This Week Health

Today on Insights. We go back to a conversation Host Bill Russell had with Chani Cordero the CIO of Brooke Army Medical Center. The topic of discussion was Determining the NICE to Have and NEED to Have Technologies. There are so many new players with incredible technology entering healthcare every single week. Bill asks Chani, how can CIOs decipher exactly what their system needs?


Hello and welcome to another episode of Insights. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system ???? and creator of This Weekin Health IT. A channel dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Our hope is that these episodes serve as a resource for the advancement of your career and the continued success of your team. Now onto the ???? show.

Today on insights. We go back to a conversation host bill Russell had with Chani Cordero CIO of Brooke Army Medical Center. The topic of discussion was determining the nice to have and need to have technologies. There's so many new players with incredible technology entering healthcare every single week. Bill asks Chani, how can CIO's is decipher exactly what their system needs?

Essentially in a digital economy, acquiring data, moving data and analyzing data is really where value is created. Amazon is telling us they can help us make meaning of the data. Apple's telling us they can help us with the efficient transport in. And so we're seeing, as we were talking before we started the show, there's like, I dunno, there's like three of these announcements a week, which means there's about 150 of them a year where, new players are coming in and doing really cool stuff with data, really cool stuff with technology.

And I guess from a CIO standpoint, how do you determine the nice to have technologies and the need to have technologies in this world? How do you determine which ones you should be focused on and which ones you shouldn't be?

No, that's a really good question. And if you go to any HIMSS conference and you see the 50,000 vendors at that have really great neat products, you get overwhelmed and you want to use it all. But of course we all know that we're limited in our resources. And so foremost, I have to look at what is our organization's strategic plan.

So, what is the organization wants to go? And what areas do we need to put our focus on? I mean, there's some times when a plan is not written very well, it is so open and broad that you can almost fit any technology into it. But it's really going back to my leadership and saying a part of that discussion is where do we want to go with this?

And what kind of resources are you going to provide so that we can. And a lot of times, some of these technologies out there are fantastic. And so does it really help our processes or does it really bring in that decreased costs or increase that access or increase that quality that we're looking for?

Or is it just really a great idea so to speak. Is it the Mercedes or is it the Honda? Both are great cars, but and both work really well, but is one really pretty and one just really rides well and dependable.

Yeah. I love that perspective. I was recently talking to a health system and they said, do you think we should go to a single EHR? And invariably, I mean, this is what we learn as CIOs. It depends. Right. So you'll just look at them and say what problem are you trying to solve? They said, well, why would that matter? I'm like, well, if you're trying to solve a balance sheet problem, you're not going to want to make that huge investment. But if you're trying to solve a continuity of care problem, then maybe that you might want to go to a single EHR.

If you're in a state where you know you, you're still going to have a medical group, that's all over the board, then you might need to solve the problem a little differently because you still have to solve. Even if you go to a single EHR in your acute setting. You still have to communicate with, I don't know, a hundred different hospitals that are out there that are going to be on different DHRs cause you can't control them.

And so that question of what problem are we trying to solve really strikes the heart of your business or your community that you're trying to serve. What's most important to that community. I'd like the Apple announcement with the VA and the reason I like it is because right now, what we're relying on is this mish-mash of technologies to try to, people from the VA move in and out of commercial healthcare, military healthcare and VA.

And we're relying on this mishmash of technologies. If Apple can really be that medium where a veteran can show up and say, I have my medical record. Here it is. Let me transfer it to you. I think that would be a pretty neat solution. I mean, what are your thoughts on that?

No I sorta agree in a sense of does that veteran already have access to that record? Right. I mean, when I kinda think about what Amazon is looking at doing is getting all of that disparate data and being able to put it in a format so that our providers can make decision is going on the conclusion, in my opinion that the documentation is there waiting for it to be found, so to speak. Right. And so I mean I can't speak for private sector and how comprehensive documentation is, but I do know that sometimes in our settings that documentation is very short and it's based off our EHR that gives you the highlights or whatnot.

Some providers are very comprehensive in our documentation. And some do enough that satisfies that encounter. And so when you have that variance of documentation, your data, your ability to comb through that data is going to be based on the type of quality of data you get. And so that would be my only hesitation of all, both of these kind of technologies.

I agree with you. Overlaying NLP, machine learning, AI on top of the data really requires the data to be a strong foundation. Data governance and data quality. It seems like such a boring topic but you and I both know, it's like the foundation for everything we want, we want to do. It's the foundation for sharing data. It's the foundation for analyzing that data and finding new pathways that are going to provide better access outcomes of quality.

In a digital economy the foundation of the data is so important. It may not be a sexy topic, but it is such an important topic for us as CIOs I believe.

No and I agree with you. When the data quality people stalks me and I'm always like trying to go the other way because I know that is going to be a very painful conversation, but to your point, though, it is definitely important what they do in ensuring the integrity and availability of the data.

And kind of what you were asking before about the accessibility of that patient record for our veterans. I mean, what we all ultimately want, I think, as Americans, that we want to be able to, people take ownership of their healthcare. Right. And so being able to have your records available to you so that, and understand either your diagnosis and care plan so that you can make better life decisions or better health decisions with that information. And so I think definitely what Apple is doing is a, is a good thing. I just hope of course, is that the data that's provided in there is factual and accurate data.

Do you think that adoption of digital technologies will be faster in the military or slower than commercial and non-profit? I mean, both have their challenges. I'm just, I'm curious if you think you're going to have the ability to adopt digital technologies faster than commercial.

Yeah. So I'm going to give you that we'll go answer or we call it the Baylor answer. It depends. Right. And so, one thing that I I take pride in the history of the government or the public sector is our adoption of technology was a lot quicker, especially the VA. DOE program. We had our electronic health record, in the late nineties, so to speak.

But we have been surpassed in a lot of areas when it comes to those digital technologies. Some of it is because of our acquisitions process. I mean, it's, It's pretty comprehensive to ensure that the government resources are spread appropriately. And so, why I say it kind of it depends as though there's areas that I think that we have resources maybe that private sector may not have, because our ROI, determination is different. And so, yes, we want to make sure that we are, getting the resources or we're getting the credit, the RVU credit or value for our dollar. But we're our main focus is readiness. And so we have a piece of technology out there that may cost a lot of money and we may not get that money back in savings or cost avoidance but it provides a platform for our soldiers and sailors and airmen are able to perform their job, which is to, fight and win wars. Then we're going to spend those resources.

Wow, thanks for tuning in another great episode. If you have feedback for us regarding this content and materials, or if you would like to help us to amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward, which is our ???? mission, please send us a note at [email protected] Thanks for listening. That's all for now. ????

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