(US & Canada) | For Us, Diversity Means Equitable Outcomes for Children — Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center Data and Analytics AVP

Bhavna Mehta, AVP Data and Analytics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, speaks with Asha Saxena, Founder and CEO, WLDA.Tech, in a video interview about the use of AI and data in her organization, her leadership style, strategic goals, the impact of leadership, and fostering diversity.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center is an international leader in pediatric medicine, research, and education.

Mehta begins the discussion with how data and AI sit in her organization. As an academic research hospital, it is extremely data-driven, wherein massive amounts of data are used for research and quality improvement, among other things, she says.

Adding on, Mehta mentions using Epic EMR for electronic record systems and many ancillary systems that help provide children with care. Her role in the organization focuses on creating data and AI infrastructure that can be leveraged to accelerate and innovate.

Further, Mehta shares that her team has become the center of excellence, implementing technology in a federated model that can enable end-users. The team is also responsible for enhancing organizational data literacy in collaboration with key IT and non-IT leaders.

Commenting on leadership support, Mehta feels fortunate for the support and appreciates the CEO for taking strides in transforming the organization with AI.

When asked about her leadership style and how it impacts the organization, Mehta mentions collaboration as her leadership mantra. She considers working with the team and developing relationships as a critical factor.

Adding to that, Mehta mentions challenging the status quo as she works, to understand the “why” and what could be done differently, while leading with empathy and transparency. She highlights the importance of mentors in the journey of developing confidence and competency, along with advocating for oneself.

Moving forward, Mehta confirms having a leadership that believes technology can transform and that the IT team is no longer a support service but a strategic asset. The organization has created its digital strategy over the years with this mindset shift, she adds.

While the organization is currently in its third year of overall digital strategy, Mehta states that the “moonshot” planning started five years ago. She notes that the organization is “best at being better,” and that spirit fuels it to continue being the leader in child health.

Delving further into the strategic goals, Mehta stresses providing exceptional care and curing mental health, and digital transformation is the key to making that happen. That is when the team started to advocate for leading with technology and starting with strategy.

From the implementation standpoint, Mehta highlights having an AI governance council that ensures the models are implemented responsibly, ethically, and considering the bias angle. Training on historical data will have biases, and the organization does not want to keep up with the bias or history at times.

Furthermore, Mehta mentions co-leading the data governance council with a research faculty advisor, making sure that the output is equitable and fair. That, according to her, has been a great vehicle to develop and test the framework with not only the models but also taking advantage of the innovation acceleration in the vendor space.

Mehta shares that pulling all teams together creates the much-needed diversity in the team. Emphasizing diversity, she maintains that it would drive equitable outcomes for children and that a lack of inclusion creates disparity in health outcomes.

As a leader in improving child health, fostering diversity is a priority. The hospital has workforce diversity initiatives that include representation of women and minorities beyond age, gender, or race.

Concluding, Mehta says having different perspectives is crucial for AI as it is becoming more of a commodity that serves a vast audience. Therefore, without the vast community perspective, AI would fail to serve its purpose on a broad level.

CDO Magazine appreciates Bhavna Mehta for sharing her invaluable data insights with our global community.

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