Alumni Series: Michael Bourgoin

The QC Analytics Alumni Series continues with Michael Bourgoin, Director of Performance Analytics at NYU Winthrop Hospital. We asked Michael about his work today, and how QC Analytics helped him move on the path to this career. We are proud to count Michael as one of our alumni.

My department is a little different than most analytic team structures (at least in health care).  The typical teams would have developers, programmers and analysts working together to build reports for end users based on their criteria.  My team does that, but we are also embedded with performance and quality improvement teams throughout the organization.  We act as leaders in meetings and committee structures to bring forth objective data and help teams make decisions based on what the data suggests.  Some examples of the kinds of things we focus on are, improving patient care and flow through the hospital, accurate capture and documentation of records, reducing HACs and HAIs (hospital acquired conditions and infections) and improving the efficiency of care provided.
With that said, we really try and move beyond the traditional analyst role and instead try and act more like data scientists.  We value problem solving, storytelling and visualization, understanding variance and perhaps above all else, curiosity.  Curiosity is such a paramount trait to any good data scientist.  We encourage our staff to ask why and think through a problem instead of simply relying on the numbers from a report.  This curiosity, combined with a keen attention to detail, makes for a wonderful asset on any team and is something I honed while in the MA program.
Overall, our approach has been a very successful model and we’ve gotten great participation from administrative and clinical leadership.  While my role is to manage the team, it’s also to help guide executive leadership.  To point them in the right direction on what needs improving and how to go about doing that. It’s a very fulfilling job.  I’m able to positively impact patient’s lives without being involved with direct patient care.  The kinds of projects we lead or participate in greatly improve the overall performance of the organization and most importantly, improve the care we deliver to our patients. 

QC Analytics really helped to bring me down the path I’m on today.  It gave me the skills necessary to do the job (SAS coding skills, quantitative method design, inferential statistics and all that), but more importantly, it helped me develop the correct frame of mind to approach a problem analytically.  Yes, you need technical skills, but you also need a rigorous and logical framework from which to approach a problem.  I learned those important and key ideas in the MA program.  It provided the solid foundation that I was able to build my career from.  Much like a house, if the foundation is weak, what’s built on top of it will eventually falter or fail.  Having the correct structure to build upon has given me the opportunity to learn and build towards the future.

Michael Bourgoin
Director of Performance Analytics, NYU Winthrop Hospital

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