This Week Health

CHIME Fall Forum 21 – Dr. Zafar Chaudry with Seattle Childrens

Dr. Zafar Chaudry with Seattle Childrens stops by to top of mind issues for a CIO 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. All right. Another interview from the chime floor. We're with Zephyr Chaudry from Seattle children's CIO. Uh, welcome back to the show. We hear you. And I had a great conversation a little while ago. Um, but it's been a little while. I mean, the, uh, pandemics hit we're now back together at chime. So a lot of transport. What is top of mind for you right now as

Zafar Chaudry:

a CIO? Oh, I'm just trying to talk to people. Well, first of all, talking to people in 3d is amazing. It is. And also just talk to people about what's keeping them up at night. And, uh, I think the trends are similar. I was at the boot camp earlier this week and a lot of trends around teams, high-performing teams, uh, some mental health, psychological safety, you know, people are stressed. People have. They've been going after it for 18 months straight. Uh, but technologically speaking, you know, similar trends, some people are wrapping up their EMR. Some people optimizing their EMR, lots of discussion on analytics as

Bill Russell:

well. So are we going to go back to the stress? Are we seeing that in the health it portion of the organization, has it been a significant sprint for the last 18 months? And we have to start looking at that pretty closely. What are some things we, you hear that people are. That you think are good practices to,

Zafar Chaudry:

well, I think that's the debate. What do we do to keep people safe? So technologists working in the background and support services are still facing the same mental pressures that everybody else is many have lost family to COVID. Then you have sick family members, but working 12 hours a day from home, not having that social interaction. Some of those conversations when people have tried virtual events, happy hours, Uh, all sorts of different things. We've, we've got our own employee welfare group in it. They call themselves your voice and they they've had some fun events, some virtual events, you get mixed feedback from those people still actually just want to sit down and share a sandwich.

Bill Russell:

Okay. Yeah. You know, it's, it's interesting. Cause when, when people were coming to the office, you could identify the people that were working 12 hours. And you can just walk into their office and say, Hey, go home. It'll be here tomorrow. And you know, you could, you could sort of coach them, but you don't see it. Now they're working, you know, they're getting up early in the morning, they're doing meetings. They're whatever they're doing aspects of their job and they're, they're not getting it all done. And they never did before either. And now they're, they're working an extra four hours from the home. And so even though they're home, they're not seeing their family, they're not, uh, uh, How, how much of that is, is on leadership to sort of step back and say, all right, we're going to put these things in place. We're going to shut off email at five o'clock that's an extreme case, but maybe, but

Zafar Chaudry:

absolutely. I mean, for example, I could tell you the Germany, that's exactly what they do. They shut off email after a certain time and don't let people, they can accrue their email, but it won't go out over the weekend. For example,

Bill Russell:

you know, I, I coached the IoT. Uh, invariably I'll I'll I do this kickoff process. I interviewed their staff typically when they're coming into the organization. And, uh, they'll say, I hope the CIO doesn't send me emails on the weekend and it's amazing. We don't think anything of it. Cause as a CIO you're like, Hey, Saturday's a good day. I can get up and get through some emails and a couple of hours and then I'll go have my weekend. But when they received that email from the CIO, that's a big deal. That's like a trigger for action for them. And. Potentially ruin their Saturday. Yeah. Because they

Zafar Chaudry:

feel like they have to respond if the CIO sends an email. So yeah, we could, we could adjust our patterns as well. I mean, personally, I like to send emails usually Sunday evening. I don't do anything on Saturdays or Friday evenings, uh, hoping that they won't pick that up till Monday morning. But I think your idea of shutting off an email system at a particular time could be a possibility we have. Email free hours that would send an email between, you know, 12 and one on a Wednesday.

Bill Russell:

Our, our, our CEO did come to me and say, Hey, can we shut off the email over the weekend? She said, I just want you to explore the ideas of possible. Technically they came back to us, technically, it's possible. We could do this. And after some conversation we realized, Hey, we're a hospital. We do a lot of stuff. And there's a lot of automated procedures that happen via email in the. That's the, that's the, that's the kind of complexity we have to deal with though. I mean, it's yeah. We're we're uh, it's. I don't know. It's fascinating. What about labor shortages? I mean, there's there, there's a nursing shortage. There's a battle right now for health it talent people are, uh, I I've talked to two CIO since I've been here who are hiring people in 48 states. It's like, we've now opened it up to if you want to work for us and you have these skills, we will hire you in 48 states. That used to be a no-no. Yeah, my finance team would come to me and be like, we're not doing taxes in 48 states, but now I guess it's just part of the part of the world. Are you guys doing some of that? We've

Zafar Chaudry:

expanded. So our primary business was in Washington, Alaska, Montana, and Idaho. We've added Georgia, Florida, and Texas during the pandemic. And we do have some it folks in Florida, Georgia, and Texas now, but they're very isolated. So that's one issue that

Bill Russell:

you come across. They're never coming into

Zafar Chaudry:

the office. Potentially maybe once a year for a team meeting or some people will try to come together and regions and have a team meeting. It's not helped that much in the sense that you're right. There's, there's too much competition for tech talent. It's hard to compete with the salaries that are being offered by other technology companies. So we are really leveraging mission to try and retain people, but I can tell you for us and during this whole. We had an 8% turnover rate at children's and in it, it's now 18%.

Bill Russell:

It's, children's very distinct. Like you, do you try to find people with children's hospital experience and background or, I mean, the technology is the technology, right? So routers or routers, emails, emails, switches, switches, that kind of stuff. But the EHR patterns and the workflows, are those pretty specific or are they pretty kind of.

Zafar Chaudry:

Based on whatever vendor you have, you try to seek out with some skill. So if you have vendor a that's fine, you might have vendor B skills and you can transfer those skills. But for the, for commodity it, we don't tend to seek pediatric experience, which is, look, as you said, a switch is a switch to the switch. Yeah.

Bill Russell:

How, um, innovation on the innovation side, I love to hear what people are doing. Through the pandemic. What's the most innovative thing that you guys have really seen? I would say

Zafar Chaudry:

that, uh, rolling out the vaccine at mega pace has been the most innovation. I've seen like ways of how to do that, how to automate that, how to have a whole scheduling system built in next to no time going to remote working. Those are all things we never got traction on. The pandemic has certainly pushed that. But I see a bit of a slow down now because clinically you've got a lot of burnout. So when you talk about, can we put more innovation in, can we do some automation? They don't have the bandwidth to participate in the project.

Bill Russell:

Yeah, it's interesting. Because prior to the pandemic, some of these things would have been really hard. We've really focused in on the consumer experience. I go into three different conferences. I had to get tested before each conference and now I just go out. And I'm getting tested in places that aren't my hometown. So I just find a place, get scheduled an appointment through tests, you know, give me the, give me the results. That's the kind of, that's kind of thing that I think has become the new baseline for expectation. How do I make this easier for the patient? How are you guys making things easier for

Zafar Chaudry:

we've? We built a digital front door application as part of the journey of the last 18 months without it. Telemedicine into that space. We did a Cerner epic migration within the pandemic and went live just a year ago now. So my chart is available. That's integrated into our tele-health tele-health products that, so we've added those features, but we have an advisory board of patients and parents and caregivers, and they've been talking to us. The biggest thing we've heard from the group has been the equity to have. To equipment and internet connections, certainly in the pediatric space, not everybody has, you know, they may have four kids at home. Not every kid has their own laptop, right? Not everybody has a tablet. Not everybody has a fast internet connection to consume the apps that we create or even partake in telehealth telemedicine. So we've had to come up with a loaner program for those families that don't have this access. We will give you a device. With the 4g SIM card, and then you can consume that, that particular visit.

Bill Russell:

And that's, that's doable now that the cost of those kinds of devices are not as expensive as they once were. Yeah,

Zafar Chaudry:

it's doable. It's just, you don't have enough volume of right. Like either a hundred or 500 devices. You probably won't get them back. And so how do you keep handing out devices?

Bill Russell:

thank you for spending some time with us. Thanks, Belgian.

Zafar Chaudry:

Pleasure.

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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