Algorithm 2: Case Study


Twenty years ago, Jim Livingston saw an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Working as a software developer building our electronic health record, he was charged with capturing data from a host of different sources, all of which were proprietary about their ownership. Anyone who wanted data had to request it from the owner, which then could take months to receive. Wouldn’t it be great, he thought, since I’m collecting it anyway, to store it all in one place.

Livingston took the initiative—along with a few career risks— to begin collecting and storing our health system’s data two decades ago, under the radar. The rogue project “ruffled a few feathers,” Livingston admits, “but I believed strongly in the value of what I was doing,” he says.“I knew we needed it.”

Today, Jim Livingston, M.B.A., is associate chief information officer for University of Utah Hospitals and Clinics, which has won Most Wired awards from Heath Forum and Hospitals and Health Networks magazines. The mature data warehouse he set in motion two decades ago serves as the bedrock for the new VDO tool. “Jim Livingston is a visionary,” says IT data warehouse director Cheri Hunter. “He understood the importance of developing a centralized data warehouse, with integrated clinical and financial data, long before it was the industry standard and provided us with the solid infrastructure we needed to build VDO.”