TCU alumnus leads informatics innovation

As Providence Health & Services’ newest Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Dave Hanson ‘03 is helping lead the way in the future of health care technology systems.

Dave Hanson, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, NEA-BC

Dave Hanson ’03

Like many health care professionals, Dave Hanson decided to pursue a career in nursing because he wanted to make a difference.

“For me, it’s not just a job,” he said. “It’s a purpose, it’s a calling, it’s a mission.”

After encountering a difficult-to-use electronic health record many years ago, Hanson says his interest in informatics was born.

“I was on the clinician end-user side at that time and experienced firsthand the poor usability of the system,” he said. “Unfortunately, it put patients at risk of medical error, did little to enhance clinical care, and actually increased the time clinicians spent documenting patient care.”

As Hanson and his colleagues continued to grapple with temperamental medical technologies in the field, he became increasingly convinced that there had to be a better way to develop information systems for clinicians.

“As a clinician and leader, I was and remain determined to be part of the solution,” he said. “As a clinical practice expert, I realized my voice and insights were essential in helping the clinical informaticists to both understand and design relevant clinical workflows in the EHR.”

Ever since, Hanson has worked tirelessly to help improve the information systems available to clinicians in order to better provide quality care to patients. Now serving as Providence Health & Services’ Chief Nursing Informatics Officer for the hospital system’s California Market Clinical Informatics Team, Hanson is looking to the future of informatics in order to save lives.

“[Informatics] is only going to grow – especially when you consider the shortage of nurses and primary health care providers,” he said. “Whether you’re a nurse, a physician, or a respiratory therapist, we really need tools that make the workflow more efficient.”

Hanson earned his BSN from Indiana State University and graduated with Harris College’s inaugural Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist class upon completing his MSN in 2003. No stranger to hard work, Hanson is also currently in his second year as a doctoral student at the UCLA School of Nursing.