This Week Health

CHIME Fall Forum 21 – Dr. Sean Kelly with Well Health

Dr. Sean Kelly with Well Health stops by to discuss patient communication in the clinician workflow on our next #interviewinaction from #chime21fall. Great conversation, hope you enjoy.

Transcript
Bill Russell:

Today in health, it interviews from the chime conference in San Diego. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week in health. It a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Just a quick reminder. I wouldn't be dropping interviews over the next couple of days and into next week from the chime conference. And then I'm going to have some more interviews from the next conference I want to be going to, and then eventually I'll get back to Florida and to the studio where we'll start looking at the news. Once again. Hope you enjoy this interview. Alright, here we are from the chime floor with Dr. Sean Kelly with, uh, with well health, uh, congratulations. Where, where Dr. So where do you practice

Sean Kelly:

at Beth Israel? Deaconess and Boston. Massachusetts. Oh, up in Boston.

Bill Russell:

Just came back from Boston. Where you at the health conference? Yes, it was. How was

Sean Kelly:

it? It was good. It was really good for connections in industry, strategic partnerships, direction of the industry. It's less about meeting with provider side people at that. It was my, it, it

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was

Bill Russell:

really well put on though. I mean, they, they, they do a, they do a great job with the conference and I, I love the artwork too.

Sean Kelly:

Yeah. And it, it was, I think it was fun. I mean, uh, to me, you seeing the innovation is really interesting and some of the mix of the big companies and the little companies and everything in between and how that could be, you know, strategically cobbled together or stitched together.

Bill Russell:

Yeah. Some of the conversations I was talking to a startup and, uh, there was two people. I'm like, so tell me about your company. It's like, it's us two and the three other people back in a coffee shop. Right. Here's my garage. And they were showcasing their product and I'm like, well, what are you here for us? Like, let's get funded. Yeah. Essentially. We've, we've got a product we're showing it. We've got some, they actually had some clients. I was like, that's an impressive start. I'm sure they're going to get some, some traction there. So, uh, recently with well

Sean Kelly:

health. Yeah. I just joined well health as the chief medical officer and as a practicing emergency physician. Uh, really enjoy trying to bridge the gap between the real world with consumer grade technology and the world of healthcare that we've all grown up in and trying to usher that in, in ways that make sense for all of us. All right. So

Bill Russell:

you're going to educate me on wealth because I just had Michelle Stansberry on the show is Houston Methodist. And she talks about well health and she was very, uh, uh, she was excited about the results that they were able to get. So give us an idea of what.

Sean Kelly:

Uh, last mile of communications to patients, uh, it catches any signal you want to send them, whether it's coming from your EHR, red sketch or the numerous other third-party vendors, do billing forms, management, manual messaging, pretty much anything where you're trying to communicate with a patient in the ecosystem. Well, health can grab all that, pull it together and send it to you as a patient in a form that you want. It can be voice email, but the large predominance is, guess what? To your phone or your

Bill Russell:

other platform? Well, that's the thing she was saying. She said, you know, the, the portal is nice and we get the, you know, this much activity on the portal, but we found that texting is a better forum to, to interact because people are used to do that on an ongoing basis.

Sean Kelly:

Yeah. The trick is you have to go to where the patient wants to be and sending them to a separate place, whether it's an app, a portal, a third-party thing, your own hospital website can be problematic because there could be an authentication there's friction. Yeah. There's user issues and then coordinating a use case for gosh forbid you have to do three different things at three different places. If that can all be put together into a text with AI and chatbots automated, and it all just works and you can complete those transactions, you know, confirm an appointment, schedule appointment, or more valuable clinically relevant use cases around pharmacy, around, you know, meds around post discharge, pre discharge. Just think of the multitudinous use cases out about Yup. Yup. The, the amazing thing is build the atomic elements are all there. And the funny thing for me, from my perspective, as many hospitals actually already owned the technology and it might be at the patient access level or the, you know, the, the call center level and someone in a silo is doing something with the technology. And at that very hospital, I talked to a CMIO. Those are most of my friends and see. And they're telling me about a problem that they're trying to solve manually throwing bodies at the problem, cold calling patients, trying to get them to sign up for a portal. They have the technology in their own hospital, and now we're just, and these are fun conversations for me, cause I'm just like, well, I'm gonna introduce you to the technology you already own. And you're going to tell me about that use case and we're actually gonna start solving it, you know, right now today

Bill Russell:

it's interesting because automation is a conversation that came up a lot. At the, uh, at the health conference. And I assume it's going to come up here at the chime conference as well. And part of that is just, we're looking at a significant nursing shortage. We're actually going through vaccine mandates right now. And we're seeing a natural reduction, um, in an already strained workforce. So that, that automation level, I assume is the, is the power of this. Is that pretty accurate? Absolutely.

Sean Kelly:

That's one of many, you know, it's, it's loyalty and it's it's patient engagement. It's usability, but absolutely automate. Allows everyone on the healthcare side to operate at the top of their license. You want doctors doing doctor things, a nurse is doing not nursing things. And even, you know, front end staff doing things that are the most valuable humans should be doing, not doing things that can be automated and taken off the table. And, you know, instead of the scale of someone following up on a patient and getting through 10 or 12 calls, you can do. 80% empirically 80% are taken care of through automation, 20% kick up the higher level use cases are then dealt with by human beings who can do that higher order stuff. And then even more interesting as you, as you move along a month or two later, you can analyze what's bumping out to the humans and then add that into the automation and refine it more and more.

Bill Russell:

I think what my, the audience would want to hear is how hard is this to stand up? So we have a lot of projects. We're bringing a lot of new stuff in. Is this a, uh, a real heavy. It's not like I can hear the operational lift in the background, but from a technology perspective, it doesn't sound like that heavy, but Lyft.

Sean Kelly:

Yeah. Luckily it's not, it's already baked into the Cerner HealtheIntent platform to Meditech. It integrates really well with epic and then a lot of other third-party vendors. And the beauty of it is the genius of it is it knows exactly where it should live in the ecosystem. Not trying to be the brains of anything. It's not the, you know, the content curation or development in the background is very plugged in. You don't have to custom code everything. It just links into those. There's an integration. But once you're integrated into the major ecosystem partners,

Bill Russell:

then your operations team kicks in and they, they look at all the various touch points and say, could this be better? Anything other than tax? I assume you can deliver. Yeah.

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Um,

Sean Kelly:

pretty much on anything you have VR, you can do email and, um, you know, a lot of places use it for links to, to enable telehealth visits through COVID and beyond a lot of specialized COVID use cases that really. Give those out for free and, um, got people using it. And you know that, of course, as we've talked about, a lot of the tele-health is now here to stay. And so those use cases have stuck and other mission critical use cases out

Bill Russell:

there. So, so why continue to practice just out of curiosity?

Sean Kelly:

Cause oh, for me. Oh, I, my passion is, is, you know, kind of living on both sides of the fence. It keeps me honest, both ways, right? The express you're meeting your own. I mean, you, you have to, you have to, you have to know what you're trying to do from the industry side to know what the world of medicine is like, and healthcare is messy, but it's gratifying. So seeing patients now is still fun and gratifying.

Bill Russell:

It's interesting because that is CIO panel. Uh, all these CEO's who used to be doctors who became CIO and three of them essentially took a different approach to continuing to practice. One, continued to practice. Cause they're like, look, I that's my credible. Another essentially said, look, I can't in good conscience, continue to practice. Cause I can't keep up on all these skills that are required and, and medicine is rapidly changing. Uh, and then the other one said, I, I do, I went to telehealth visits on a, uh, I think like two, two or three days a month, essentially. It's like, it's the least I could possibly do. And you know, I'm seeing, seeing certain kinds of patients triaging stuff. So it's. No it's stuff, I guess you've learned in your first year of med school kind of stuff. So, yeah. Um, so it's, it always fascinates me. Why people either choose to continue to practice or whatnot. What do you think is top of mind? I asked you this question before, what do you think is top of mind here? That the thing I'm saying, I think it's this labor thing is the thing I'm hearing over and over again is I just, I just lost a handful of my staff from it. I'm worried about my it staff being that's now working remote, getting plucked away from me. And obviously the, you know, the, some of the nurse shortages and whatnot, they're getting tasked with that kind of stuff. That's what I think is the top of mind right now.

Sean Kelly:

Yeah. We can chat about that for a second. And I think, you know, burnout is a big issue and staffing issues and, you know, it's been there for a long time, got a lot worse during the pandemic, but, you know, from someone who works on the front lines has done a lot of work. That can be difficult work. It's, it's less about the, the amount of work you're doing, but the type of. And so if you're doing work, that's what you actually want to do. And patient care, direct patient care can be really hard work, but if it's directly impactful to the patient and you feel like you're using your skill set in an efficient manner and spending your time doing the things that you were trained to do, and it's having an outcome, even if it's a difficult outcome someone's coming in, you know, sick and dying from COVID and intubate them, prone them and send them to the ICU. But that's not where I get burnt out, where the burnout comes from as if despite all that stuff we're dealing with and, you know, putting on PPE, donning and doffing that, and all the procedural changes and all that. If then I get blocked out of the EHR or I, you know, I can't, I can't message each other. You know, if there are all these artificial barriers and frustrating clerical or regulatory or compliance work or litigious stuff, that's frustrating. And that's not what you said. For and more and more in the us healthcare system, that just the burden of that keeps increasing. And even some of the tools we know we use like, like EHR is, are very good at passing the burden of documentation onto the front end user. And, you know, nothing happens until it's documented to happen. Things like that turn into a lot of extra work. And

Bill Russell:

it's interesting. This is going a little long, but I love when I get, get to speak with the doctor, because one of the, one of the things we tend to do in health, And um, critical eye towards us is we get excited about like, oh, I think this is going to solve interoperability. If I I've heard that, like half dozen times since I came into healthcare, like I think we've got, um, one of the things I hear is ambient listening and, and voice those kinds of things. It helps, but it, I have, have you worked a lot with various tools?

Sean Kelly:

I have not. I have not worked with that. Especially recently. We experimented with like Google, Google glass a long time ago at our hospital. And. I will say this. I think it's really important to work from the use cases backwards. Right? Don't try to push sexy technology into healthcare because it's a great technology looking for a home. You really got to think about the use case first, look at the atomic elements of that use case and figure out how they're best addressed. And sometimes it's it's technology that's already commercially available in different industry. We're just not using it in. For whatever reason and, you know, fear of HIPAA, HIPAA violations, or for some other artificial reason. And, you know, maybe we should be using a proven technology in healthcare. That's from other industries. Sometimes we have to start from scratch, but regardless I'm a big fan of starting with what are we actually trying to do and not replicating bad workflows or bad practice or voodoo that we've been doing for 20 years, just because that's the way we've been doing. But really think about what should we be doing here? And, you know, we should be getting doctors and nurses to your point, focusing on the patient, caring for the patient and allowing all that repetitive documentation and order entry and all these other things that are clerical somehow happen and be offloaded. And whether that's using AI or, you know, other processes and technologies, it's fine. But we gotta be crystal clear about the use case first. Right. And just. And that's the disruptive part and start from that and kind of pull the technology into it.

Bill Russell:

And by the way, Sean, thank you for your time. Talking

Sean Kelly:

with you as always.

Bill Russell:

Don't forget to check back as we have more of these interviews coming to you, that's all for today. If you know of someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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