The Physician Spotlight is an interview series highlighting prominent members of the Doximity network. Each interview sheds light on the unique challenges physicians face in medicine today and how Doximity’s tools and technology are helping doctors solve these issues. This week, we interviewed Richard Milani, cardiologist and Chief Clinical Transformation Officer at Ochsner Health in Louisiana.
Q: How did you originally find out about Doximity, and why did you decide to sign up as a member?
A: I believe I signed up for Doximity when it first came out. I saw it as a great opportunity to network with my colleagues, and I’ve been an active user ever since.
Q: How is Doximity different from other platforms you’ve used for either networking or medicine?
A: Doximity is a very interesting platform because it provides a lot of the things that I would look for as a physician. Not only is it a networking opportunity for doctors, but as a cardiologist, it’s a great referral opportunity for me as well. It also offers tools like Doximity Dialer and DocFax, which helps me in my clinical workflow. So, it really serves a lot of the different components that I need in my day-to-day practice.
Q: How do you like to use Doximity?
A: I love that Doximity automatically includes my published articles within my profile so I’m able to feature some of the things I’m working on in my practice.
I also use Doximity to be able to keep everybody informed about what’s going on with an individual patient sometimes. We have the ability within the EMR to actually message other physicians that might have referred a patient to us through Doximity and then keep track of how those patients are doing.
And again, I get referrals from states around us through Doximity, so it’s a great avenue to let other physicians know about my specialty and expertise that are unique as well as what’s happening with their patients while they’re under my care.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in medicine, specifically cardiology?
A: Well, actually, I took a long road to get there. I became a doctor at a young age, but I did multiple fellowships--internal medicine, preventive medicine, clinical epidemiology, critical care, and then ended up in cardiovascular disease. I find medicine in general to be very interesting. When I was a young child, I always wanted to be a physician, so this was the ability to fulfill those dreams. I’ve always enjoyed the science of medicine, and thankfully I’ve enjoyed a career in medicine.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your role as Chief Transformation Officer at Ochsner?
A: My role as Chief Transformation Officer is literally just that. Medicine is a fast-moving industry. There’s a lot of new technologies, a lot of new development, a lot of new science that’s very difficult to keep up with. And my job is to sort of push us into the 21st century as fast as we can go. That includes anything from artificial intelligence in our clinical practice to genomics, to using big data to be able to alter how we treat the patients and, finally, digital health. We were one of the first in providing chronic disease care, digitally. And so, that’s all been part of my role as Transformation Officer.
Q: That sounds like a fun job. What do you enjoy most about your role?
A: I really enjoy the opportunity to create. I’m the director of the innovation entity within our institution, which enables me and our team to stick our nose under all kinds of tents and--looking for new ways we can innovate.
For instance, because of my role, I get to be involved in obstetrics and gynecology, the COPD, and in-hospital care– basically a lot of areas that have nothing to do with my specialty in cardiology. By doing this, it allows us to be able to look to see where we can provide improvements in all aspects of clinical care.
Q: Any recent technology you’ve implemented that you want to share that has had a positive outcome?
A: We’ve had some great success with artificial intelligence. We developed a means of predicting who is going to code in the hospital four hours before they code. And then, we developed an intervention program to alter the outcome of those individuals. So, we know that about 75 percent of humans that code in a hospital across the planet, including the United States, die. We’ve been able to drop those codes by 49% as a result of using AI to alert us four hours in advance that someone may actually undergo a cardiac arrest. We have a special team that we created that actually can change the outcome for those individuals.
Artificial intelligence, robotics, and other advanced technologies are going to allow physicians to be able to do more for--with less. This means that I can now take care of a greater number of patients more efficiently and get to the right answer most of the time faster than I ever could before. Technology certainly won’t replace me as a physician, however it will be an enabler.