December 4: Today on the Conference channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from the 2023 CHIME Fall Forum. In this episode Karla Arzola, Chief Information Officer at Rocky Mountain Human Services speaks with Beth Cooper, SVP, Product Engineering & Data Strategy at Tivity Health. They discuss the importance of solidifying a data strategy, the integration of AI, and its potential risks and rewards. Beth underlines the utmost importance of AI governance which is central to reducing risk. She also shares that their organization has been working on a project named 'Dark Star', which aims for a complete cloud migration by 2024, along with implementing Snowflake and data governance. How is she prioritizing initiatives during budget season and planning for the years ahead?
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Welcome to This Week Health Conference. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, a set of channels and events dedicated to leveraging the power of community to propel healthcare forward. Today we have an interview in action from the Fall Conferences on the West Coast.
Here we go.
Hello. We are here at QIIME Fall 2023. And we have one more interview in action. My name is Carla Arzola and I'm the CIO at Rocky Mountain Human Services. And we have Beth today with us. Hi, Beth.
Thank you for stopping by. Hi, Carla. Thank you. Do you want to tell us about your role and which organization are you in? Yes,
absolutely. I'm Beth Cooper, Senior Vice President of Product Engineering and Data Strategy.
Awesome. So I have to say I called Beth because we were trying to set up our data strategy in our organization.
Actually, we're setting up our data strategy in our organization and she was like super informative. So thank you for that, Beth. You're welcome. Anytime. So, let's start with what's on top of mind for your organization right now?
Right now is budget season. So budget is number one. But number two is planning for 2024 and beyond.
So right now we're going through different strategies and making sure we're laying the right foundation and hardening the foundation that we've already laid. From 2024 and then and beyond. So if we start to look at consumer engagement and, you know, engaging and retaining our customers and clients and members that's one of the most important things we're focused on.
And how do we create those experiences for them to want to live longer, healthier lives at c Health through our products?
So we, as leaders, we come here to try to learn about what others are doing and some of the topics that were interesting. Is there anything that you have heard, learned that caught your attention?
And some of the initiatives that you have ahead of you.
There's been a ton of discussion around AI, as you can imagine. Yes. And so it's been really insightful to hear where people are on their journey of AI. And not just the healthcare system resources, but also some of the vendors. And the questions that they're asking about how can they engage and support and help their customers implement AI.
Where do you start? So I think for that, one of the biggest things that, you know, it's been in discussion. But one thing that solidified for me this week. is you need to have AI governance in place before you do anything else with AI. If you don't have that governance with your InfoSec, your legal, compliance, and then your stakeholders at the table, it's going to be successful with AI, and do it in a way that's the most reduced amount of risk.
So, standing up governance, and then, also around how do you go start, and where and how do you start with, like, the Gen AI and large language models. And so it's been interesting to hear different people's perspectives. So, that. Either they're starting it, or they've already done it, or they're starting to think about it.
And so I've learned a lot just from some of those conversations and the information being shared here at QIIME today and yesterday as well. And it makes sense to start small and start easy. Excellent. And then prove it out, get your feet wet, and then grow from there. And so that has me thinking about, okay, how do we make sure we have the right foundation so that we can do something like that in 24?
So, as a data expert, Beth, What are some of the concerns you have when it comes to, because I mean, everything is going to come to you, right? Because like, you need the data, you are designing all of that, so what are some of the concerns you have and that you are thinking? how am I going to, what's the, like you said, how do I start, right?
Right, right. So,
what are some of those thoughts? Yeah, absolutely. So, data is like the foundation of AI, right? Absolutely. And so, for me, it's a couple of things. It's the security of that data and making sure that whatever we do... with our data, is what they call a walled garden, that it is not accessible to others.
So as we're working with different vendors, cloud based partners that have their own built in AI, what are they doing with our data? Are they sharing it? Is it feeding another larger model on their end, or is it walled off and it's kept in a, very secure space for just Tivity So understanding where data's going, how it's being used within those models, and in the longer term, it's understanding and having the right skill set, that as you're Building large language models internally.
Somebody's constantly monitoring and to see, you know, what's feeding the model, what are the outcomes, how is it, you know, safe, risk free, is it still managed, and the trends that are happening with the data. And of course you can do none of that unless you have clean data that's quality and trusted.
That's the foundation of that. So, those are the things that are important for me as we start to seriously dip our toes in that space. Can you ask one other question?
No. I was just trying to think, like, could we hear? Yeah, you're a hundred percent that space and so you're definitely, your brain is probably going at a hundred miles because you know that it's coming to you, right?
Absolutely. I mean you would hope. It's already here.
It's already here. And like you talked to like Zoom's got companion AI. Microsoft Teams has companion AI. It's like, do you turn it on? Do you not turn it on? If you do turn it on, where's that data going? Is it going to Microsoft? Is it going to Zoom? What is Zoom doing with that data?
Or does it all stay in Tivity's ecosystem? So those are all the questions and things that we need to... partner with our legal InfoSec and compliance teams on to make sure we're doing the right thing.
How do you cause there's plenty of opportunities. How do you find the right partners in your case, right?
What's important to you when you're looking for those partnerships?
It's, I think it's the game book of asking the right questions. And depending on what the product is, what the solution is, what problem are we trying to solve and understanding? Are they solving that problem in a silo, a sliver, or do they understand the holisticness of what the problem is that we're trying to solve?
And then they're not solving for just one part of that puzzle, but they're thinking about the whole thing. And that, to me, is how you can tell a true partner, is they get the big picture, and they're able to not only address maybe that sliver, but also take into account the rest of the problem and help in other areas as well.
And it's also then understanding, again, the data, what are they, what the solution is, what is the data, what do they do with it, all the things that come along.
That is super important that I feel like people don't, I mean, yeah, maybe, some of the stakeholders that are not in the Back. Right. Looking in and assessing all that information.
They don't see the importance of really knowing where's our data gonna go? Right. Who, how are they gonna take care of it? And then are they gonna share it or not? Exactly. And then what happens if we split and we're not partners anymore? You're gonna keep it. Are you gonna, and so those all the intricacies that we have to look into.
Right. Absolutely. And so before we go into 2024, what are some of the main initiatives that you had on 2023? Yeah, they may go into 2024, but what are some of. What are some of the main projects or cool things that you work on?
Yeah, so we are working on a project called Dark Star, which is the coined name of our cloud migration.
So we are planning to shut down our data centers by the end of 2024 and be completely AWS native in the cloud with all of our product services, data, everything. And then on top of that, we've also got Snowflake being implemented right now along with data governance. And those two things are really laying and solidifying our foundation to be able to grow faster.
And delivered to the market quicker, features and functionalities and things like that. So we're continuing to, as we're moving to the cloud, we're continuing to reinvent or improve our tech stack. As well as how our products and things are architected and delivered. So, and then we're also laying that data modernization foundation, which is a lot of syllables there.
But making sure our data is clean, quality, trusted through data governance. Yes. Ensuring we have business stakeholders at the table that own their data. And then as we move it into Snowflake. Building out a data user experience that gives them the power to be a self served data analyst, architect themselves through Tableau and other things.
So 2023 for me has been a lot about laying that foundation, and then beyond that is starting to plan for 2024. What are the strategies we need to be tackling? What's the tech stack? Where are we headed? What are the corporate strategies that we need to be thinking about from an IT perspective to make sure we're partnering with our business stakeholders in the right way?
Is AI going to be part Or not yet? Yeah, so
we do in 2023 we did do one minor AI project around our call center chatbot. So we do have that in place. In 2024, I think we'll start to make a movement towards governance Okay. And make sure we have all the right structures in place so that we can confidently then go start to use some of the Gen AI functionality and things like that.
There's a lot that has to come together from a stakeholder perspective to make that happen. And a lot of, uncomfortable moments in that as well. We have to get a lot of people's head wrapped around what it is, how we're going to use it, what are our use cases, where do we start. So, we start to look at some of our operational functions.
Can we keep it internal? Versus like consumer facing right away and Yeah. All the things that come along with what, you know, what makes sense for us. Yeah, I know. What are we willing to take on?
And I'm glad that you are, you know, that you're highlighting that and taking that step into No, we're not going to jump into it.
We're going to figure it out what we need to have. So, it's really important to have in place internally before we start bringing something new to the organization. It takes a lot to implement things and to, you know, especially that technology that we really don't understand how, you know, which impact it's going to have.
So, thank you so much. Anything else you want to
add? No, I just really appreciate this week in Elk and thank you for taking the opportunity to interview me. This is a great event and it's been so wonderful. Awesome.
Well, we're happy to have you here and thank you for the time. Yep. Awesome.
Thanks. Thank you.
Another great interview. I want to thank everybody who spent time with us at the conference. I love hearing from people on the front lines. It is phenomenal that you shared your wisdom and experience with the community and we greatly appreciate it. We also want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.
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