NICU Dad Pays-“IT”-Forward
Author: Jim Clarke, Senior Manager of Information Technology
As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, I pause to reflect on how blessed I am to be the father of two happy, healthy toddlers; Jimmy (age 4) and Johnny (age 3). The boys are always full of surprises, however, the biggest surprise as a [soon-to-be] parent was having experienced the NICU not once, but twice.
Jimmy and Johnny (respectively born at 30 and 31 weeks gestation), combined, spent ten weeks in the NICU. My wife and I are often asked “what’s it like being the parent of a NICU baby?” Our customary response is to use the analogy that it was just like a “roller-coaster ride.” Meaning, there are many ups and downs during the weeks following the birth of a NICU infant, and sometimes you have to take it day by day to make it through the twists and turns. The hospital provided support throughout the NICU experience, but what we really needed was continuity of care and an available clinical resource during their respective first year. Upon joining ProgenyHealth, I came to realize that this is the type of care that they provide to families throughout the country.
Throughout my IT career I have always been immersed in a wide spectrum of disciplines. However, the experience of watching Jimmy and Johnny in the NICU left me with a desire to re-focus my career path to support the NICU population. I began my time at ProgenyHealth with deep admiration for the company’s mission, and have brought to the company a diverse set of IT skills and perspectives. As Progeny’s Senior Manager of Information Technology, I remain focused on Progeny’s IT Strategic Roadmap to advance operations while improving the health outcomes of NICU babies. A few of our IT objectives are outlined below:
Expand ProgenyHealth’s Mobile App offering and features
As a father of NICU graduates, I know the importance of engaging families and providing easy access to clinical resources and educational materials. It is especially critical during the early stages of development. Progeny’s Baby Trax mobile app serves as an additional opportunity to engage and interact with the families regularly through a convenient mode of communication.
Build out operational efficiencies through technology advancement
At the center of Progeny’s operations is our proprietary Baby Trax software. Progeny continues to advance the platform to further support clinical staff, improve organizational efficiencies, and provide useful information to our clients. With more than a decade of experience in the industry, we’ve created an extensive database of cases that Progeny can use to track, trend, and develop evidence-based best practices.
Leveraging partnerships with industry leaders
In March 2016, we updated our proprietary needs assessment tool by integrating third party guidelines within our Baby Trax software. By using evidence-based guidelines within our member assessment tool, we have added a solid clinical foundation to our process.
As a final thought, one of my favorite sayings in life is “Do what you love, love what you do.” To have the opportunity to bridge my passion for IT and support the care of the NICU population leaves me with an immense sense of happiness and satisfaction as I celebrate Father’s Day this year.
Jim Clarke is ProgenyHealth’s Senior Manager of Information Technology, with over twelve years of IT experience. Jim oversees IT operations with a focus on Network Security, Technology Compliance, and Software Development of our products and services. Jim brings a unique perspective to Progeny as he and his wife experienced the NICU environment twice with the birth of their son’s Jimmy and Johnny. In Jim’s free time, he is an Adjunct Lecturer at Penn State Abington, where he covers all aspects of IT.