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December 23: 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 Inderpal Kohli, VP and CIO at Englewood Hospital. They discuss the trending topic at this year's CHIME forum: AI. What is top-of-mind for Inderpal and did he have any “aha” moments at the forum’s discussions? What use cases is he looking to solve with AI? What is he looking forward to next year?

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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 at chime platform 2023 with another interview in action. And my name is Carla and I am the CIO at Rocky Mountain Human Services.

And with us we have er. Thank you for stopping me. I appreciate the time. How you doing today?

Very good. Thank you for having me. Awesome.

So when it comes about what is your role in which, in which healthcare system are you

in right now? So I am a CIO with Englewood Health.

It's a mid size health system in northern New Jersey with about 100 locations there in 5 different counties. We're a single hospital and and a very robust primary care and physician practice network. Awesome. I manage all their it and digital and telecom and biomedical engineering and all the strategies and support of all the systems.

Awesome. Well,

thank you for stopping by. Mm-Hmm. . And. when we are here, we wanna hear about our leaders and what's in top of mind for them. . And so. Why don't you start, why don't you share with us, what is the top of mind with you for, you know, just being here and, you know, in technology?

I think these days you are, in any forum, the top of mind thing is Gen AI.

But, we still have our day job in keeping the organization secure, keeping all of our systems running. The run part of the organization is always something we are You know, actively watching. And then, of course, the top of mind things are really where the organization is growing and how we can support or enhance that growth and really transform side of things, which is either with digital transformation and now with all the Gen AI initiatives.

So, that's really what comes to my mind as top of mind things. Do you

have any like any specific business cases in which you're looking at AI to solve some of your, some of your challenges?

Yes. We are, actually, and so our strategy is more around find solutions within our vendors, and if that's not their roadmap, then we go out and look for it.

So there's specific use cases again, keeping patient in the middle, but helping our clinicians. Spend more time with patients, or be more efficient. So one of the initiatives we are looking at is really generative draft response for InBasket. That's again a feature with our EMR vendor EPIC.

We're looking to adopt that. Another feature we are looking at again, same relation between clinician and patient, but more ambient charting, so. Allow them to really spend time with the patient, more face to face time. Again, keeping patient in mind. Another initiative we're looking at is more around patient engagement side of virtual agent and omni channel engagement across all platforms.

And then, there are more use cases with that as we evolve, as we mature with that, of really offering more self service model to patient, which is more more human like interaction. So some of the cases have come to my mind.

So, you talk about all these initiatives, and there's a ton of partners that are trying to solve everybody's problem.

Yep. How do you focus on the right partners? How do you vet them, right? Right. Because there's so many of them, and everybody has the latest and greatest, and everybody's trying to solve the problem. But how do you guys, how do you walk them through that process? What is important to you to partner

with those vendors?

So, I would say, I wish I had an answer for it. It's not easy. What's important to me is, A, do I have an existing relation with them and how can I leverage that more? So that's definitely my first go to place. Existing partners but if that's not on their roadmap, then we go out and look for a partner who's doing more than one thing, right?

If they have a roadmap. And then really the evaluation is the hard part and I wish that's where we can get some help as CIOs, right? Because it is all on us to evaluate and take that risk. And we've been through that in the industry over the period of years in bringing new systems. Some survived, some thrived, and, some didn't make it.

So, unfortunately, I think we'll have to go through that cycle, have enough faith. I think in the end, for me, what works is the relationship, the company, the partner aspect of it rather than the sale aspect. And of course, to have a roadmap, which takes us beyond that one trick.

So, you and I participated in one of the focus groups.

And I mean, it seems like that's a conversation, right? I feel like the partners are trying to figure it out. Yeah. With, how to help. And, uh, have you had any, I don't know, aha moments where you're like, Ooh, I never thought about that. This is something that we should be doing. Or, you know, I'm going to take this step.

Lady uh, not just in the, just in general throughout the sessions.

I think a couple of, I, I won't say aha moment, but I think my belief got reinforced. One of that was that we need to have some sort of an AI governance in and, and a guardrail policy in place. We need to have something in place, which acts more as a dis.

Disclaimer, because we can't really, I can talk till I'm blue, but no one will listen, you know, in terms of using the publicly available tools, but so now maybe there's some sort of disclaimer, some sort of guidance that's one. The other is, I think if we, and we have done this in our organization, so the initiatives we are planning for, we are taking it out and letting everyone know.

This is where we are focused on, so. Don't bring everything in the world to us, because we will eventually get there. So that was one reinforcement that every health system is thinking about putting some sort of a guardrails. The second piece, I think I did not expect joining all these focus groups to only talk about Gen AI.

But that seems to be the only thing on everyone's mind. So, I guess some of us have started on it. I haven't met anyone who has really, made big strides in it. Everyone is in a pilot state, so. In some ways I feel good about it, that at least I'm in the right place and in the right trajectory there.



you're not the only one in this chaotic world trying to figure out what is it that we're going to do with this technology. And some of the questions were specifically to that. It's like, what problem are we trying to solve? That

is the key. Right. That is the key. That is the key. You need to have a business case.

And as I mentioned this morning, most of us organizations need to have an ROI. We're not chasing a shiny object. We are really chasing a business case, a value to patient and clinician and to the health system.

Yeah. Anything that you're looking forward to in, it's silly to ask because I cannot believe it's almost the end of the year and then we're looking into 2024.

Anything that you're looking forward to see next year?

So personally within my health system we're looking forward for, continued run and grow optimization, improvement in cyber security and maturity there and that's again a full time job all the time. We definitely are looking forward to really utilizing the tools we are putting in place as part of our digital transformation.

The programs and really taking them to the next level. So, I've almost planned out three quarters of my next year with all these exciting projects and initiatives. So, few I mentioned our use cases, few will evolve as our thinking evolves, as our learning evolves, as to where we can best utilize technology.

I would end with this, that our primary goal is all the investment we have made, how can we optimize it more? And so, I am looking forward to the vendors To provide us those tools, to please give us more tools on it to help optimize our investments because it is so much easier for us to enhance an existing solution than to bring another one up.

I'm not saying that there's no use case for it, but where possible. We'd like to keep that integrated model and drive the value out of it.

Absolutely. I 100 percent agree with you. so much for your time. I appreciate it. Anything else that you want to add?

No, but thank you for the opportunity and really a great conference and a great conversation.

I would again say I didn't come into the conference thinking all I'm going to talk about is Gen AI, but it was exciting. It seems to be the topic, right? It seems to be the topic. Alright, thank you so

much. I appreciate the time.

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.

They are CDW, Rubrik, Sectra, and Trellix. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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