December 21: Today on the Community channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from CHIME’s Fall Forum with Jim Feen, CIO, CDO & SVP at Southcoast Health. We explore how a non-profit, community based system goes back to basics with block and tackling of throughput and trying to care for patients who are showing up in our EDs.
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In our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders and they are Olive, Rubrik, trx, mitigate, and F five. Check them out at this week, health.com and here we 📍 go. Here we are from the Tri Fall Forum, another interview in action, and today we're with Jim Fee, the CIO for South Coast Health and bring to meet you.
This is our first time meeting. It is very nice to meet you. Looking forward to the conversation. Before we get started, south Coast Health, tell us a little bit about it. South Coast Health. Sure. It's employer non-profit, community based system in southeastern Massachusetts. It stretches from really service area stretches from the western side of Cape towards Rhode Island, so three acute facilities and a sprinkling of primary care, medical specialties, vna home health, and everything in between with a fourth behavioral health facility.
So we got our hands full. Wow. I'm trying to figure out where I want to go. You guys do a lot of stuff. We do a lot of stuff. And a beautiful place to live as well is, yes. So what's top of mind for you? Right. Yeah. Top, top of mind right now where the team is back at home, it is all about throughput, volume, staffing, trying to really dig from the, the situation that we're in.
Case mix is going in the wrong direction. Patients are coming in sicker, and there's fewer staff to take care of those patients. Right now in, in a lot of ways, the agenda is very forward thinking and strategic around risk, and certainly population health programs, primary care veteran, but at the same time, it's this back to.
Block and tackling of throughput and trying to care for patients who are showing up in our eds. Again, that didn't for the last three years. So who do you partner with? Technology's only a piece of that. So do you partner with on the creating better efficiencies, throughput within your health? Yeah, there's definitely partners that have to come in who are part of the premier collaborative.
I mean, but internally, who are you? Are you partnering with the cmo? I'm sorry, cmo. That's fine. I didn. I, I wanted to stop you in case you started talking about like different vendors. Yeah, no, I didn't want to go on that, but looking at the partnership, I'm fortunate to be a member of our office of the president, which it's all the Cs, and from our coo, cfo, cno, cmo, cmo.
It's an all hands on deck, and so the team is aligned around, That set of initiatives. Yeah, for sure. As a group, and this was one of our learnings from the pandemic, we meet no less than four times a week and we do standups the same way. We have standups and progression of care rounds and on the inpatient units, the senior team is doing the same thing.
And who's on first, who needs, what can I help you with? What are your barriers today? And it was something that, that our CEO started through the pandemic that's carrying into the challenges today. You're one of the few houses I've heard this refrain over and over again. Man, if we could keep the same operating model we had during the pandemic, yeah.
We would be much more effective as a health system. And a lot of health systems have let that sort of slide away. Yeah. You guys have been able to maintain it. Yeah, we've had, it's, we, when we it it proved, and you hear this at the conference, when things that you put your mind to because you have to in crisis, you get done.
And that mantra is really cared for to how we operate today. And the challenges that I just spoke to, we're all in it together and we're all in it to win it. And you can't do that if you're not talking and collaborating every day. That's where we really haven't changed in our approach to even today. You talk about partnership, it's we've command center operations going with calls twice a week, seven days except two times a day, seven days a week, talking about barriers to discharge and are making sure that the most medically complex patients are getting into a bet.
And I. Wow. You guys do a lot of different things. You said behavioral health? Yes. Did you say four facilities? Yeah, three acute hospitals. Fall River, new Bedford, and Wareham across that South coast region, and we have a stake in a fourth facility that's strictly behavioral health. We talk about taking on risk and population health and those kind of things.
Sure. The, it's almost a new muscle and a different set of muscles keeping people healthy. Yeah. What kind of initiatives are you looking. From a technology perspective to help maintain the health of the community. Yeah, and it's in a lot of good ways. It's leveraging a lot of the tools we have and the investments that we've already made.
A lot of the names you would know, but we are, we're taught, we're very serious about a change in the risk paradigm for next year at our Medicaid ACL in the state of Massachusetts. So that conversation becomes one of. Yeah, groups like primary care, how do you unburden them from things that they've otherwise challenged with an emr?
But then we've been doing that for years. Right? But the game certainly gets elevated when you're talking about trying to risk stratify populations in new ways and manage risk through outreach programs and care navigators that you know, so that immediately. Really heavy in taxing on your analytics. And so it becomes really, our push is got some great people who've really established a center of excellence around analytics and data governance processes, information governance, and those are the areas that we're really rely, we're know we're gonna be taxing heavily when we get into risk.
And then, As a product to that, what do we have to do from an outreach perspective with community health workers and engaging them in those processes and, and hardwiring them into those tools that they're a part of the care team. What are, what are some ways you're getting data and analytics? You talked about governance and those kind of things, and any kind of population health that is so critical, getting that information back into the workflow.
How are you getting the information back in front of the clinicians so that when they're sitting with somebody, they can have a conversation based on that? Yeah, there, there are different things that have been done. I wouldn't say we're perfect at it yet, but it's, it's starting with how do you accelerate the patient through the visit with the provider so that it's not just about the emr, but they've got things like risk scores and, and able to risk stratify their schedule for the day and know based on hypertensive patients, diabetics, what, how many problem was, what does your problem list look like?
How many meds are you? They can get a sense of what their day's gonna look based on that type of small analytics program to, to flag your patients as red, yellow, green. So that's a way we're trying to push back to, to help our PCPs make sure that they've got evenly distributed days and, and know what they're gonna be up against before they show up and, and, and the door opens.th, priorities for:
And we get to, that team, gets to enable and that gets reflected in most wired. Are you still remote? So have never really been remote . Oh. Is your team remote? Yeah. Starting with me. We're, and as you work your way through the team, we're in a hybrid state. When you get down to the analysts and all the brains, they, they're fully remote, so it's best characterized as hybrid, but heavy remote.
Are you, do you try to stay in the, I don't know, tri Quad State area or are you hiring all over? Yeah, no, it's as a pretty big strategy shift. We are hiring in, in different states around the country now, which was a big advantage to us in, in trying to recruit new talent and thankfully, sauce have seen some attrition, which I think everybody's seen.
But yeah, we're in different states across the country. So tell me about the conference. Yeah. What are you taking home with you? Lots of ideas. , it's, it's gonna be back being at prior conferences and seeing things that are getting talked about, like terrific interoperability sessions or cyber security.
Seeing some of the challenges, cyber liability renewals and some of the programs that, organizations are putting in place to stay ahead of the risk. Certainly things that I'm taking out of this conference, but then I. And conversations around information blocking or, or I got to step in really quickly to the session about women leaders in, in healthcare it, which was phenomenal.
Yeah. So many different topics here that I think are useful and really stimulating ideas to take home. Yeah. Fantastic. Jim, I wanna thank you for your time. Thank you. Appreciate, yeah. It's nice to finally meet you. Yeah. Nice meeting you 📍 as well.
Another great interview. I wanna thank everybody who spent time with us at the conferences. I love hearing from people on the front lines and it is Phenomen. That they have taken the time to share their wisdom and experience with the community, which is greatly appreciated. We also want to thank our channel sponsors one more time, who invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. They are Olive, Rubrik, 📍 Trellix, Medigate and F5. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.