This Week Health

Interview in Action @ CHIME '23 - Keith Jones, Cone Health & Guru Bhoopala, GAVS Technologies

December 13: Today on the Conference channel, it’s a double Interview in Action live from the 2023 CHIME Fall Forum. First, Sarah Richardson, SVP, Chief Digital & Information Officer at Tivity Health speaks with Keith Jones, Associate CIO at Cone Health. Managing to minimize risks and possible litigation associated with technology, Cone Health is setting the benchmark for intentional AI implementation. But what influenced their decision to start with nurse scheduling and what challenges did they overcome in this process? Next, Guru Bhoopala, Chief Business Officer at GAVS Technologies discusses incorporating generative AI into services for caregivers and caretakers. In what ways is technology reshaping the cost of care in health systems? Can we expect a surge in the use of generative AI in streamlining hospital processes, and more importantly, preventing claim denials? As we explore the horizon for 2024, we inquire about the bid to introduce AI and automation into cybersecurity defense, another step into the future. Finally, Guru shares his experiences and learnings from CHIME as we listen to the groundswell of opinions in the healthcare industry.

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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.

Good afternoon, I am Sarah Richardson from Tiviti Health, SVP, Chief Digital Information Officer. More importantly, I am joined today by Keith Jones from Cone Health. Keith, welcome to the show! Thank you,

good to be here. I'm glad

to have you. We met last summer at boot camp in Salt Lake City.

We did. And we've stayed in touch ever since. Absolutely. The power of time, relationships, all those great things. Connections are important. So to think about connections. You have a tremendous responsibility right now. What is Cone Health doing in terms of like innovation this year that makes you so excited to be at CHIME this fall?

Well, obviously the big thing is AI, right? Yes, everywhere. And so we have invested a lot in our digital platform, our digital strategy. And right now we're thinking about how we are going to intentionally implement AI. Not just implement it, but also govern it. To minimize risk and, you know, litigation around


That's a big statement, though. It's hard to get there. Where do you want to begin, or how far along are you in your journey thus far? And as you're thinking about those true use cases, and being very thoughtful and intentional about where you apply some of these methodologies, tell us about

that. Well, right now, I think we are being very intentional, and we are starting, actually, with nurse scheduling.

So we've implemented an AI platform and partner to focus on nurse scheduling. We're going to start there to solve for what we think are true business problems and pain points first, be a little bit more risk adverse before we try to open it up.

And to know you, you're all about relationships and partnering with others.

How was the relationship in terms of bringing the nurses with you to help make the decision? What was that like?

It's been great. We brought our partner in to meet with them. We had a great meeting and collaborate, collaborative effort there. And they've been very excited about it. When they saw the proof of concept and the capabilities there and the way that they could be a part of that success they were all on board.


was the hardest part of that though? Like, who did you have to convince that was maybe more difficult than you anticipated it would be? Yeah. I think

the hardest part of that was convincing maybe some of the nurse leadership, right? Because we had a process in place using Kronos and schedules, a little different in different places within the system but that standardization and centralization and getting them on board to see that, and the efficiency that could be gained, that was the biggest, that was the biggest part.

So what does

24 look like then? We are only a few weeks away from a brand new year, everything you put in place for this year. How does that set the stage for what you want to do with your organization in 24?

Well I think in 24 you're going to see an onslaught of single point solutions, like continuing to try to get a space in healthcare.

I think we need to be mindful of that, we need to have a strategy around that, and how we integrate that with our existing strategy and roadmap. I think with AI, I think we also need to be very intentional. Again, I think if we just have Wild West with AI, and we don't focus on really that, that right level of human intervention, I think it could lead to chaos.

So we're

standing here next year, in San Diego, talking about... All the amazing things you did in 24. For you, what does success look like in the next few months?

Well, I think success for us looks like really, I'm going to call it reinventing ITS within the organization. I think one of the things I want to do, we've had this traditional lens of kind of that build it and they'll come mentality.

And really kind of trying to drive technology to enable things to happen within the organization. I really want to try to have a platform this year of looking through kind of the stakeholder value lens. You know, what's in it for the organization? What problems are we really trying to solve for? And what value do we bring to the providers and the clinicians?

And improving outcomes. So, this year, I really want us to focus on that and think about that. I think increasing access is important for us. I think application rationalization and optimization. Things like Epic and other transactional systems. Really optimizing that investment. And then I think vendor management.

I think looking at the number of single point solutions for vendors that we have in place today. We really want to, I guess, centralize on that, standardize on that. Really get the most out of those relationships before we think about bringing someone else to the table. So I think success looks like a number of things.

One, financial mitigation through doing all of that. Yep. But really being very smart around our investments in IT, and really making sure that we are truly a partner with our stakeholders in solving for our business problems.

Wow. Like, I'm in your health system? Yes, I'm on board. Like, I get it. You understand the continuum of what people in your organization want.

What's really curious to me and this will be... a question about your partners coming to the table. So you've got your stakeholders on board. When you talk about looking to bring all these disparate solutions together, we have all these single solution opportunities. What are the conversations when you're bringing multiple vendors to the table looking like for you?

It's interesting. We started some of those conversations now. And I think one of the first questions we ask is what value and what services are you providing for us today? I mean, typically when a vendor partner comes to the table, they want to talk to you about your roadmap and your strategy. We're kind of reversing that on them and the first question we're asking them is, tell us what you're doing for us today and what value do you think we're getting out of that.

We're really putting them under the spotlight to tell us the value of that partnership with them and why we should continue with them. I love

that. So Fall Forum, back to high energy levels. Sure. It's been a while and it's good to see everybody. What has been your favorite experience or favorite thing you've heard in the last couple of days?


I think my favorite experience is always the connections. We had a very strong boost. Bootcamp group back in 22. We stayed in touch. We use this as an opportunity to reconnect and spend time talking about our group and the challenges that we face both personally and professionally. So to me, that relationship, it's all about the relationship.

The relations are, relationships are important and we learn so much from each other.

Yeah. We're all solving the same problems and we can do that collaboratively. It's really important. I love that you stayed in touch with the bootcamp group. In my bootcamp was Shafiq Rob. He sat behind me. We met that day, literally in 2014, we've been friends ever since.

It's like those moments when I saw him on stage getting CIO of the Year. That's going to be your class, your group. It's going to be that whole space that everything gets, you know, matured and turned over to the next set of leaders. And we're so grateful that is you. Yep. Well,

thank you. And I think the other thing about Tom is we're all like one big family.

We are. Right? We're here for each other. We have each other's back. And we can reach out anytime we need to. Absolutely.

Thank you so much for being on the show today. Look forward to continued success at Cone Health. Tell me about your journey. Have another conversation

next year. Thank you so much. I appreciate


Likewise. 📍

 We want to thank you for a wonderful year. As you know, we have celebrated our five year anniversary at This Week Health, and we are going to enter our sixth year of doing this. And we set out a goal to raise 50, 000 for childhood cancer this year, and you did not disappoint. We have raised close to 60, 000 this year for childhood cancer, and we really appreciate you.

We appreciate you. The community coming together. And we hope to do more of this next year. We hope that you'll join us. 📍 📍   📍 We are at the Chimefall Forum with another interview in action. So, how's it going? How are you doing? Doing well. Tell me who are you, what's your role, and who are

you with? Sure. My name is Guru Bhupala. I work with a company called GS Lab Gas Technologies based in Princeton, New Jersey. We are a technology services company supporting and serving healthcare clients and health systems across the U.

S. Awesome. Awesome, that's

wonderful. So what is top of mind for you guys right now? I think top

of mind for us is what is top of mind for health systems. Those are our customers, right? So most of our customers in health systems are looking at two to three things. One is how can they, you know, regenerative AI, generative AI is the topic of the, you know, chime and topic everywhere.

How can they bring in generative AI into the product? And the services and the solutions they build for their customers, whether it is a caregiver or the caretaker. So that is something which we are working on. So we are trying to see how we can build generative AI solutions into our services.

Like, I'll give you an example, right? We are working for a health system or a health influencer in Washington DC and they provide certifications for cardiologists. So we are actually building a generative ai. AI platform for them, which will help the cardiologist take their recertification exams much faster without manual intervention.

So that's the top of mind. And the second one, I think most of our customers are also looking at saying that, how can I lower the cost of care, right, you know? So we are trying to see what technology can bring in to reduce the manual processes, reduce the manual work that happens in the technology space to reduce the cost.

So we have an AI platform. Which helps run your IT without manual intervention. So, you can reduce the cost of labor and then thereby hopefully reduce the cost of overall healthcare. That's the second one. These are the two things which are definitely top of mind for our customers and therefore for us.

Yeah, I mean that's the, that's what we've seen too having these conversations that we have. Right. Staffing and budget are those two things. That's right, that's right. That are just hard for everyone. It's great that we have partnerships like you guys who are working to help with that. As you're looking forward to 2024, what do you guys have on the horizon?


on the horizon is, like, so what we are seeing is a, and where we enter, attend these kind of conferences, right? Chime or HEMS and all that. That's where we pick up the objectives or what our customers are working on looking forward to, right? So, what we are looking, going forward into... And the goal of 2024 is just build on this generative AI platform and bring in more solutions.

Rightly, you know, we are talking about thinking about how can I, how can we use generative AI in reducing the discharge processes? You know, discharge process takes a long time because you get to need to get documentation from several entities within a hospital to discharge a patient. How can we use generative AI to do that?

How can we use generative AI to ensure that the claims denial doesn't happen? And that's, those are the solutions which we are trying to build as an organization, as a service provider. And the one which is again, bubbling up again, is the cyber security. So can we bring in some amount of automation and AI into cyber security defense as well?

So that's the things which we are working for 2024. That's

fantastic. So the last question I have for you is, how is QIIME going? What are you hearing? What are you learning?

QIIME? One is very important for us, you know, in the sense this is where we get to actually get a overall, you know, groundswell of opinion of what the executives in the healthcare system are thinking about, right?

So we are here on a listening mode, we want to listen to them, what we hear them out, and then take that inputs and then build on what we can serve them. So it's what we are hearing is, again, these three things that I talked about, right? The cybersecurity, the generative AI. And the new one that What's bubbling up is also cloud, you know, people are talking about cloud and how can they move their, some of their, not just the core platforms, but non core platforms also into cloud and build better resilience, build better availability for our, for their end customers.

So those are the things which we are working on here.

Fantastic. Well, thank you so much for your time. Thank you,

Holly. 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.

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

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