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Today on Insights. We go back to a conversation Host Bill Russell had with Craig Richardville, SVP and Chief Information & Digital Officer at SCL Health. The topic of discussion was How Marketing, Digital and IT Services Come Together to Create the Best Patient Experience Possible. Craig walks Bill through SCL Health’s digital strategy and set up.


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 Craig Richardville, SVP and Chief Information and Digital Officer at SCL Health. The topic of discussion was how marketing digital and IT services come together to create the best patient experience possible. And Craig walks Bill through SCL Health's digital strategy and set up.

You're not the first to talk about the relationship between the Chief Marketing Officer with regard to digital. Talk a little bit more about how you organize. You have a steering committee or a governance group.

Is this part of IT or did you keep it separate from IT? Is it highly integrated? What does it look like?

Well, I'd say the culture here is very collaborative and we don't really draw a lot of different lines, but so the way that we've brought this together was really just sitting down and we wanted to make sure that it was a focus of the work.

And so we created a steering committee. It's a digital services steering committee. Salesforce, for example, is a component of that steering committee. And then what we did is we looked at the different resources that we had in the company. And we brought all the resources together. The human resources and the budgets that go along with that.

And we put all that into one area and move that into IT. And so and actually we changed our name from IT to ITDS. So we're InformationT echnology and Digital Services. And with that we we did was we didn't add to our current investment. What we did was I repurposed positions, several different of our administrative positions I created an opportunity for a Digital Vice President position.

And then we filled that position with somebody from the outside to come in to lead that now newly merged team that's coming together. But when we look at the steering committee that we've put together, There's the person there that's for communication. There's a person there that runs marketing strategies. Some of our operational groups are there. So it really is a very multi-disciplinary group coming together. All bounded by the purposes of digital services.

The VP of digital services. Give me an idea of what that job description looks like.

Yeah, well it's like most of our job descriptions.

It's everything,

That's right. It's everything, but she really has a very unique focus. So she really is looking at different things and I'll just throw out a couple of different buzzwords. So chatbots services, we kind of put in there, for example. Artificial intelligence and machine learning. We put that within digital services.

When you look at Salesforce and all the things that we're doing with communicating with patients and with providers and with our consumers and trying to draw new patients, all of that is within digital services. If you look at a couple of the other kind of workflow items like robotic process automation, That is within digital services, chat bots that is within digital services.

So it was very encompassing and a lot of the new work that's happening within healthcare. And some of that is, obviously, you know, stealing from some of the other industries that may have done this a few years earlier.

And you've spent a lot of time talking to people outside of healthcare and looking at what they've done. Is the CDO CIO role pretty natural? And is it pretty common outside of healthcare?

Yeah, it is Bill. You know, it's it's interesting. You see, depending upon the company and the culture and the evolution and where they're at. You see some companies, a lot of people will Chief titles, they may have a Chief Data Officer, a Chief Analytics Officer, a Chief Experience Officer, at Consumer Officer, or you have people, you know, like how we're doing it here, not as many Chiefs, but we're actually taking the roles and bringing up under a single person versus having a lot of different individual areas. So I think for me, I think it's a natural evolution to me, just like data and analytics was a natural evolution in the previous life.

I actually was also the Analytics Officer in addition to the CIO. But to me, some of that could all be just governed up under a CIO. I think what you seeing outside of healthcare, you see a little bit more maybe on a Technology Officer, or maybe even the Digital Officer overseeing a CIO, for example. But the way that we are evolving within healthcare. You've got things of data and analytics. You've got the digital. You've got transformation, innovation. Those are things that, to me are just a natural evolution of the role and the responsibilties.

Yeah and they're, they're tightly integrated. There's so many dependencies. Actually, that's the direction I wanted to go.

I mean, traditional IT has all these operational components and what I've seen in my experience also where you kick off those digital initiatives. And you bring in that expertise, they look at it and they go, you know what I need, I need APIs. I need data transparency. I need data liquidity. They start talking in all these new terms and sometimes there's sort of a shock to the foundational operation of healthcare IT. Did you find that digital is leading you to transform the, the backend as well?

It is. And that is really kind of gearing us a lot more toward the development and when I'm talking about the back end, we're developing an SCL Health cloud and that health cloud will now be a mixture of a public cloud on-prem kind of work. Things that are software as a service really starts to evolve what that backend support area looks like. But then you start gearing into other things. So we're actually going through a whole thing about what the provider and the employee tools that's going to look like. Starting to collapsing, you know, some of the voice and data services together at a single device. Having to be more of a mobile device. Try to build a lot more artificial intelligence into that work to, again to help support the provider or support the associate. So it's really kind of all getting into the back end pieces of what gets provided back out as well as moving ourselves out into the consumer or in the patient world.

Yep. Are there technologies, so you currently have your eye on that you're tracking in the digital space?

Yeah. I mentioned earlier chatbots. Obviously, you know, people are throwing those things out there and we're very also have a volume of chatbots that we're creating. I do think robotic process automation, so for me, I'm kind of defining some of that work as a digital workforce.

How do we really start to take the human component make it more advanced by taking a lot of the robotic type services that we provide and really automating that and make it a lot better, faster and easier. Not only for our associates but equally or more important for our patients or consumers or our potential new patients coming in. Artificial intelligence, I think is going to be a big thing for us.

We're looking at a lot of things on the voice side. So for me, voice, and we all experienced it in our personal life. It's kind of like the next user interface that people say things to the Alexa or to Google home. Voice really becomes that, that next way of how to do it. You do it in your cars. When you want to get to a certain location or change a radio station. Your voice can make all that happen.

And so we're doing that here, obviously as an interface, but also In terms of the AI piece, it really is interpreting conversations and really starting to look at how do we interpret the conversation that's happening, for example, between a patient and provider and take that into a medical note with no human intervention.

So how do we continue to train kind of more of a human scribe and put him or her into a digital scribe? So there's really no human, but it's actually the machine is learning based upon the conversation what the output should look like and then presenting that output back out.

I want to thank Tracey for another great episode. If you have feedback regarding the content and materials that you just heard and would like to help us to amplify great thinking to propel healthcare ???? forward, please send us a note Thanks for listening. That's all for now. ????

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