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Atlanta Consultant Elizabeth Howell on Innovations in Telehealth and Supporting the City’s COVID-19 Response

By: SEI Team

Elizabeth Howell, a business and technology consultant at SEI Atlanta, describes how SEI utilizes innovation, collaboration, and passion to prepare clients for the future of healthcare. 

Elizabeth Howell grasped the significance of innovative thinking early in her career. A graduate of the dual degree engineering program between Spelman College and Georgia Tech, she launched her career as an industrial engineer in automotive manufacturing. As the market shifted toward supply chain operations, Elizabeth transitioned into supply chain solutions consulting. She then dove into management and operations, and earned her MBA in global business in order to expand her knowledge of operations strategy and round out her engineering experience.

Elizabeth joined SEI Atlanta six years ago, where she draws on her expertise to help SEI Atlanta solve business problems. Her professional experience has prepared her to tackle a variety of challenges, but nothing could have prepared her — or anyone in the healthcare industry — for the demands COVID-19 would bring to the healthcare sector. “It was an emotional time for everyone,” she observes.

Tackling Challenges During a Pandemic 

Recently at SEI Atlanta, Elizabeth and her team provided support for the city’s COVID-19 response. To ensure that operations were carrying on effectively, SEI Atlanta collaborated with its healthcare partner to assist with the city’s metrics reporting efforts.

“We gathered major minds around analytics to ensure we met CDC guidelines and timelines and that daily reports were accurate and organized,” Elizabeth explains. Together, they helped implement a massive cross-functional team that streamlined the reporting of COVID-19 metrics across different hospitals. “Each day presented a difficult challenge to tackle,” Elizabeth recalls, “but it was an exhilarating experience.”

COVID-19 has accelerated certain emergent trends in healthcare technology. Because of the widespread reliance on telehealth capabilities, Elizabeth predicts there will be an increased demand for cybersecurity in healthcare institutions. This means healthcare systems must routinely assess their architecture for vulnerabilities and create mitigation plans accordingly. Mobile access to healthcare data is also disrupting the healthcare landscape by driving up the adoption of IoMT devices and increasing the demand for secure mobile functions. 

Healthcare organizations need to preemptively prevent data breaches and supply chain attacks to promote end-user safety. COVID-19 research and vaccine distribution contain especially high-value data. As the healthcare sector seeks to prevent these attacks, Elizabeth believes investments in cybersecurity technologies like CrowdStrike will grow.

Fortunately, SEI is already supporting organizations in cybersecurity implementations. “We already direct our partners to explore cybersecurity capabilities,” she observes.

Staying Relevant with SEI

SEI invests in strategic market assessments in order to gain valuable insights into economic shifts, ongoing market trends, customer expenditure, competitors, and other demographics. Consultants at SEI Atlanta are “constantly assessing current talents against market needs to ensure our skills remain sharp and relevant,” Elizabeth explains. 

Elizabeth led a team of consultants in a market assessment, which helped inform the rebranding of SEI’s capabilities. The output highlighted the value of expanding SEI capabilities in data and analytics and technology enablement in order to meet the demands of the Atlanta market. SEI-ers are well-prepared to handle projects across industries, responsibilities, and subject matters.

Because everyone at SEI brings in-depth expertise to their projects, it’s easy — and encouraged — for SEI consultants to collaborate with colleagues. These reach-back opportunities help SEI-ers “collaboratively attack” business problems with full industry knowledge and find optimal solutions. Elizabeth has surfaced opportunities for the SEI team to reassess the D&A strategies of their healthcare partners. “Our collaborative approach to engagements lets us deliver exponential brain power to our clients,” says Elizabeth. 

Bringing a “Personal Touch”

The preparation and industry knowledge SEI consultants leverage is particularly important for SEI’s healthcare initiatives. Many SEI consultants have already established deep ties to industry leaders and proven their ability to tackle any and all business challenges. Throughout her time at SEI, Elizabeth has surfaced opportunities for the SEI team to reassess the D&A strategies of their healthcare partners.

Because SEI consultants live and work locally, they cultivate close relationships with their clients. By working with local enterprises, SEI Atlanta stays involved with the community and its various stakeholders. “We like to boast about our ability to live in the communities we serve,” Elizabeth says. “It lets us invest more time in connecting with our clients and finding innovative solutions together. We bring a ‘personal touch’ to solution delivery.”

In addition to building relationships with clients, SEI consultants also build relationships among each other. Since every SEI-er is a co-owner of the company, SEI consultants share similar values and build strong foundations for working together. “We care about each other as people here,” Elizabeth explains. “At SEI, we check in on and take care of one another.” 

The personal aspect of SEI is deeply important to Elizabeth. She is a charter member of SEI’s DE&I Council, a group that collaborates with the CEO to develop the company’s approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Alongside her consulting roles at SEI Atlanta, she is also a critical voice in and driver of DE&I programming, metrics definition, and skills development. 

Currently, Elizabeth is leading the implementation of a solution designed to streamline revenue cycles, improve clinician insights, and generate accurate reimbursement. The technology leverages AI and other advanced technologies to enhance productivity and transform outpatient measures. “Having this level of trust from major healthcare systems is truly an honor,” she says.