Ed M. Martinez isn't afraid to shake things up.
Since coming on board as senior vice president and CIO at Miami Children's Hospital in 2009, he has led a successful initiative to replace the healthcare provider's 41-year-old IT systems, rolled out a telehealth platform that brings healthcare services to economically disadvantaged children beyond the hospital's walls, and overseen the deployment of a mobile app that lets parents choose physicians, engage in videoconferences, and receive diagnoses and follow-up instructions online. Next up: an iPad app for doctors that links to wireless stethoscopes and blood pressure cuffs that patients use at home.
Martinez is the hospital's lead innovator, says Dr. Jacques Orces, chief medical information officer at Miami Children's. "His enthusiasm and boundless energy creates buy-in for projects," says Orces. "He thinks out of the box, he doesn't follow the traditional paradigms -- and it's hard to keep up with him. Ed's not two steps ahead of you. He's a year ahead of you."
Martinez recognizes that convincing others to accept change isn't always easy. "The things we're talking about are game-changers," he says. "They're disruptive and require technical abilities and a change philosophy and thought process that hasn't been accepted in healthcare before."
Getting the board of directors to see IT as an innovator was a challenge that Martinez met by gradually gaining the board's confidence through a series of smaller wins. "We all want to excel because we're dealing with children," he says. "But there's also a level of ego involved. People here want to be the best."