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Leading Change and Improving Healthcare Around the World

Meet Lynda (Miki) Mikalauskas, RN, BScN, MBA, CPHQ. Based in Coconut Creek, Florida, Miki joins the AHIMA International team of healthcare experts with more than 30 years of experience in nursing, executive healthcare administration, and consulting. Her career spans the globe from Canada to the United Arab Emirates to France to Turkey. In this interview she discusses her passion for patient safety and improving organizational outcomes.

What made you decide to pursue a career in healthcare?

Despite having difficulty with calculus and physics when completing my health sciences degree, I decided to enter the college level registered nursing program, graduating with a diploma. After a few years providing nursing care, I completed my Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the University of  Montreal. Originally, I thought this would be a stepping stone to becoming a physician or dentist. But I fell in love with nursing, despite the high demands of the profession, and made it my mission to provide the best care to patients and their families.

What has been most rewarding and challenging about working in healthcare?

Resource constraints sometimes make it challenging to provide the highest quality of care to patients. Persevering through these challenges trained me to develop flexibility, patience, and innovative thinking that help me find solutions in nursing and healthcare generally. In terms of rewards, my career has provided me with opportunities to explore diverse environments and perspectives. I’ve worked with organizations in Europe, the Middle East, the Asian Pacific Rim, and Central America and lived in France, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Consulting allows me to help organizations from around the world improve their operations and, as a result, improve the care they provide to patients.

What do you see as being the most valuable knowledge and expertise you bring to your role as an international consultant at AHIMA?

During my career, I have developed a passion for patient safety which makes me determined to identify challenges that pose a risk to organizations and their ability to deliver the best patient care. Two of the most important factors in patient safety are proper communication and accurate health information, which ensure that everyone who is responsible for a patient’s care is aware of their health story in its entirety. I am passionate about educating organizations that a complete and accurate patient record is crucial to patient safety outcomes.

How do you continue to learn and grow in the ever-changing field of healthcare?

Change in healthcare is accelerating as the field incorporates advances in technology, innovative models of care, new procedures, and now artificial intelligence. Reading professional journals, participating in webinars, and attending conferences keep me enthusiastic about the future of healthcare despite the challenges. As I talk with my colleagues, I find it incredible that so many of us—hospital administrators, clinicians, health information professionals—from around the world face the same problems, differing in complexity or level of importance, but at the core they are similar issues.

Tell us about your international work experience.

After ten years at the Montreal General Hospital in Quebec, Canada, I went to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to work as head nurse of an intensive care unit in a military hospital during a war, Desert Storm, which was my first experience with disaster management.  I was then invited to move to Istanbul where I had the pleasure of working in a hospital that went through amazing changes in nursing quality of care, hospital quality, and patient safety. Next, I worked as part of Joint Commission International providing education and consultation to organizations throughout Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. During my last decade overseas, I worked in Panama City and the United Arab Emirates. These global experiences have equipped me with knowledge and understanding about developing and implementing solutions across cultures. I look forward to being part of the AHIMA team and sharing everything I’ve learned with organizations that work with AHIMA.

Meet Lynda (Miki) Mikalauskas, RN, BScN, MBA, CPHQ

Lynda (Miki) Mikalauskas, RN, BScN, MBA, CPHQ