Faces of Southcoast – Peter Medeiros, Director of Digital Transformation
Technology plays a huge role in the success of Southcoast Health operations. Everything revolves around Information Technology. This requires a Management Information System (MIS) Department for information security, end user support, application development and maintenance, and finance operations.
Peter Medeiros is the Director of Digital Transformation & Innovation Services within MIS and a Southcoast Health employee of 15 years.
Peter is responsible for transforming and modernizing our technology and providing our patients, families, and employees with the best user experience possible. “My teams focus on staying up-to-date on digital space, and making sure Southcoast is a leader in the use of healthcare technology.”
We all want technology to work and enhance workflow. As users, we should expect no less. “Achieving that requires a lot of hard work by our many teams. Our Network, Server Data Center and Information Security teams ensure our technology runs efficiently and securely. Our Telecommunications team keeps our communication channels humming. Our End User Experience/Support and Engineering teams ensure devices, applications, and environments run properly. Our Applications team ensures our providers, nurses, and patients have the most advanced electronic health record system. Our Informatics team helps make data-driven decisions. Our Finance and HR technology teams ensure our finance operations run smoothly and help to digitize our employee experience. Our Training team makes sure everyone has the proper technical knowledge. Our Software and Database Administration teams provide enterprise-grade solutions to push Southcoast Health into the future.”
At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the MIS department faced many challenging problems that needed solutions. “We needed to preserve PPE consumption, providers needed to see patients remotely, patients needed to communicate remotely with their families and care team due to visitation restrictions, and our Urgent Care Centers needed to communicate with all patients ahead of visits and use telehealth.”
MIS teams developed a Video on Wheels (VOWs) platform powered by Microsoft Teams from scratch within two weeks to help mitigate these communication issues. More than 50 VOWs units were deployed across the organization. “These VOWs can be used to monitor and communicate with COVID-19 patients with hands-free technology remotely. Providers and Urgent Care can use them for telehealth and remote communication with patients. Care teams and staff can set up video conferences between patients and family members.”
Peter began his Southcoast Health career as an intern while attending Bristol Community College for an Associate’s Degree in Information Technology. “At the time, I didn’t want to work in the corporate world. I wanted a software and web development studio. I took the internship to start gaining real-world experience while starting up my consulting gig on the side to help businesses transform their web presence to drive revenue.”
After graduating, Peter turned his internship into a consulting position at Southcoast Health, where he continued to introduce in-house software development to enhance technologies, instead of buying or outsourcing. He was then hired full-time as an Assistant Technical Webmaster while pursuing a UMass Lowell Bachelor’s degree. “I started to move through the ranks, being promoted to Webmaster, Software Developer, Manager of Application Technology, and most recently, my role as Director. Fifteen years later, the job is still as exciting and challenging as ever. My department went from being in the background and folks not fully understanding our potential to lead innovation within the Information Technology Division. I didn’t do this alone; we have a lot of unbelievable talent and leadership at Southcoast Health that made this happen.”
Rising through the ranks of the MIS department from developer to leader was not an easy task. “You have your set ways of doing things, but you have to realize everyone is not like you; others have their own style. I started to learn this early on when I was a Senior Developer overseeing Junior Developers. It was awesome to mentor and watch things click for others. Witnessing others succeed and grow was rewarding. This is when I knew it was time to switch to a management role and start to lead the team and the department. Our development team is so talented. They have taken the development operations to a level I could have never achieved on my own.”
When Peter isn’t focusing on technology, you’ll probably find him in the kitchen, grilling, or at the smoker. “I love to cook!”
He is the head coach for his youngest daughter’s ice hockey team and an assistant coach for his oldest daughter’s basketball team.
He brought his coaching experience to the Boston Marathon to help his brother Dennis finish the last few miles in the pouring rain. “I saw he was slowing down around the 16th-mile mark and struggling. I caught up to him and yelled, ‘Hey, we are going to finish this damn race!’ He was pumped and started to get going again. He came off the couch six weeks before as a last-minute fill-in. He’s battling Multiple Sclerosis while running the Boston Marathon. He’s an inspiration to all. Walking those nine miles and helping him cross that finish line was an honor. He went on to conquer the Chicago Marathon the following year with proper training. I can’t wait to root for him again in Boston!”
The MIS department is always focusing on improving user experience. “With the Brand and Strategy Division, we’ve introduced a lot of consumer technology, including enhancing our find-a-provider search, adding online appointment scheduling, displaying wait times at our Urgent Care Centers, launching our virtual assistant/chatbot SAM, introducing many enhanced features to MyChart, and adding telehealth. We even dabbled with Amazon Alexa and Google Home; you can ask Alexa the wait times at your closest Urgent Care Center.”
Peter and his teams will continue to focus on providing more digital tools to optimize our employee workflows and to give our patients faster access to quality care with less friction. “Southcoast Health is always pushing to be better and for continual improvement. We don’t settle for okay. We want to be the best and it shows!”