This Week Health

CHIME Day 1 – My Initial Conversations

The opening reception is in the books. Today I discuss what I've found to be top of mind issues for CIOs from across healthcare. Hope you enjoy.

Transcript
Bill Russell:

Good morning. It's day one at the chime conference, actually it's day one and a half, I guess, because last night we got together at the reception, got to hang out with people for the first time in a long time and just get a pulse of what's going on in the industry. And that's what I wanted to do today is just share what I am hearing from initial conversation. And set up what we're going to be doing over the next couple of days. So today is Thursday and I'm going to be doing a bunch of interviews today. There's five to 10 minute interviews that you've gotten used to, and I'm just going to grab people, probably just hit on one topic. So these aren't going to be deep dives, but I'm going to take people that, you know, from the industry, ask them specific questions about the topics that are top of mind. And just get some sound bites for you to get a feel for what's going on in the conference and in the industry. Let me give you, so my initial reactions I've talked to, I would say a good half dozen to two, maybe even two dozen CEOs at this time. We did the news day recording yesterday afternoon and that will air on Monday and directs. And I sat down and then a couple of CIO's dropped in on us. Erin, Mary Lee, Milligan William Waldo, stopped in Dr. Colin Banas from Dr. First stopped in as well. That is, I think, going to be a must listen to it was, I loved it. And Aaron pushed back on me a little bit on some of the things I was saying, and that is always great for the industry. And you could hear some of that back and forth on. I think the biggest issue going on, and this is kind of surprising to me, but as I thought about it is not as surprising as I might have thought if I had really spent some time thinking about it, cybersecurity, I think is taking the number two position in people's minds right now. And it's not because it's not important. It's because we've made a bunch of progress in this area. We've been thinking and doing things on it for the better part of. You know, nine months, maybe even a year, in some cases, maybe even a little longer for the forward-thinking health systems so that the plans are moving, the money has been freed up around cybersecurity boards are aware of it. And so that work is underway. So not as top of mind, as you would think it would be the, issue, which is top of mind is labor and staffing. And so we have a couple of things that are going on right now. One the vaccine mandates. And so they, those are slowly rolling out across health systems across the country. Some health systems, United Methodist and others, uh, got well ahead of this and were some of the early organizations do this, and then others just waited for their states or for the federal mandate to kick in, to have backing, to do it in states that may not have been as open to the, uh, to having. So regardless either way, cause we're not going to talk about vaccine mandates. Do they make sense or not? They are going in pretty much across the board in health systems. And what we're seeing is that that's impacting health, it staff, right? I talked to one CIO, they lost 19 people talk to another CIO there they're facing losing about 30 people. And it's not necessarily those numbers. Aren't staggering. They're not huge numbers, but it was already a challenging market to find staff. And now it's becoming even more challenging, especially when you, you know, it's not, Hey, I lost 19 people. It's Hey. Yeah, two or three very strategic people. My head of network operations PR potentially could be somebody you might lose that you're sitting there going, this is the person who understood our routing tables. Understood. how our network was set up, how our disaster recovery was set up. That's a significant loss. I'm not saying that, you know, I'm not valuing people, but in terms of the skills that are brought and the difficulty in replacing it, replacing some of these positions that we're losing is very challenging. And I think this is top of mind for almost. So the conversation about labor, what we're doing around it, how we are preparing to backfill some of those positions, how we are getting creative with where we're hiring people and how we're thinking about work environments, how we're managing people through the pandemic, how we're communicating with people. These, these are the topics that are, interestingly, at least for the leaders of the organization, really top of. Kinds of, conversations. And so those were, I guess again, I, if I really thought about it, that would make sense to me that that would be bubbling up because it's the, the issue of the day. If you will, it's the issue. That's hitting them right now. And that's the nature of being a CIO. You're going along. You have a strategic plan, you're doing a lot of different things and you are moving all those, all those balls down the field to use a football analogy. The, uh, the unexpected just continues to hit us, you know, it's the pandemic. And then it's, everybody worked from home then it's, figure out how to do remote care, figuring out how to do telehealth overnight. Uh, that's been the nature of the job for roughly the last two years. And it doesn't look like that is going to change anytime soon. I will say this digital. One of the, obviously the top five things going on. And when I say digital, it's kind of pretty broad in terms of the definition, but it's applying technology to clinical workflows to administrative processes. and data obviously I think is in that top five as well, figuring out how to do things with the data. We are collecting how to collect new types of data, how to, visualize that. also seems to be top of mine. So that'll give you some idea of where the interviews are going to be going over the next week and just give you another little heads up. So I go from this conference to another conference, I'm going to have interviews on this channel probably for the next two weeks. the five to 10 minute interviews with people who are in positions of influence within their health systems. So hopefully you're enjoying. These short snippets, we will get back to my commentary on the news, probably in about two week timeframe. After I get back from traveling, get back in my studio where I can actually sit down and breathe a little bit and read some articles and catch up on things. We are back to traveling and getting used to that and all the things that it entails is kind of fun. So, if you have anything or anyone that you would like for me to interview, shoot me a note bill@thisweekinhealthit.com. I'm going to interview as many people here at chime, as I possibly can. Five to 10 minutes, try to get you a flavor for what's going on. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week called.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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