Finding your passion in life comes at different times for different people. Growing up in Romania, Daniela Crivianu-Gaita pursued a degree in computer software engineering but had no clear idea what to do with it. She held a variety of jobs, some in the IT space as a systems analyst and others in purchasing. During a stint with an IT consulting firm, she found herself working with a large academic hospital. “I discovered healthcare and absolutely fell in love with the field,” she says. Now, as CIO of Dynacare, a laboratory service provider that is transforming into a health and wellness solutions company, she is helping shape the future of healthcare through technology.
The industry appealed to Crivianu-Gaita immediately. “You can help people and make a real difference in their lives,” she says. “You sense it more than in other industries.” She also was attracted to the somewhat contradictory nature of technology and healthcare. “IT is structured. It’s black and white, while in healthcare, each care interaction is unique,” Crivianu-Gaita says. “I was fascinated by the challenge of meeting the unique needs of healthcare with the structure of IT. I wanted to be a part of creating something unique.”
Crivianu-Gaita began working for the hospital full-time. However, in 1998 she and her husband and son immigrated to Canada. “We wanted more professional growth opportunities, so my husband and I decided to move,” she says. Crivianu-Gaita was hired at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto, where she helped to set up the hospital’s diagnostic imaging information systems and then became involved in an increasing number of enterprise-wide projects. She eventually became the hospital’s chief information officer and vice president of information management and technology.
Happy in her work and not looking to change jobs, Crivianu-Gaita nevertheless came across an opportunity to join Dynacare. “I came for an interview and learned about the company’s fantastic vision,” she says. “Dynacare wanted to transform itself from a traditional lab company into a health and wellness solutions leader that improves the lives of all Canadians. That sold me.”
In her three years with the company, Crivianu-Gaita has helped make much of that dream a reality. The company has grown and diversified and now does specialty testing in genetics and forensics, mobile services, and paramedical services. As CIO, she oversees about eighty-five people in her portfolio, which is divided into four verticals. Core IT handles infrastructure, databases, data storage, and the like. Digital Solutions and Integration Services teams design, develop, and implement software solutions. Informatics Solutions and Services are charged with gaining insights from data. Finally, the Project Management and Resource Planning vertical addresses how the company approaches initiatives to help deliver on its projects.
Crivianu-Gaita’s major focus currently is supporting the company’s vision and mission through the acquisition, design, and implementation of innovative IT solutions. “We’re taking Dynacare to the next level of digital technology,” she says. “The strategy of the company includes evolution, transformation, and growth. We’re creating new technology, digital solutions, and services to achieve this.”
Supporting the company’s vision and mission also means engaging with customers differently, by merging their physical presence with a digital presence. “A big focus for us is digitizing both our internal and external processes in order to provide an amazing customer experience,” Crivianu-Gaita says. That includes eliminating any paper and manual processes and moving to electronic data collection in business-to-business services. It also means focusing on offering mobile applications that allow customers to make appointments and check wait times online. “We have a number of new apps that enable customers more flexibility and choice,” she says.
As a leader, Crivianu-Gaita says she believes in transparency. “I communicate with my staff as much as possible to ensure they understand our organizational direction and how their role contributes to it,” she explains. “They can then respond to business needs more easily.” She continually brings employees from other business units in to present to her staff and expose them as much as possible to the business side of the company.
Mentoring is important to her as well. “I like to help people grow personally and professionally,” she says. “I offer to coach and mentor people, and many take me up on that. I was lucky to have mentors, and I want to help as others have helped me.”
On her horizon, Crivianu-Gaita wants to take Dynacare to new levels of expertise in the areas of informatics and analytics. “The more technology advances, the more data we have available to us,” Crivianu-Gaita says. “We are trying to make sense of that data and provide insights to our clients and customers.” A recent project incorporated artificial intelligence tools to mine data from histology reports and create statistical information for gastrointestinal clinics. “The clinics no longer had to complete this manually, so it was very well received,” she explains.
Even after twenty-seven years in healthcare, Crivianu-Gaita still feels the passion she felt when she first worked for that hospital in Romania. “I still love what I am doing, and I still love healthcare,” she says. “I come to work with joy. After this long in an industry, sometimes you can get bored, but I don’t. It is always dynamic and evolving. It keeps me motivated.”
Beckman Coulter Diagnostics’ DxONE is a portfolio of informatics solutions that empowers laboratories to do what they do best: make a difference. It’s all about standardized processes, optimized workflows, impactful analytics, and streamlined inventory management to ensure fast, accurate results that support better patient care. When essential manual tasks within a laboratory are efficiently automated, skilled staff can dedicate themselves to the high‐value work that moves healthcare forward. For more information, visit beckmancoulter.com/dxone.