Alumni Spotlight: Brent Hicks

Headshot of Brent Hicks

M.S. Health Informatics '19
Enterprise Application Architect, Cleveland Clinic

Brent is an Enterprise Application Architect at Cleveland Clinic where he is responsible for reviewing all new healthcare IT projects, designing new IT tools and interfaces between systems, and coming up with creative ways to use the technology the clinic already owns to address new user needs, rather than purchasing new software. Additionally, Brent reviews emerging applications that could improve patient care and enhance provider workflows. As an IT leader, he also represents Cleveland Clinic on many fronts both internally and externally.

“In the last few years monolithic companies that create systems for healthcare have opened up their platforms to allow for modern interoperability,” Brent says. “This has allowed health systems to complete integration projects in a quarter of the time.” Platform interoperability also has paved the way for Brent to be involved in projects such as chat bots, voice control, and developing and integrating predictive models across platforms.

"I have worked in healthcare IT for over 20 years, and I still find existing areas where I have opportunities to learn since technology is ever-evolving."


Brent enjoyed taking health informatics courses related to healthcare, public health, legal issues, and human-centered design. A few of his favorite courses were Legal Issues in Health Informatics, Clinical Analytics, and Human Factors and Usability in Health Informatics. Prior to taking these courses, Brent had only learned about human factors design and clinical analytics through on-the-job experience. He appreciated the opportunity to receive some formal education on these topics. His Individual Investigation course provided him with a forum to connect everything he had learned during the program, and also explore other important areas of interest.


Many of Brent’s projects in 2020 were in response to COVID-19, such as setting up telehealth platforms for remote patient care. More recently, Brent has implemented programs that allow patients who typically would need inpatient care to receive care at home instead. Most of his career has centered on clinical IT, but within the past few years, Brent also has been working on API-enabled applications that support the patient experience. “The patient experience is centered on treating the whole patient and not just seeing them as a chart of medical data,” Brent says. Currently, he is working on combining data from various sources (medical records, patient preferences, patient experiences, social determinants of health, etc.) to create a holistic visualization of the patient and improve understanding of the patient, which would allow for more personalized care.


While in the health informatics program at the iSchool, Brent served as a student representative of the KSU Health Informatics Advisory Council. He is involved in several professional organizations, including the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE), and College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME). Brent currently serves as president of the Northern Ohio HIMSS chapter (NOHIMSS). He encourages students to reach out to him on LinkedIn if they are interested in becoming HIMSS volunteers.


Brent co-authored an article entitled, “Advanced technology leads to earlier intervention for clinical deterioration on medical/surgical units,” which was published in Applied Nursing Research in 2019. Brent has published articles in other health-related journals and publications, including Critical Care Medicine, American Urological Association (AUA) Abstracts, The Journal of General Internal Medicine, and The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.


Brent suggests becoming familiar with each course’s assignments and reading the texts for each module as early in the week as possible. “Try not to leave the learning and work to the last minute,” he says. Knowing what type of assignments were coming up and getting a head start on the readings allowed Brent to better manage his time each week. To prepare for their future careers, he advises current students to focus on developing strong communication skills, including proficiency in imparting, debating, and sharing knowledge, as well as the ability to create and deliver an effective presentation. When looking for new hires, Brent seeks those with passion, kindness, authenticity, drive, and a commitment to learning.


Brent is open to engaging with iSchool students via LinkedIn.

Learn about other successful iSchool graduates in our Alumni Spotlights.