A huge fan of the leadership required to get any organization pulling together for change, Amir Hameed, RingCentral’s VP Global Solutions Engineering & Specialists, was honoured to recognize Mari Teitelbaum as 2021 CIO of the Year for the public sector during ITWC’s Digital Transformation Week program.
As CIO & VP Strategy, Quality & Family Partnership for The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), Mari Teitelbaum had already worked miracles by transforming a cumbersome health information system. Covid-19 was her next call to action. Not only did Teitelbaum make a vital contribution to CHEO’s pandemic effort, but she also contributed to the successful launch of Canada’s first virtual emergency pediatric department.
Teitelbaum took on the CIO/VP role at CHEO in 2014, but her leadership journey began a decade earlier when she worked as an electrical engineer. Even before returning to school to earn a Masters of Health Administration at the University of Ottawa, she had a healthy respect for the value of technology in enabling efficiency and effectiveness.
At the beginning of Teitelbaum’s tenure as CHEO’s CIO/VP, every part of the hospital had its own set of applications. Recognizing the need for a single enterprise solution, she helped fast-track Epic health information system software to introduce key clinical improvements across the hospital. A radical departure from the manual and difficult-to-access systems of the past, Epic has resulted in system-wide benefits, including the reduction of initial consult wait times for new outpatients and anytime access to health information through an online portal called “My Chart”.
Teitelbaum is adamant that an enterprise approach is one that is most likely to benefit patients and has shared her ideas with other healthcare institutions, including Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). Her collaborations resulted in a savings of $18 million from the total cost of system ownership and the virtualization of shared services led to huge benefits, many of which will remain in place long after the threat of a global pandemic.
A firm believer that innovation and technology are fundamental in making the transition to a truly patient-focused system of care, Teitelbaum thrives on the magic that transpires when a high performing team comes together. Equally important in a CIO, she leads in a way that makes it happen.