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Imagine you go to Best Buy with a $100 budget for a television and you leave with a broken one for $1200 and no opportunity to fix it—essentially, that’s our healthcare system. We wouldn’t stand for that in business, yet in healthcare it’s commonplace, says Dr. Bobbie Kite, new Academic Director and Associate Professor for the Healthcare Leadership program at University College.

“We should know what’s available at what price at what facility,” she said. “To make better decisions and to improve patient care, we need to turn data into actionable insight.”

Dr. Kite’s mission is to empower patients with data that can save lives. As it stands, patients don’t have access to the information they need to make better decisions, and Dr. Kite knows this from personal experience.

Falling ill on the first day of her PhD program, Dr. Kite nearly died and was met with a medical bill of over $30,000—a price tag she said should have been $400 based on the procedure. This inspired her to focus her research on transparency and pricing.

“I work with data to prevent that situation from happening to someone else,” she said. “I want to educate healthcare workers and enable them to help patients get the information they need.”
“The future of healthcare power is coming back to the patient through consumer devices and methods,” she said. Integrating this data will be key, as healthcare workers serve as the conduit between patients and physicians. If done effectively, it could lead to precision medicine—healthcare with the right treatment, at the right time, at the right place, with the right provider.

As healthcare evolves and technology grows, teaching students how to meet emerging healthcare demands will be more important than ever. “I’m committed to ensuring the content we teach students stays very focused on the cutting-edge of the changes that are happening, whether that be technology, policy, or payment cycles,” said Dr. Kite.

As she embarks on her new position at University College, Dr. Kite plans to build a robust faculty pool, forge new collaborations in the community, and continue to deliver career-focused content. All of this will help Dr. Kite deliver on her mission to empower patients with data—a fast-growing area in healthcare.

“There are more ways than ever before to access our own data outside of healthcare delivery systems,” she said. “Data only increases, never decreases.” With that in mind, it’s good to know Dr. Kite is digging deep into the data.

Dr. Kite (PhD, Public Health, University of Texas at Houston; MHS, Health Sciences in Emergency and Disaster Management, Touro University) comes from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where she served as a Clinical Assistant Professor in the field of Biomedical Informatics and where she will remain an active adjunct faculty member through the next year.

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