Spotlight: UCD’s Melissa Jost – Passionate about Health Informatics and the Half Ironman

Posted by Karishma Morabia, UCB student intern, UCOP.  After graduating from UC Davis with degrees in political science and history, Melissa Jost joined the Department of Clinical Information Systems at the UC Davis Medical Center as an administrative assistant. She thought she would take a break before attending law school. But she developed an unexpected interest in healthcare technology, which fueled her academic and career pursuits.

For the last five years, Jost has been a project analyst on enterprise Epic electronic health record implementation projects for the UC Davis Health System (UCDHS). Recently she completed her master’s in health informatics at UC Davis, and her thesis investigated “physician adoption and use of a mobile electronic health record application.”

Jost and her team develop, implement, and support Epic electronic health record software and associated third-party applications for UCDHS. Currently, Jost is the project lead for several key projects – replacing Honeywell Windows Mobile barcode medication administration devices to iPhone SE devices, expanding barcode functionality to the Emergency Department and Infusion Centers, and implementing barcode functionality for blood product administration, specimen collection, and breast milk. Jost is also project lead for the development of a physician EMR efficiency program, accomplished by application configuration, continuing education programs, and immediate support for quick enhancements.

“The thing I love most about working for the Epic applications team at UCDHS is that we are able to leverage technology to directly improve patient safety, advance the quality of care delivered, and increase satisfaction of our patients and providers. It may sound clichéd, but I believe that the UC system can be a national leader in the healthcare technology field. I would like to see each of the UC medical centers continue to work together to develop innovative and impactful solutions, through further development of the electronic health record and other health care technologies, to streamline and improve healthcare delivery.”

Beyond work, Jost completed her first Half Ironman race on July 10 and has participated in a variety of Olympic and sprint distance events. A 4:00 a.m. conversation during the original implementation of handheld barcode administration devices at the UC Davis Medical Center sparked her interest in running. During a twelve-hour shift when Jost was teaching nurses how to use handheld barcode scanners to document correct medication administration and dosing, a nurse observed that most of the patients that had undergone surgery that evening would not be in their situations if only they had exercised 20 minutes a day. This could be as simple as taking the stairs more often, or walking a dog. This flash of insight started Jost’s fitness journey – from jogging her first quarter mile three years ago to becoming the passionate triathlete she is today.


Comment (1)

  1. Ola

    Hi. Great post. A quick question. I have been thinking about applying to an Ms health informatics program in Canada. However, my main concern is that my bachelor’s degree is in a non health science field (political science with an information studies minor). I notice you had a somewhat similar bachelor’s background but managed to get admitted into the program. How did you manage that if you don’t mind my asking. I also have work experience as EMR tech. Canthis work experience and my information studies minor degree boost my chances of acceptance. I will appreciate any input you can provide on this. Thanks.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.