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Nursing informatics integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. It supports consumers, patients, nurses, and other providers in their decision-making in all roles and settings. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and information technology.
Nursing informaticists are nursing clinicians with expert analytical and critical thinking skills. They understand patient care delivery workflows and integration points for automated documentation. They have education and experience beyond their clinical training related to technology and information systems.
Nursing informaticists serve as innovators by researching and applying technologies that improve patient safety, communication and satisfaction. Leveraging nursing experience with critical thinking, science and technology, nursing informaticsts act as catalysts for change and adoption of technologies that improve the patient, family and clinician's experience, and sustains the accomplishments.
Ellen Pollack, MSN, RNChief Nursing Informatics Officer, UCLA Health
Ellen Pollack is the Chief Nursing Informatics Officer for UCLA Health, and is responsible for leadership in development, re-engineering, optimization, and integration of clinical information systems to enable patient care, including leading nursing and other disciplines in the adoption of technology related change to maximize patient safety, quality of care, and operational efficiency. This responsibility includes improving the clinical quality, safety, and operational integrity of clinical information systems and integrating quality improvement and regulatory standards. Providing the vision to transform nursing practice through technology and informatics, the CNIO is part of an interdisciplinary team that advances patient care and experience at UCLA, measures those improvements, and coordinates ongoing training programs associated with enterprise information systems. In addition, Pollack is responsible for directing the electronic health record training program.
Pollack has worked at UCLA Health System for 20 years, beginning at the Santa Monica campus. For the past 15 years, she has directed the nursing informatics team, which was focused on helping clinicians provide safe and efficient patient care through the use of technology.
Meg Furukawa, MSN, RNNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: Analytics, Orders
Meg Furukawa has been involved in nursing informatics at UCLA for the past 16 years. After working as the clinical nurse specialist for the Medical Intensive Care Unit, which was host to the pilot test of Essentris, she joined the clinical systems team to help with the development, implementation, education, and support of Essentris in all three of UCLA Health's hospitals. She also worked on the development, education, implementation, and support of barcoded medication administration at all three hospitals. After joining the CareConnect team, Furukawa focused on integrated areas, including testing, workflows, medication and blood administration, lab, curriculum development, policies, and business continuity access.
Now as a member of the nursing informatics team, she focuses on optimizing order management, blood administration, and analytics. Before joining UCLA, Furukawa was a critical care clinical nurse specialist at Providence St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank and a critical care clinical nurse, educator, and assistant unit manager at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.Furukawa received her master's in nursing at UCLA and a BSN from California State University, Los Angeles. She also holds an undergraduate degree in liberal studies from California State University, Northridge. She is board certified in Informatics Nursing and is the Secretary for the Southern California chapter of ANIA.
Lisa Harrison, RN, CAHIMSNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: Optime & Anesthesia
Lisa Harrison has a primary focus on perioperative services and procedural areas. Before coming to UCLA, Lisa worked as a clinical nurse in med/surge, telemetry, and in the operating room. Harrison has brought her experience as not only a clinical nurse but as a Clinical Application Analyst to help guide decision-making geared toward improved patient care and streamlined workflows.
Harrison received her AS in Nursing from Long Beach City College and her BSN from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She is currently working towards her MSN at Healthcare Informatics.
Lynn MayerNurse Informaticist, UCLA Health
Lynn Mayer started her career at UCLA in 2006 on the Medicine/Telemetry Unit where she served as a charge nurse, educator, preceptor, and super-user. Lynn was involved on 7 East’s Unit Practice Council, creating workflows and projects to improve patient care and nurse satisfaction. She also served as the Chair of Ronald Reagan UCLA’s New Knowledge, Innovation, and Improvements Council (NKI), where she worked to involve bedside nurses in innovation, research, and evidence-based projects. As Chair of NKI, Lynn became more interested in Epic, and how technology can transform healthcare. She became a Nurse Informatics Fellow at UCLA and then came on full-time Nurse Informaticist in 2020.
Mayer is AACN certified in Progressive Care nursing. She received her BSN from Azusa Pacific University and is currently working on her MSN in Leadership and Management at Western Governor’s University.
Yvonne Mugford, MSN, RNNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: ADT, Stork, Beaker (IP), HB
Yvonne Mugford began at UCLA Health in 2003 as a Computer Recourse Manager and Application Manager of Clinical Documentation before transitioning to the Nursing Informatics Team in 2013. Mugford has served as an innovator by researching and applying technologies that improve patient safety, communication and satisfaction. She has previous experience from USC Kenneth Norris Jr. Cancer Hospital, Cigna Health Care of California, and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital. Mugford has extensive experience in medical, surgical, and intensive care nursing starting as a staff nurse in 1984. She is IHI Certified for improvement capability, patient safety, leadership, person-and family-centered care, triple aim for populations, and quality, cost, and value since 2015.
Mugford received her Associate Nursing degree from Rio Hondo Community College and her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Arizona.
Brittany Preston, MSN, RN-BCNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: Ambulatory & Patient Education
Brittany Preston is an ANCC board-certified Nurse Informaticist with a primary focus in Ambulatory and Patient Education. In her nursing career, she has provided bedside care in the neonatal intensive care unit as well as mother/baby. Using her clinical knowledge, she worked as a Clinical Informatics Analyst to optimize nursing documentation and streamline workflows before joining the UCLA Health team in 2019.
Preston received a BSN from Florida International University and a MSN in Nursing Informatics from Nova Southeastern University. She also holds an undergraduate degree in Health Education from the University of Florida.
Stesha Selsky, MSN, RNNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: ClinDoc, Radiant, Nurse Triage
Stesha Selsky started her career at UCLA Health in 2012 as a cardio-thoracic nurse at the Ronald Reagan Hospital. While practicing bedside nursing, she became a certified progressive care nurse and participated in several CareConnect workgroups and optimizations. In 2014, she transitioned to the nursing informatics team temporarily to help support the CareConnect 2015 upgrade for the perioperative areas. She transitioned permanently to the nursing informatics team in 2015 and now works with the Radiology Department and Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital. She also champions E-signature projects and the Nurse Triage application.
Selsky received her master’s degree in nursing administration at California State University Dominguez Hills. She received her BSN from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in Sociology and Economics from the University of Michigan.
Donna Wellbaum, RNNurse Informaticist, UCLA HealthCareConnect Focus: ASAP
Donna Wellbaum has served as a masters’ prepared nursing informatics professional with over 17 years of experience as a clinician and member of the healthcare information technology (HIT) industry with knowledge focused in Epic EHR applications. In addition to 10 years of clinical nursing experience in the Emergency Department, she also has 4 years Epic experience and is certified in Willow and Beaker CP with up to date 2015. Wellbaum has a broad clinical knowledge base, including inpatient specialties, ED and NVT ancillaries such as laboratory systems, including Meditech, PowerPath, Safetrace TX, and RALS.
Wellbaum has 10 years of manager experience, after managing departments of over 100 people, including interviewing and hiring of team members, staff training and development, on-going team member evaluation, resource allocation, project management and budgeting accountabilities. She managed and contributed to multiple full project life-cycle implementations with large, multi-facility, integrated healthcare systems. She has health information technology experience, including vendor selection, implementation and as well as EHR integration.