A Q&A with CIO Novlet Mattis

Novlet Palmer Mattis is Orlando Health’s chief information officer. Novlet provides executive leadership for information technology and systems that advance clinical and business strategies and optimize operational processes.

She earned a bachelor’s in business administration from Howard University and an MBA from George Washington University, both in Washington, D.C. She is a Certified Healthcare CIO through the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME).


Q1: Since the time you started in healthcare, what is the biggest change you’ve seen?  

The dependence of healthcare operations on technology automation.


Q2: In your field, what is a current industry trend you’re seeing and how does it compare to your own work?

Digitization (e.g., apps, telemedicine and virtual care, and artificial intelligence) and consumerism.  Consumerism plus an expectation of price transparency and value-based care means that innovation and growth are vital for Orlando Health to remain competitive.   


Q3: Tell us a little about your background. Where did you work before coming to Orlando Health? 

My career has been focused on healthcare for the past 15 years. Before joining Orlando Health in January 2018, I held similar leadership roles at other major healthcare systems. For example, I was the vice president of information technology, supporting more than 125 hospitals across the U.S., as well as international joint ventures, at Ascension Information Services in St. Louis. At Rex Healthcare in Raleigh, N.C., I was vice president of information technology and chief information officer; and at Seton, an Austin, Texas-based healthcare network that operates more than 100 clinical locations, I served as program director and Dell practice executive. Beyond healthcare enterprises, I held management roles at technology companies including Dell Global Services, Lucent Technologies and AT&T.


Q4: Why is Orlando Health moving to a Comprehensive Health Record (CHR) system? 

The growing need for system efficiency and simplicity to improve our operations. This is the reason why. In many ways, a fully integrated health record will allow for better service to patients, vendors and all others involved with Orlando Health.  (For example, with billing, a single consumer portal, and a smoother flow of the patient’s journey through the care continuum.) The single platform Epic provides will enhance the experience of physicians and clinicians as well. Meeting this need requires an integration of clinical and administrative integration processes, which a comprehensive health record enables.    


Q5: How will a new CHR change the culture of OH team members? 

Implementing Epic has united many areas of Orlando Health in working to achieve this critical, long-term benefit to patients, the community and our hospital system. Through all the project work – from the selection of Epic to setting the direction for the project, to building and testing the new CHR – and the many events and wide spectrum of communication to support the project, it’s pretty evident that we are exemplifying a commitment to do what is best to engage physicians, providers and teams. No doubt, we’ve been making the implementation process joyful and inclusive, as well as transformational for Orlando Health.


Q6: How will a new CHR change the lives of OH patients? 

Most importantly, there will be a timely flow of the patient’s story across the care continuum. Providers and patients will have faster and more convenient access to patient information at any facility on the Epic system. The single consumer portal will be vital to simplifying, as well as improving access to information, which also will include more easily understandable billing data.


Q7: Anything else important you would like to share (that donors and/or patients should know)?  Recently, Orlando Health celebrated its centennial. The new CHR is our starting point for building on this proud legacy during the next 100 years. The innovation that comes with it encourages our vision of high physician quality scores sustained in the top decile statewide and nationally, and a Watson Health 100 Top Hospitals ranking. The new CHR will strengthen our ability to continue making Orlando Health the best place to give and receive care.


Q8: What is your favorite...:

App – In Touch Ministries, Inc. devotional app

Book – The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

City to Visit – San Diego

Color – Blue

Food – All things Jamaican

Guilty Pleasure – Shoes

Hobby –  Work

Quote – The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Weekend Activity – Shopping and visiting with my grandkids


Q9: Three words to describe yourself:

a.     visionary

b.     pragmatic

c.     WYSIWYG


Q10: How did you make your first dollar?

Working in my mother’s store. I paid myself.


Q11: What are three unexpected items on your desk?

Strategy cards (outthinking the competition); A one-pager on positive actions based on those by Biblical prophets; 11 cents.  (Also unexpected: There’s no family picture.)


Q12: If you weren’t a doctor/nurse/administrator, what would you be?

A fashion buyer.

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