Class of 2022

Major: Computer Science

Internship Results in Improving Workflows so Nurses Can Spend More Time with Patients

“That project opened my eyes and mind to what amazing programs I can create to optimize and streamline the workflow of nurses. The more time nurses can spend with the patient, the better experience it is for everyone.”

 

Woman with dark hair standing in front of an ambulanceAs an intern at Atlantic Health System, Lara Leyson ’22 was able to take what she learned as a Computer Science student at County College of Morris (CCM), along with her innate ability to observe and dig deeper, to improve the workflow of nurses in infusion departments.

“This was because my classes were very hands-on and project-based,” she recalls. As a student at CCM, she also made it a point to get involved in numerous groups, including the Women in STEM and Computer Science clubs and as a student tour guide.

She highlights that engaging in those activities allowed her to acquire various skills, such as planning and leading meetings, networking with both on-campus and off-campus organizations, and developing her public speaking and communication abilities.

Just the sort of skills that allowed her to observe a challenge outpatient infusion nurses encountered daily and to develop a solution.

Infusion nurses are responsible for administering therapies such as intravenous antibiotics, chemotherapy and immunotherapy. Utilizing Epic, an electronic medical record system, they would have to click and search for information during the pre-work stage of the infusion process, decreasing their efficiency.

“When shadowing the nurses, I noticed the pre-work was taking the nurses a long time to complete,” she shares. “I wrote down each nurse's pre-work routine and noticed it was all very similar. To optimize and streamline the workflow, I designed and assisted in building a pre-work dashboard for the nurses in Epic. I had little experience in Epic. I addressed that by asking many questions and reading and researching about the program.”

Today, the dashboard she designed is used by outpatient infusion departments across the Atlantic Health System network. She also was hired by Atlantic Health System for two subsequent summer internships before continuing her studies at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

“That project opened my eyes and mind to what amazing programs I can create to optimize and streamline the workflow of nurses,” says Leyson. “The more time nurses can spend with the patient, the better experience it is for everyone.”

Her goal is to work with AI and augmented and virtual reality to optimize workflows in health care. She also strongly encourages other women to pursue IT careers.

“More women should consider a career in IT because technology is our future and I believe everyone should have a chance to express their ideas,” she says. “The more ideas there are, the better chance we have of solving problems.”