William “Bill” Reed, Huntzinger’s executive vice president and partner, recently earned his doctorate in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University. His dissertation was “The Factors That Impact Patient Portal Utilization.” Below is a brief Q&A with Bill about earning his doctorate.
Q: How difficult was it to complete your doctoral studies while maintaining your busy work schedule?
A: It’s most difficult on your family, as it absorbs most – or all – of any free time you have. The dissertation was the most difficult aspect. Coursework had specific due dates, so you really couldn’t put things off. Once coursework was done and I was working on the dissertation, it was too easy to say “I’ll do it tomorrow,” which frequently turned into next week or next month.
Q: What influenced you to pick your dissertation topic?
A: I’ve always had an interest in the patient engagement aspects of EMRs. Despite all the government incentives and pushes, portal utilization has been relatively abysmal. I wanted to probe further to understand how patient literacies may adversely impact portal utilization.
Q: What were some of the key things that you learned during your studies?
A: Studies take a long time to conduct. And by the time they’re finished, coupled with the speed in technology evolution, the utility of the results is questionable. Portal utilization may be fairly polarized, meaning they will be mostly accessed only when needed. It would be interesting to analyze utilization as related to wellness/illness.
Q: Why did you decide to pursue your Ph.D.?
A: At various times I have taught college courses and always wanted to do so full time, but kept putting off my doctorate due to work and family priorities. My wife convinced me to finally just do it so I would have the credentials when the time comes.