Kailie Dunn, BS/MPH ’19 is leveraging innovative technology to improve patient care
October 18, 2021
Kailie Dunn graduated in five years with a BS in Health Services Administration and a master’s in Public Health from Drexel University in 2019. Through this accelerated program that spans the College of Nursing and Health Professions and the Dornsife School of Public Health, Dunn found an ideal combination of her distinct interests in health care, business and public health. Initially a business major, Dunn learned about the Health Services Administration program during her first year at Drexel. “I have nothing but great things to say about my time at Drexel,” says Dunn, “I’m really interested in working with people, and pairing business and my interest in the health care space. …was the perfect combo, and I was thrilled to find it.
The faculty and professional opportunities positively shaped Dunn’s experience over her academic career. “The department has extremely supportive faculty, who know the industry so well and are actively involved in professional organizations in the area,” she says. Their ability to assist with anything from academics to networking provided the necessary insight to help inform her career decision. “Dr. Kristine Mulhorn, in particular, was very influential,” says Dunn, “she taught Perspectives on Disability–this was one of the courses with the most impactful content that I had as an undergrad.” This course surveys the major theories, political strategies, historical events, cultural critiques/interventions and policy goals of the Disability Rights Movement in the United States. “Another class that was very important, also taught by Dr. Mulhorn, was Financial Management in Healthcare – where I learned how hospitals do their financing. Everyone should take a lesson from that course; it was fascinating how our health care system works with insurance and trickles down to the bill the patient receives. I am not sure I could have gotten this type of education at any other institution,” says Dunn.
In her role as an Epic analyst at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Dunn has taken on a technical role, which has a direct impact on patients. As part of the Information, Service and Technology division, she is working on the electronic medical software for the hospital. Dunn states, “It’s not a role I thought of when I was a student. It’s something that I fell into through my network. I learned about this whole other sphere of IT related to health care. I’ve acquired so many technical skills and am able to see how these systems impact patient care. …Information in general is a powerful thing, and when you give a patient access to this system, it really empowers [them]. It helps facilitate communication and provides [patients] more authority over their health care.”
Since COVID-19 has reshaped and impacted health care, technology and the need to quickly adapt to the rapidly changing environment is critical. Dunn sees this in her current role working to provide digital access to health records and appointments to current patients. “Health care is ever-changing, and now with COVID, we need to change very quickly to provide care that patients needed,” she says. The pre-pandemic model of seeing 80 percent of patients in office and 20 percent through telemedicine has flipped. “The speed that this occurred meant the great need for adaptation,” says Dunn “I think this is going to stick around. There’s a big opportunity to improve technology and the delivery of health care in general.”
Dunn started a new role as an Epic analyst II at Mount Sinai Health System in April 2021.