most.
Q: What was something that you learned that you didn’t expect?
A: How to be a sounding board or outlet for people without bias or opinion. Any good student with critical thinking skills can become a nurse, but to empathize with people when they are in pain or when a loved one is sick is what, in my opinion, makes an exceptional nurse. I learned to listen to people, allowing them to get things out, taking myself completely out of the situation. It is a special kindness that I try to extend to my friends or colleagues when they are going through something difficult – just to be there for them.
Q: What led you from your clinical nursing experience to Certilytics?
A: It was how difficult it was to find, let alone use, healthcare data. When I started working in the hospital, we were still paper charting (this dates me quite a bit). Each patient on our unit had a 5” binder outside their room where everything was charted until that binder was exploding and placed in an office and then they got a new one. Computer access was limited to vital signs and looking up blood work results. Even research protocols were charted on paper and sent to the specific department. I often wondered how anyone could truly pinpoint what was working for a patient. Finally, when electronic health systems (EHRs) were rolling out throughout hospitals and clinicians offices, my interest began to peak on now that the data was beginning to be readily available how could I apply it so that I was not caring for one patient at a time, but rather millions. That is when I went for my Master’s in Clinical Informatics at Northwestern University, which eventually led to me working with some of the most interesting and intelligent people here at Certilytics, where I’m able to reach patients at a whole other level.
Q: How does your nursing experience inform your work as VP, Clinical Analytics?
A: It is the real world application of what I saw both inpatient and outpatient and the leveraging of the data. Understanding the logical pathophysiological processes behind a data point, or how we got to a diagnosis data point in time. That is the beauty of having worked at the bedside, having utilized EHRs. The data comes together to form a holistic story.
Q: What advice would you give to nurses just entering the field?
A: The fantastic part about nursing is how diverse it is, meaning how many different fields of nursing there truly are. You can work in hospitals, for insurance agencies, analytics companies, or even cruise ships. It’s about finding something you enjoy and that challenges you! Also, do not be afraid of the data side – get your clinical years in and if you have an interest in healthcare data, it can be rewarding to see interventions that you provided on a patient level be applied at a population level and see the impacts on a public health scale.
Q: What is the significance of National Nurses Week to you?
A: It’s a time to celebrate all the accomplishments, hard work, and compassion of nurses. This year has been exceptionally hard on the over 4 million nurses worldwide, and it will remain that way for some time. I hope people remember this week that nurses are medical professionals who play a critical role in healthcare every day, not just through a pandemic. They were here before and will be here after.