Health Information Management Alumna Returns to Work with Current Seniors

Rose Dunn, an alumna of Saint Louis University’s health information management program and the CEO of a local consulting firm, recently helped provide current SLU HIM students with valuable real-world practice, as well as a unique senior capstone project.

Dunn played the role of chief financial officer for a local hospital and presented an extensive case of issues that the hospital actually faced recently to the students in the class. The students worked in teams to research the problems, analyze any available data and propose solutions. The case culminated in the teams presenting their proposals to Dunn just as they would to a CFO in a hospital board room.

After the student presentations were made, Dunn presented the full case analysis done by her consulting firm, the actual recommendations that were made and the outcome of the situation. She also went on to explain the finer details of how to prepare for a scenario like the case study and how to convey leadership when presenting.

As an alumna of both the Doisy College of Health Sciences and the John Cook School of Business, Dunn said she was excited to give back to the university that she says gave her the foundation she needed to be successful.

“Often, we teach theory in the classroom, but when we enter the real world, it’s not as perfect as the theory,” Dunn said. "This project required data analysis, regulatory understanding and workflow assessment. It also required some tough decisions to be made.”

The students seemed just as eager to have the opportunity to apply what they had learned in a real-life scenario. One student that participated in the project, Lindsay Vogelsang, explained how this situation encouraged her to think deeper into her topic.

“Being able to work on a real-life case proved to be more challenging than any case we have been presented with from the textbook,” Vogelsang said. “It really revealed all of the hard work that it takes to accomplish large projects in an organization. There are many barriers, such as employee resistance, that you don’t encounter in a hypothetical situation.”

Dunn enjoyed seeing the thought process of each team and seeing how they chose to direct their focus. She believes projects like this should continue to be presented to students.

“Ideally, educational programs, and not just this one, would encourage more case studies and time in the future workplace so that students can experience firsthand the environment in which they will eventually work and the day-to-day issues that they likely will be confronting,” Dunn said.

Learn more about SLU's health information management program.