Learn more about Tracy Vayo

Author Bio

Tracy Vayo

Tracy Vayo joined Health Catalyst in 2014 as Director of Knowledge Development, bringing over 25 years of experience in various facets of healthcare and clinical writing and education. Immediately prior to her work at Health Catalyst, Tracy spent nearly 13 years directing the efforts of a clinical publication team at Intermountain Healthcare – creating innovative care process models, patient education, and implementation tools for clinical best practice improvement. Prior to that she directed multidisciplinary education programs at Primary Children’s Hospital and created and managed cardiac rehabilitation and wellness programs for several hospital systems. Tracy holds a Master’s degree in clinical exercise science and a Bachelor’s degree in health education with a communications emphasis.

Read articles by Tracy Vayo


Kirstin Scott
Tracy Vayo

Is a Medical Writer the Missing Accelerant to Your Outcome Improvement Efforts?

Quality improvement efforts are more important than ever. However, even improvement efforts that have the right people, processes, and technology can struggle to make progress.  A medical writer with healthcare knowledge and strong information design skills may be the missing ingredient that can help speed time to adoption and value.
This article discusses the functions a medical writer can fulfill, and why they matter. You will also learn:

The four skills that a medical writer with strong information design skills brings to an improvement team.
Examples of output of medical writers in a healthcare setting.
The skills a medical writer needs.

Additionally, you will learn how to find this unique skill set and where you might find this key person.

Kirstin Scott
Tracy Vayo

The Top Seven Analytics-Driven Approaches for Reducing Diagnostic Error and Improving Patient Safety

From a wrong diagnosis to a delayed one, diagnostic error is a growing concern in the industry. Diagnostic error consequences are severe—they are responsible for 17 percent of preventable deaths (according to a Harvard Medical Practice study) and account for the highest portion of total payments (32.5 percent), according to a 1986-2010 analysis of malpractice claims. Patient safety depends heavily on getting the diagnosis right the first time.
Health systems know reducing diagnostic error to improve patient safety is a top priority, but knowing where to start is a challenge. Systems can start by implementing the top seven analytics-driven approaches for reducing diagnostic error:

Use KPA to Target Improvement Areas
Always Consider Delayed Diagnosis
Diagnose Earlier Using Data
Use the Choosing Wisely Initiative as a Guide
Understand Patient Populations Using Data
Collaborate with Improvement Teams
Include Patients and Their Families

Kirstin Scott
Tracy Vayo

The Top Six Early Detection and Action Must-Haves for Improving Outcomes

Given the industry’s shift toward value-based, outcomes-based healthcare, organizations are working to improve outcomes. One of their top outcomes improvement priorities should be early detection and action, which can significantly improve clinical, financial, and patient experience outcomes. Through early detection and action, systems embrace a proactive approach to healthcare that aims to prevent illness; the earlier a condition is detected, the better the outcome.
But, as with most things in healthcare, improving early detection is easier said than done. This executive report provides helpful, actionable guidance about overcoming common barriers (logistical, cultural, and technical) and improving early detection and action by integrating six must-haves:

Multidisciplinary teams
Leadership-driven culture change
Creative customization
Proof-of-concept pilot projects
Health Catalyst tools (knowledge briefs, outcomes improvement packets and worksheets, and care process improvement maps).

The report features a Thibodaux Regional Medical Center sepsis success story that demonstrates how creative customization, when paired with evidence-based standardization, can improve early detection and action efforts, as well as clinical, financial, and patient outcomes.

Kathleen Merkley, DNP, APRN, FNP
Michael Barton
Tracy Vayo

Improving Healthcare Outcomes: Keep the Triple Aim in Mind

The battle cry for healthcare organizations throughout the United States? Improve outcomes! However, as organizations begin to measure outcomes they realize not all outcomes are created equal and the question of what constitutes an improvement becomes more challenging. Healthcare leaders would be wise to keep the Triple Aim in mind when creating a strategy for optimizing outcomes. Achieving the appropriate balance among the three dimensions of the Triple Aim is critical to driving real, long-term change in healthcare delivery outcomes.

Holly Rimmasch
Kathleen Merkley, DNP, APRN, FNP
Kirstin Scott
Susan Easton
Tracy Vayo

What Do You Get With a Clinical Improvement Application from Health Catalyst?

Transforming healthcare takes more than just dashboards and data. It takes an entirely new approach combining best practices, analytics, and adoption of the improvement program throughout the entire organization. Which is why Health Catalyst Clinical Improvement Applications offer tools to help organizations with all three of those systems. The applications contain starter content (best practices), which includes a knowledge brief, a care process improvement map, and an outcomes improvement packet. Of course, analytics is also part of the applications in the form of precise patient registries, outcomes and process metrics, and visualizations. And finally, Health Catalyst includes deployment services to drive adoption of improvement work. This includes engagement with health system teams and sharing of insights based on work from a variety of healthcare organizations across the country and the world. Armed with a Clinical Improvement Application, a health system is in a better position to make real, meaning changes resulting in outcomes improvement for patients and itself.

Kathleen Merkley, DNP, APRN, FNP
Kirstin Scott
Susan Easton
Tracy Vayo

The 4 Clinical Teams Needed to Drive Sustainable Improvement

As the healthcare industry shifts from a fee-for-service to pay-for-performance and accountable care organizations are under greater pressure to make improvements to their clinical, financial and operational outcomes. As clinical quality improvement efforts grow systematically improving and sustaining care across the organization becomes more challenging. In order to ensure sustainable, long-term change a cross-functional, team-based approach that accelerates the implementation of change throughout the organization is necessary. This is the adoption system. Without an adoption system, improvement initiatives become a series of one off projects that may have a temporary positive impact, but soon return to the baseline level.