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Cynthia Perazzo with AVIA sits down with us at the HLTH 2021 conference in Boston.

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Today in. Health it interviews from the health conference in Boston My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week and health it a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged. Just a quick reminder, I'm going to be dropping interviews over the next couple of days. And into next week from the floor of the health conference.

Bill Russell:

All right. We're here from the health 2021 conference in Boston. We're here with Cynthia Barraza with. Uh, welcome to the show. I appreciate you coming

Cynthia Perazzo:

on. Thanks, Belle. Excited to be here.

Bill Russell:

So what's your

Cynthia Perazzo:

title? What's your role with Avia? I'm the executive vice president for insights and advisory. So I work with our health systems driving the core research around digital transformation and lead our advisory project projects to help actually drive digital transformation at scale.

Bill Russell:

Yeah. So what's, what's the focus right now for health systems? What are they

Cynthia Perazzo:

looking at? Well, the good news is that most health systems have finally gotten the joke that digital is going to be. And the C-suite is now looking around, asking the question on how, how are we going to do

Bill Russell:

yes. You know, it's, it's when I was see, I was interesting. Cause we would look at these projects and we would, uh, the technology wasn't easy. I mean, we still needed companies like yours, who would help us to identify cause there's so many players. I mean, we're at the health conference, you just walked through there and it's amazing how many players are and you guys would help us sift through those things. But these really ended up becoming a heavy lift from an operational side. And I assume that's areas

Cynthia Perazzo:

where. Right. And that's really the challenge of 2021 is how do we create the operating models that are supported by digital? How do we make that transformation? You know, picking the technology. It turns out is the easy part. The hard part is really rewiring your operations to support new processes.

Bill Russell:

Well, I don't want to minimize how easy it is because when we looked at an Avia, when I was at St Joe's, we partnered with Avia. And one of the things you guys did is you went through that landscape of. Solutions and helped us to say, all right, we're going to do something around, uh, you know, filling, filling, uh, unfilled or, uh, spots for physicians and those kinds of things. And you guys would narrow down the whole field and help us to evaluate those things. That's, uh, that's still a big part of what you

Cynthia Perazzo:

guys do. And what we do is understand who the players are in any capability, landscape. And part of our value proposition is to help health systems move faster through the decision-making. And line up the specifications that they have for technical requirements with what the, the solution provider.

Bill Russell:

But I assume what's happening is we get the technology. A lot of these projects, we get the technology and we put it in and then we just fall down on the, on the operation side. And I have enough of those projects under my belt to know that if you don't get the entire organization bought in, uh, with, with the vision, with. Uh, with the approach and whatnot, you'll get a lot of silent vetoes along the way, and it really does slow these

Cynthia Perazzo:

projects, the silent vetoes, the vein of our health

Bill Russell:

system. Well, we all agreed. It's like, no, no, you agreed with yourself. And we didn't

Cynthia Perazzo:

really agree with you. We do spend a lot of our time upstream on creating that value proposition, really doing the, uh, accounting work on the return on investing. Stakeholder management change management. It has a different flavor. Went in digital. Now, when it digital is a team sport, we like to say, so it's not just the CIO or the chief innovation officer. Even the chief digital officer, you need CFO, human resources, nursing, you know, everyone has to play their role to be a

Bill Russell:

success. So health systems that work with Avia, it used to be, we, we became members of. Is that

Cynthia Perazzo:

the right word members still the same. We are a membership organization and part of our value proposition is being better together so we can learn from each other. We can collaborate. It's a very open model, uh, that enables us to have, you know, more experience collectively than any one system could have singularly.

Bill Russell:

So you had the great researchers in the background, but now you have advisors that are.

Cynthia Perazzo:

Yeah, we have several levels of advisors now, like research is at its core. And that part of that research is, you know, understanding what's happening in the collective. We have a digital transformation guide, which is your client success type person who really embeds in the organization to understand how things get done, uh, what your critical problems are. We have an advisory group that actually helps service the membership, identifying those critical projects that you need to get done in support. Um, the implementation of those projects. And then finally we have a consulting group that's really grown over the past four years, um, because of this need to really start at the top with a digital strategy.

Bill Russell:

The, you know, as I, as I'm thinking about this during, during the pandemic, I would assume your business actually grew during the pandemic. There was so much movement around chatbots and digital front doors and engaging people from a distance safely, remote patient monitoring and whatnot. Your phone rang

Cynthia Perazzo:

off the hook. We were incredibly busy starting right in the February timeframe, uh, because virtual visits, helping health systems get, um, video visits, standing up, um, contactless testing, contactless visits. Um, so it was, it was the activity levels were fever pitch with Avia as with, with all of our health systems who were really going through, you know, Uh, levels of change and that pace is really maintained. Um, we've had some spectacular growth in our business. Um, you know, one of the things we're most proud of is when new members join us. Um, and we've had really incredible, um, staying power with the existing members. So it's really gratifying to build a network that's really committed to this level of transformation.

Bill Russell:

Wow. So what's top of mind from a, from a technologist. So this week in health, it, we have a lot of practitioners listening to this. You know, what, what, what are the, the, and we talked earlier about some of the primary projects that people are looking at, but is it digital front door? Is that one of the things or is it bots? Is it robotic process automation? I mean, what's

Cynthia Perazzo:

the focus. Yes, yes. Yes. So digital front door, you know, has become table stakes. So there's a lot of folks still trying to put the pieces together there, but what's, you know, what's top of mind for people, you know, because of the workforce. Burnout. And this shortages is how do we change our operating models to create more capacity for the workforce that we have. So a lot of automation, business process redesign, um, we've been talking to just really cool companies who are doing, um, new orchestration technologies to enable, um, technology, to help move a patient through a care journey in a much more automated and personalized way. That's what I'm really excited about. Automation, orchestration and personalized. I think if we could get our act together around personalization, a lot of really positive changes could happen in our school.

Bill Russell:

Well, that's been the holy grail of personalization. We have all this data and we're getting better at even collecting personal data from, uh, from consumers and from patients. And it's bringing all that stuff together to do personal insights. Like I need to be told different things than you do with regard to health. And that's still feels a little ways

Cynthia Perazzo:

off to me. Yeah. It is. I think we're starting to get our data house in order. Folks are starting to understand what types of data that they need. We had a really fantastic discussion in the service of health equity and what type of information you need to personalize an experience, um, to help close gaps in health equity, like culturally relevant information that can help us guide a person through their journey in a way that's more relevant to them.

Bill Russell:

Well, tell me about the health conference. It's fun to be in front

Cynthia Perazzo:

of people. Again, it is fun to be in front of people. And I think the venue has been fantastic, you know, and the amount of companies that are here is astounding. Um, I do wish more of my health system friends were here, uh, to see this, but, um, bill and I will be ambassadors and bring back the information that

Bill Russell:

we're learning. That's what I said yesterday on my, uh, today's show. I do a daily. I was just saying, you know, the thing of note here is that none of you, my listeners are here. I mean, there's a handful I saw, uh, I saw a couple of CEO's yesterday, but, but not, not a lot, uh, some from the Boston area. And I know that some have a challenge. I mean, there's the, the chime conferences next week. So they had a choice and others are still under travel restriction at this

Cynthia Perazzo:

time. So that's what we're hearing to the travel restrictions. Uh, but I do think the health group has done a really great job of making things available virtually. And I think this is a new world. We're going to be doing hybrid conferences.

Bill Russell:

This is I, we joked earlier, this probably could be the safest place on earth right now. I mean, it's, they created a little bubble everybody's tested, everybody's, uh, double vaccinated. Um, and so, you know, I just, I feel like this is probably safer than

Cynthia Perazzo:

where I live. Yeah. It's been a pretty amazing, um, response by the health industry to keep work workers and, and our staff.

Bill Russell:

So have you, have you gone to any of the general sessions

Cynthia Perazzo:

or I've mostly been on the exhibit hall and doing the hosted buyer program, which has been really fun.

Bill Russell:

Tell us about

Cynthia Perazzo:

the hosted buyer program is really a great way. If you want to come to the conference without paying the price of entry, if you're a buyer, a health system or an influencer like Avia, you can meet with a variety of, of solution providers. Um, have a 20 minute speed. So I spent two hours back to back talking to eight companies yesterday, learning about kind of what they've been up to. What's new with them taking lots of great notes, telling them about what our health what's important to our health systems. I mean, part of what we want to do at obvious amplify what's important to health systems. So that solution providers actually get out there and solve those

Bill Russell:

problems. So we're in the same business. I amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward and your. The thinking as well to your, to your members. Absolutely fantastic. Cynthia, thanks for sitting down with us. Really

Cynthia Perazzo:

appreciate it.

Bill Russell:

Great to see a bill. Check back for Morris. The, we continues. A lot of great interviews, a lot of great conversations. I'm looking forward to sharing them with you. 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, 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 leaders. VMware Hill-Rom Starbridge advisors, McAfee and Aruba networks. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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