One-on-one interviews from the CHIME Fall Forum. First of three episodes from the event. Great insights on culture.
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Welcome to this Week in Health It where we discuss the news, information and emerging thought leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 44. We have a special episode from the Chime fall forum. This is the first of a couple. I've tracked down a handful of CIOs, gave them some questions ahead of time, three different, uh, categories, and, uh, sat down with them and just recorded a 10 minute conversation.
I hope you enjoy these. The first three are actually former guests of the show. Uh, the first one is Tressa Springman from LifeBridge. The second one is David Mutz from Starbridge Advisors. And finally, Sarah caught up with Sarah Richardson following . The, uh, talk this morning and, uh, we discussed culture with each one of them.
Hope you enjoy it. Tressa Springman Tressa, T R E E T R e, SS, s a uh, C I o from Life Ridge Health. Uh, we're gonna go with the, uh, culture questions. So we'll start with, uh, the first question. Technology is changing pretty rapidly. Uh, what are some of the ways that you address the strain of constant change on the organization?
Thanks, bill. Um, yeah, this is tough because we don't wanna obsolesce ourselves. We, we've got to really be mindful of kind of this . Um, always on pressure that occurs when our team really just wants to get back of the, to the normal of, of 10 years ago when they could anticipate what the pipeline was gonna look like.
I think through transparency of decision making. Um, one way to really address the strain is to acknowledge that it's out there and that you wanna remain relevant and in order to remain relevant. This is just something you've gotta do. It's the new normal. Um, but allowing people to weigh in on where, on that, um, Change paradigm.
They themselves wanna sit and to understand, again, by choice. I've got, um, some organizational team members and some staff members who just, um, get so excited about anything that's coming down the pipe that is, you know, completely ill developed. And I have others for whom it's the scariest thing in the world.
You know, they're just not well positioned on that change curve. And, and I mean, look, especially within our own organizations, . Um, anal is the root word of analyst. And so while we're always imposing change on other people, um, I think our organization. Really struggles most in getting comfortable with that change.
So probably transparency, continual communication and giving people choices on where and how they opt into participation. I, I love having you on the show 'cause you gimme quotes like that that I. And I guess that's where governance comes into play as well, right? So we're gonna, we're gonna have them be involved in the decision so they can look at it and say, oh gosh, we can't do that.
That much change within the radiology department. It's just gonna be overwhelming. And we're, we're, we're engaged in dialogue. So there's, they know what's coming down the pike. They're willing to say, look, we can probably do this much change this year and maybe not as much. Yeah. Yeah. You know, I'd like to believe that's true.
I think, at least in my organization, um, they, they make you do it all Well, yeah. And we have this, um, self-reflection. We consider ourselves almost opportunistic, which is, um, really challenging. Many ways. As a leader, I need to, um, lead that change in innovation, but also protect the organization from too much change.
When I think about, um, . Not necessarily recently, but, but when our clinical systems were, were really spinning out. I mean, we were asking the largest part of our inpatient workforce nurses to change on a dime. Yeah. Consistently and very comprehensively. Um, so yeah, I, I think it's about balance and I think as a leader, you gotta.
Determine when enough is enough, because really good change, um, is only sustainable when it's, um, in little pieces and iterative enough iter, iterative enough, um, to really stick. Well. Let's talk about your IT staff. So, um, one of the things I experienced as a C I O and I'm still seeing across the industry is the pace of change within it is so dramatic.
I mean, you have, you have a move towards DevOps, you have just a, just a ton of new technologies coming at them. Um, you know, what are, what are some things you're doing for your IT staff to help them to prepare for maybe a different job next year than they were doing last year? You know, I think that's so important because as you probably can guess, I'm gonna say 90% of my staff is supporting legacy applications and, um, Some of it is a little bit of development, but development really for 20 years was, uh, well, I have to admit, I, I still have some, like a few mainframe based things in our basement, but, um, you know, largely buy it off the shelf, implement it in a standard way.
Um, I think nicely the industry's pivoted the last five years. And whether you're using a standard E M R, maybe like a Cerner Epic and have the ability to get some of your more technical team. . Um, capable on using C C L reporting, MAGE development, you know, those vendor based development tools, which are really just a derivative of H T M L or Java coding.
Um, pretty exciting around fire on interoperability, in fact, this coming year. And we're on a, um, July to June fiscal year. Uh, one of my directors and he is actually here with me at Chime. . One of his, um, professional goals for the year is to partner with me on being very intentional about making sure that we are growing and offering additional education.
Um, to be very specific in each one of our application areas, um, so that we've got some senior folks who really are spending time doing native development or interoperability so that they're positioned and not threatened by this whole digital revolution. That, as you know, in a lot of organizations, including mine, Um, are, are really resurrecting themselves in very different parts of the organization.
And as the IT leader, if I'm not making sure I'm preparing my workforce for being part of that. Yeah. I mean, heck, that's what got us into it and healthcare in the first place, right? Yeah. Trying to make a difference through our, um, creative development skills. But, you know, I, um, I think there are a lot of folks who need to see that this is here and let's position our staff to be successful.
So you're, I'm gonna ask a question, which I think is sort of geography dependent, but you're in Baltimore. Yep. Um, so, you know, how do you go about finding and attracting the best talent and are there certain qualities you're now looking for that you maybe weren't looking for before? Yeah. Um, wow. So I think people have gotten pretty good about skills representation.
And, um, I'm gonna assume when you say you for a moment, I'm gonna be really selfish and think about me in the c i o role. Yeah. You know, by the time a candidate gets to me, I'm really looking, um, for emotional intelligence and cultural fit. Right. You know, I am assuming that my team has already vetted the technical acumen and capability of the candidate based on the role.
And so, um, you know, my key desire when I interact with folks is to make sure the limited time I have with them, they understand who I am and the way I think. And the same for them. 'cause as we know, um, whether it's a, a massively well-known organization. Um, or a small one. Um, you know, it, it's about having a good relationship with your boss and or, um, feeling inspired by your leadership that actually keeps you there and keeps you motivated.
Um, I just finished a book, oh, I'm trying to remember the name of it. Um, something at Work. Anyway, it'll come to me. But very interestingly, um, in it, there are three recommended questions that you, um, field to folks on your team, um, that you may be considering to join. And, um, they have nothing to do with the context of the work.
They're just somewhat benign conversations to help you understand, is this person self-aware? Are they compassionate, are they courteous? Are they collaborative? Um, are they effective communicators? And, um, Super important skills. Yeah. And at the end of the day, we're also looking for just decent people that you want to be a part of a team and Yeah.
Right. So we're, we're decency. Wow. We're, we're, well, we're building teams. Yeah. We, we want, we want some good people. So, um, and by the way, I think that's an important point. Um, I know we're gonna hear from, uh, gal from Bloomberg tomorrow, and she talks a lot about, um, Silicon Valley and, uh, PayPal, ma Mafiaa, et cetera.
And, you know, . There are a lot, there's a lot of gender inference there, but I think sadly, a lot of innovation and the.com um, influence has really created a bit of a, um, halo around, um, heroism. And, and yet I think many of us know that the way to have a really solid, sustainable way forward is with a diverse group of people,
But ones who wanna lock arms and work together, I mean, no one's gonna sustain being a hero. Yeah. And that's, um, just wrote an article and, and I talk about that specific thing is we used to want heroes. You know, the person who's gonna come in at midnight and fix things. And now what we really want is nasa, where we go, Hey, our, our, this is our trajectory and we're gonna work together as a group.
To get from here. There. That's right. That's right. So it's very difficult and not expect that any one of us is either better or well positioned, but that, um, we're gonna get a lot farther together than we would on our own. Is your competition government for talent, or is your competition like other health systems?
Yes. I mean, it's all, its all of it. It's the whole thing. So it depends, you know, my regulatory analysts get. Um, snipped up by c m s, that's literally 10 miles from me, , uh, dc uh, you know, a lot of, a lot of us live equidistant between Baltimore and DC so, and I think we for sure, we have this misconception that DC doesn't pay well and it pays really well.
Oh, especially if you're a D O D contractor. Yes. . Yes. So, um, how are you gonna, what are some things you're doing to keep your, your staff current? So, this is the last question. Um, are, are there any, any, I mean, you mentioned some of 'em. I mean, so you're, you're identifying some training and Yep. Some, some things you're doing.
What are, what are some of those things? Yeah. Um, I think just like medicine, I've come to a point in my career where, um, staff or employee engagement is really personalized. Yeah. And I used to think, oh, if we just put a treadmill in here, or if we just had . Lunch and learn pizza Fridays, or if we just wore jeans and, and telecommuted.
I think what I've really come to learn, and sadly it's much harder work, but I think it's much more rewarding, is as leaders, we need to, um, get real and get a relationship with the folks that we're asking to go above and beyond every day and understand what's important to them, and then respond to that to the extent that we can.
Yeah. So, um, you know, I don't, I don't think there's any one super thing. I think it's really encouraging my leaders that, um, each one of them has to know their staff, um, personally and to understand what's important to them. Yeah. And what motivates them. 'cause I, you know, um, I think I read something that said in 2030, over 40% of the workforce is actually gonna be over 50.
So there's one line of thinking that might suggest. Let's not spend all that time looking at who's coming up, but let's look at who's gonna be coming back. Right? But the reality is some of us are gonna have five generations and there isn't any one thing. How do you handle E Everybody wants to have a relationship with the c i O.
So you probably have a couple hundred people or, yep. So, um, how do you, how do you do that? How do you spread you, you out so everyone feels like they connect with you personally? I do that. Um, you just, I have open door sessions twice a month where managed by walking around talking to people. Yeah. I have times when they can, it's called Time with Tressa.
They can drop in and talk about whatever they want. Um, on our website for any associate at LifeBridge, they can just send me a note. Sometimes I get help desk tickets, but sometimes I, um, get really great recognition to share with my team. Um, I have had to work very, very hard to be approachable. I think that, um, those of us with a, you seem very approachable,
Oh, well thank you excepts. Except when you're probably in mode, like you have a lot of work to do. That's hard. So my undergraduate was in biochemistry . Okay. So I really am a kind of a, um, wonky love tech. You're kind of a nerd, technology nerdy girl. Um, and so there's a big part of me that would just assume be left alone to problem solve.
Um, but wow, the power of a couple hundred people problem solving, um, I've learned to get a much bigger . Kick out of and solving things myself. Yeah, absolutely. Well, hey, thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. And uh, enjoy the conference.
Here we go. David Mun, starboard advisors, former guests on the show. Look forward to having a conversation. So we have four questions around culture. Uh, let's start with the first one. So technology's changing pretty rapidly. What are, uh, some of the ways that you think, uh, organizations, healthcare organizations, Can address that change to, to alleviate the strain that that comes along with all that change in a, in your organization.
Sure. Well, and by the way, thank you very much for having me back. I appreciate it. The fact is that I happen to be a big fan of governance and I think that culture governance are both related. And the reason I say it is that the way you govern really determines how decisions get made. , whether you're talking about corporate governance, IT governance, demand management, project governance, uh, data information or knowledge governance, and it really helps define how it is that ideas get.
Communicated out to the organization and to the degree that you have discipline governance, you probably are gonna be more successful, uh, because people are gonna be able to understand what the rules are and gonna be able to line up behind leadership. And so I do believe that governance is important and you know, we talk about culture eats strategy for breakfast.
Um, but the truth is that with a good governance process, you can help define the culture, which helps drive the strategies. It, it's interesting, I just sat in one of the, uh, breakout sessions here at the CHIME conference and we were talking about governance, and it's amazing how much confusion there is around, oh.
Governance and how they become stale and they're not. Mm-hmm. , uh, tied into the, either tied into the technology enough or tied into the business enough. Right. Uh, so there's an art to really putting this together and it's probably, uh, having the right guidelines, having the right people, I would assume.
Right. I mean, are there any other things we should be Oh yeah, absolutely. And, you know, people is obviously a huge part of it, but the other thing that I've always done is part of governance processes is to find principles that help define . How it is that you think, and the reason that I write them down and distribute 'em is that it again provides insights that help as you bring new people on, as we even take ideas with them.
And you know, the fact is that a culture needs to be more than just oral tradition, right? And I know people think that's a little more bureaucratic, but I think of it as a way to record the legacy and. To evolve and I used to write the principles down and then give them to my vendors and say, if you want to know how we function and how we think and how we're gonna respond to your requests, here's exactly how we function and operate.
And it's interesting because as a, as a C I O, whereas a leader, IT leader within the organization, this is um, this is the basic blocking and tackling. Yeah. Some of us, because I was listening in this room, some of us aren't, have arguments like. The organization doesn't understand the impact they have when they select this technology or select all these things on the technology platform, but that's, that's our job really.
Right? To educate people on . Hey, if you're gonna select 10 different PAC systems mm-hmm. , I've gotta have 10 times the amount of infrastructure, people. Processes. Yes. And by the way, I used to preach along with the governance, that there are three Cs that need to be practiced and perfect. And that is communication, coordination, and collaboration.
And those are the characteristics that underlie the foundation for all good. IT and governance processes. And so, uh, you know, to the degree that you do those well, you will be successful. Yeah, absolutely. So, second question. You know, the pace of change isn't only impacting the business. It's impacting it.
And, uh, when I go into IT organizations today and have conversations, it's interesting how much of the IT organization is still working on legacy. Yes, but they're looking, looking over and saying, Hey, I see, you know, cloud change this and voice is gonna change this and AI gonna change this. They see it all on the horizon.
How do you, how do you help the IT organization to make the transition from. Potentially make the transition legacy to what's coming down the pike or just stay current on it? Well, the challenge really is to stay current on what's out there, what's real. And obviously listening to your podcast would health lyrics podcast would be important.
Sue Shade talks a lot about, uh, things that are happening in her podcast. Reading the information, I can tell you that the majority of my mail is information that's coming to me about activities that are going on and when people come in. Ask me how they should think about the future. It's just do the old fashioned reading.
And even though it's coming in digitally, it's still the idea of considering all the options. And I think the other thing that, um, is important is to try to play the role, especially if you're in a leadership as provocateur and ask why is it that we continue to do things the way that we used to? And then also, why should we adopt ai?
Simply because you see it appear in every article. And you know, blockchain is a great example of a technology that people say has great promise and yet doesn't seem to be adopted. So the, you know, this, this kind of questioning behavior I think is really good. And I used to tell my employees, by the way, That I like to be treated with a certain amount of disrespect.
And people would look at me like I was crazy. It's like, yes, what I want you to do is I want you to ask me why it is that I'm doing this, and the other is, why am I not doing something? And together, if you have that kind of collaborative environment and you do treat people disrespectfully, but civilly, yeah.
Uh, then you will, you will affirm that what you're doing is correct. Or realize that what you're doing needs to evolve and you know, it's the ability to be flexible. That's the key to being successful. Well, we've gotten a little bit of a reputation of being, having a herd mentality. Yes. Within healthcare.
Oh. , look, look what that health system's doing now. We're gonna be doing that. Uh, to a certain extent. At some point someone's gonna be able to pick away 'cause they're gonna be doing things a little differently or be more aligned with, with the, uh, business strategy to their markets. Mm-hmm. . So it's, it, it will be interesting to see if we can, I don't know, help everyone to make these transitions.
'cause there there's some dynamic transitions that are right around. So let me ask you the next question, so Sure. Um, You know, talent becomes key at this point. Oh, yes. Uh, you know, where, where do you think we should be looking for today? But even more important question is, are we asking, are we looking for different qualities today than we were looking for maybe five years ago?
Uh, the answer is yes, we are looking for different qualities. And let me tell you something that I, I found to be very tried and true and, you know, people say, well, we need to get people from outside the industry to get fresh ideas in. And I used to, um, bulk at that idea and I still do. Uh, and the reason is that there's a certain mindset associated with caregiving.
Um, and if you don't understand the caregiving processes, . It's very difficult to formulate the right questions to ask, to challenge the status quo as that provocateur I discussed. Yep. So what I used to do, and I love doing this to all, to the presidents of the organizations where I used to work, uh, but I'll call 'em all together and I say, we're getting ready to start Project X, and what I need is your very best people, uh, who have clinical backgrounds because, so you would, you would steal from your own organization.
I, and I would say . I'm gonna take your best people, and the way I know I've gotten the right person is when you yell, ouch. I know that I've successfully identified the right person. So what I want is, again, those forward thinking provocateurs from the clinical space to come into the technology space, and then I can teach them what they need to know about the enabling technologies.
And they will be able to teach me what I need to know in order to make sure I'm delivering the proper care processes. And so I, I think that's so spot on. I, more and more conversations we're realizing most problems are not technology problems anymore. Oh, not at all. It's just, it's people, it's communication.
You bet. It's, it's governance, it's Right. And then selective outsourcing. It's why would you want to buy, you know, bring somebody in and with a special skill knowing that . Yeah. Six months from now you're gonna need a new skill. Yeah. So be selective about the people you bring in to partner with, and the other is to look for shared success as opposed to, uh, a purchase only kind of responsibility to keep them interested, to keep you involving and them evolving all at the same time.
Yeah, that's interesting. I, I've talked to two vendors, uh, since I've been here and both of 'em, I said, Hey, so what's, what's new in your product set? And both of 'em work. Oh, we now do it as a service. Exactly. So it's a great idea. So need to install the servers, do all that stuff. Just, you know, we'll, we'll do it all from, from our, uh, from your club.
They'll even set it up in yours. I was like, that's interesting. 'cause now you're, you're looking at some tasks that used should be done in your IT organization. It may not need to be done. So where do you need those people now? Well, those people need to be embedded in your rounding. They need to be talking to the clinicians.
Exactly. They need be looking at analytics that can really move the needle. Well said. I, I'm supposed to be asking the questions. I, I can't help myself . It's a good thing. I apologize. Um, we may have tipped into this question a little bit before, but, uh, you know, keep keeping the, the, uh, Keeping the organization current on changes that are going on Yes.
Is, uh, continues to be a challenge for many organizations. It's, it's uneven. Mm-hmm. . Um, but there's so many things out there now, uh, for people to, to stay current. There's so much information. Sure. How do you, how do you call that information? I mean, you could, you could go to healthcare IT news every day and read another set of stories.
You could listen to my podcast, read Sue's, and you should and Okay. And you should. Yes. But, I mean, how do you determine the, the, the wheat from the chaff? How do you look at it and go, oh, you know, is it just the amount of chatter around something or is it, uh, is, is it actually those, uh, implementations that you're looking at going?
I. Oh, this is interesting. 'cause now we're looking at, oh, Geisinger's doing this and Cedars is doing this. Sure. And by the way, I always think it's great look and see what the people who are you believe are further out or doing. Uh, but I don't think that's the only thing. And just because somebody else did it doesn't mean it's better.
And just because everybody's doing doesn't mean it's better. Right. And so I think, uh, again, what you do, especially . Because you want your staff to be engaged in professional development is you set up the old proverbial, uh, water cooler and you say, what we're gonna do is we're gonna gather around, we're gonna talk about X today, and what I, you know, this is what I believe.
Would you share what you believe and what you think? And it's those kind of challenging conversations about things. And you know, the idea is share ideas and share bad ideas along with good ones. Um, and you know, I think part of it is to look at what it does for the four, four groups. It's the patients, the families, the providers, and the payers.
And if there's not something in there that touches every one of those, it's less than optimal. Um, and so, you know, it's, why would I want to use this technology? Why would I wanna abandon that technology? How is that gonna impact those four groups? And I think the other thing that's important is to bring in people who are thirsty for professional development.
Um, because they will challenge you to do things differently as a leader. And you know, I welcome those challenges because my people always made me better. The other thing I found is that, Sooner that you can get some of your innovations into the hands of other people. You know, the sooner I could deliver a system to users, the users would find out ways to do things that I never imagined when I was out trying to promote the use of the product.
So having discussions that involve the IT professionals, the clinical professionals who using the topics or using the technologies is always very useful. Yeah, it's, it's, It's interesting, those four categories, again, were patient, consumer, patient, right? Um, population. Families. Families. Okay. Absolutely.
Yeah. So yeah, we're all trying to figure out how to care for the communities that we serve. Mm-hmm. , absolutely. You had, uh, payers in there. Mm-hmm. . And would you, would you classify like system efficiency, system performance under that as well? Oh, absolutely. And then the other being obviously clinician, uh, experience as well.
Yeah. It's interesting those four categories. Mm-hmm. , I heard that from Charlie. Low heat. Oh. . Uh, who, uh, Uh, from Explorers. It used to be with Explorers. Yes. Uh, and I heard that same set of categories from, uh, from Ed Marks as well. Oh, did. Good. Good. Yeah. So it's, I mean, those are the categories that we should be really looking at.
Mm-hmm. for evaluating everything is, how does it impact the clinician? Yep. The patient, the families. Right. Which is probably better than the population. Well, yes. It's more personal. Yeah. Uh, and then how's it going to impact the system or the payers? Yeah. Can I, can I just. I have a little soapbox I'd like to step on for a second please.
The one things that I do is I try to tell people to stop putting the patient at the center of everything we do. That patient centricity is the wrong model, that when you're born you are, by the way, I used to be a biostatistician and I know are very high correlation. If your parents didn't have children, you probably won't either.
Um, so think about that for a second. , I just . So, yeah. So the idea is every person who comes into this world is part of a family. Okay. And for the first many, many years of their life, they're incapable. And why would you wanna put them at the center? So you would put the family, not the patient at the center of your activities.
And then at the end of life, you become incapacitated. And again, you return to patient and family relationship where the family is much differently defined than it was before. And so why wouldn't you, through your entirety of your life, Be part of a family unit and the family can be friends, community, however you want to define it.
And so what we should be is patient and family centric, and you have to include the providers to make sure you're getting the right care. And if you don't include the pa, the payers, there won't be a mechanism in place to make sure that you can afford to do what you need. Yeah, so I really strongly believe that you should never separate patient and family.
When you're discussing projects, you should be talking to every digital company that's out there because it's, uh, we do, we do get into this patient-centric mindset, Uhhuh. Sure. And really what you need to create is this sort of care circle, which includes those family members. Exactly. And that's the community writ large.
Yeah. Okay. And inside that community, patients, families, payers and providers. Providers, yep. Absolutely. Well, I, I feel like, uh, . You know, with all those ribbons on your life member long enough, uh, I feel like I've just been schooled and it's, it's wonderful. I appreciate you being taking the time. Always a pleasure.
So we'll get you on Sarah Richardson. Previous guest with, uh, it still says DaVita Medical Group. It does say DaVita Medical Group. We are still in the process of going through the acquisition with OptumCare and all indicators point towards end of the year. But F T C gets to decide, so when it happens, it happens.
My friend Carol Sheard left chart group and is now with Optum. I'm looking forward to seeing what he's gonna do. They're VP of experience or something, I don't know. Well, I'll, I'll have to track him down, see what he's doing. I'm most excited about, there's a lot of things I'm excited about. What I love is I always like, just consider myself a super networker, a super connector.
So I have all of these people I need to go meet and figure out how we change the world together. So I'm pretty excited about what that's gonna look like. I'm waiting for the day one close kind of deal. Well, well Optum's, how big is it? I, I mean how big is, let's just it, how big is Optum's It Optum's it, from what I understand, is something like 60,000 people.
Wow. And we're gonna be part of the Optum Care it Vertical, which is the primary and specialty care groups. So we will have, like, I think upon close, there's like 3000 teammates in about 14 different care delivery organizations. That's unbelievable. All right, so four questions around culture. I will try not to do talking.
What happens is we end up in a conversation. I, I'm really trying not to do that this time. Alright, so first question. Technology's changing pretty rapidly. What are some of the ways you address the strain of the constant change on the organization itself? The biggest thing that the organization needs to be able to understand is that their strategy, their business strategy, the things that they wanna do are going to
Set the roadmap for how it will compliment them, and too often it is the one that's driving some of the strategy. So we need the business to focus on the three or four things they really want to be good at. Then you can bring technology and all the things that may be changing within that space at the same time.
So we try to make sure that the business focuses on a few key deliverables. We bring the technology forward, and then as the technology's adapting to those deliverables, we're constantly educating and figuring out if we need to thoughtfully pivot or stay the course to accomplish something and then grow it and scale it from there.
Are you embedding people into the business? Are they more in those business conversations? Yeah, absolutely. We have a role, we keep changing the names, we're trying to figure out what resonates the most. It's been business relationship manager, it's been director of technical solutions. We're now thinking of point, like director of portfolio end of the day is really a matter of what you call the individual, but we are specifically aligning key director and senior director roles with our business partners in different areas, whether it's clinical, whether it's finance, because the closer they are, they understand what's happening, and you may not always get the c I at the table when they're having senior conversations.
However, if you have your directors involved in all those business line conversations, then you've got this whole contingency of individuals who are hearing what's happening in the org. That's what we'd like to bring together and present to our executives. I'm gonna come back to that. We just walked out of a, the protopia Yeah.
Presentation at Chime and it's her her talk sparked a, a couple things for me, but the, the next question was really the pace of change has been so dramatic in it itself. How do you prepare your IT staff? But one of the things we've been talking about is the, the, the role within health. It's the roles are really changing from technology roles to people, roles, people, and, uh, understanding culture and communication.
And these are all areas where if we have a, as they were talking about, you know, a 75, 25 or 80 20 male to female ratio, this is areas where we can really make that transition and start adding a lot of, um, 'cause you know, STEM is under represented today. Mm-hmm. a few, but that's not what we're hiring for.
No. We're, we're hiring. So, um, what does it look like? I mean, what are we looking, what are we looking to do, uh, with that staff to help them make the, those transitions? What I feel like people forget about or what they say is that people are focusing on the soft skills. It's the soft skills that, that women are better.
It's the soft skills that are important. These aren't soft skills. This stuff is hard. Oh, when you need to have a thoughtful conversation, you need to be articulate. You need to know what you're talking about. You need to have the education, you need to have the background. Those are not soft skills, so leadership and communication and the ability to affect and drive change within an organization.
To be a, a role model and beacon for others to have a crucial conversation, but do so with respect. . Those are tough skills. Those are the things that everybody needs to bring to the table, and so whether you're in STEM or operations or wherever you come from, from an educational perspective, it's having the ability to embed those capabilities into your organization, into your teammates, and create an environment where they can practice those types of skills.
And it's not always gonna be at the bar at 10 o'clock at night. I'm always fascinated when I come to conferences, everyone's, you know, at the bar and people excited to go out and party. I'm like, you are never gonna see me having too many drinks or staying out past 10 o'clock. Because that's not where you're gonna create that momentum and create an example for others to follow.
Yeah, absolutely. The, uh, the thing that's, uh, uh, I guess what you're saying is we should start calling hard skills and soft skills. Soft skills should be the things where we just sit behind a computer and create spreadsheets and Yeah. Do all that stuff. And you do not have to interact with other people.
That is a soft skill. , yes. Uh, Which I guess gets to the next question, what, what qualities are we looking for in staff maybe that are a little different than five years ago? And I, I guess we're, we're starting to talk about those things and where are you gonna find those people? There's a article that came out about two weeks ago in Forbes and I quoted the author and I feel horrible that her name is not coming straight to my mind, but it really talked about.
Hiring for teammates that have something unique about them in their daily lives or what they pursue outside of work. So asking questions about levels of curiosity, levels of hobby, like what do you do for fun, et cetera. I've always asked those questions. You'll find me consistently asking, what's your superpower?
Whether I talk to a candidate looking to join our team, or I talk to a vendor, I say, what's your superpower? What are you really good at? I wrote a blog about it before. Chime specifically. So you want individuals that have a level of curiosity, who have a level of engagement outside of work where they're looking to push the envelope, be entrepreneurial, be creative, think about things in a different way every single day.
I recently hired a candidate. And literally when I asked, what do you do outside of work? And she said, well, I, I climb, I hike, but what I'm really good at is baking. And I said, what's your favorite thing to bake? Now I'm just being honest. If she had said chocolate chip cookies, I probably wouldn't have been interested in hiring her.
She said, I make lemon lavender pound cake. And I do my own extraction on the lavender. I'm like, you're amazing . Because I mean, that's a lot of flipping work. That's the science behind the art of what she's looking to deliver. And she's gonna be in a, in a role that's very much forward facing to the organization.
So you have to look for people who are curious and wanna do things differently, and you don't look from the typical places. Like I love that we hire from other industries. I came from hospitality, and I'll tell you that my hospitality background serves me almost far better than my business background that I had at a certain interval in my life.
So let, let's talk about diversity. The last question here was how do you keep your staff current? But I think we've talked about that before. Yep. So let's talk about, so in her talk on, uh, the Protopia talk, I'm sorry, what was her name? Emily Chang. Emily Chang. Yep. Thank you. Uh, one of the things she talked about was how do you eliminate bias from the organization?
And a couple of things. One of the things she said, which I thought was interesting is, uh, standardizing the interview process, the same set of questions, the same, uh, criteria. Um, are, are those some things that you think we're gonna start to see across health? It, I absolutely do. In fact, I just had this conversation with our people services department.
I'm like, well, I'm with the hiring guides. For it to be the same, like different, maybe different levels of the organization, we ask harder questions for different, like, or like senior director, vp, et cetera. For the most part, we should have a really deep diverse way that we source talent. And for the most part we're just running around trying to build positions.
So it might be on, indeed, we might use a, a scouting group, et cetera. But I want us to get into some of those, like where, where's the talent coming from? Where are the schools of your loose likely to find some of the talent we're looking for? I love the idea that we can go and check in at a hotel and the front desk, it's totally amazing.
We can be like, Hey, do you wanna join our team? Like we can look for people in our nailing interactions. But yeah, have a que and te train everybody on how to ask thoughtful questions and follow up questions. 'cause if you just create an interview guide and everyone's reading from it, who wants to go work for the company that's reading the questions off the interview guide, train your interviewers to be dynamic and the questions and the interface that they're having with their candidates.
I'll tell you, this is where Class House and even calling some of the candidates that didn't take the job or whatever and having conversations with them. And they will tell you about your interview process and they'll say, You put seven people in the room, three of 'em were on their phones and you know, you just get this picture and you're like, oh gosh, we have got to, we've gotta change that.
I mean, people have to, if they're coming into the interview and your team's not engaging them well, what does that communicate about your organization but eliminating bias? It's, it's interesting 'cause I sit in that talk and I go, I didn't, we all walk in and go, well, we're not PIs. And then you listen to the talk and you go.
Oh, no, no. I've got some bias. And it's, it's, it's having those mechanisms, it's having those systems and processes in place to check your bias all along the way. Having, uh, you know, having a diverse group do the interview, uh, so that you, uh, so that you have more eyes on it. You have people checking other people.
I mean, it's really making it systemic so that you don't have to worry about what is going on, what is actually prop popping up in the, uh, thing. So, Hey, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you. Okay, so that's all for now. I want to thank our guest, TRUS Springman, David Munz and Sarah Richardson for coming on the show and giving us a little rundown of some of the things that are going on.
And, um, uh, please check back. There's gonna be a couple more interviews. I have a couple more interviews scheduled this afternoon. In fact, another one in five minutes. So I'm gonna run over there and do that. And, uh, don't forget to follow the show at, uh, this week in h i t on Twitter. Uh, follow me at the patient cio.
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