December 7: Today on the Conference channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from the 2023 CHIME Fall Forum with Frederick Holston, Healthcare Strategist at CDW. Fred dives into talking about AI, its different facets, and how realistically it may be used in the healthcare industry. The question is - As patients, nurses, and doctors navigate the day-to-day work within a healthcare setting, what role will AI play in practicality? How far removed are we from ensuring the use of advanced tech, such as AI, is still grounded in the underlying principle of care? The conversation shifts towards healthcare labs, their future, and what they're currently seeking. What focal point should these labs be working towards?
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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.
all right. We are here at the Chime Fall forum with another interview in action. I am Holly Russell, the daughter of a former CIO, bill Russell. You may know him and the director of production here at this week Health. And today I'm joined by Fred Holson. Tell us who you are, what your role is, and what you do
Fred Holston I'm a healthcare strategist with CDW on the healthcare side of the business. I've been around in health. I've been here now for 30 plus years, 20 years of it at Intermountain and then doing the strategist work with CDW. Yeah. And for that I'm in charge of, my teams are in charge of the future of care pillar within the CDW healthcare.
Very cool. And which also includes owning the labs and what we do there. That's,
That's the, sounds like the fun stuff. Sounds like you get the fun job.
I personally think so of course. Yeah, for sure. But I'm sure I'm biased.
Yeah, a little bit. I know so I'm sure you have a lot of Conversations around AI.
The future is what you're talking about a lot. And I know we're having conversations here constantly. I mean, who isn't talking about AI every other sentence? But, what are some things that you are here at QIIME looking for? Hearing? Learning? What are the
conversations you're having? Yeah, we actually have a focus group in another, about an hour, you know, or so where we're asking that question.
And I think, you know, there's AI falls into three categories. Scary part, the hyped part, and the reality of it. Yeah. You know, what it turns out to be. The question is, even in the reality part, what are people going to really use? I mean, look, it's got a future. This isn't one of those things that I think will die, but it's also not one of those things that's actually that new.
Right. Some of this has been around for quite a while. A lot of people are misusing the term for if then else kind of logic, and they call it AI, and you know, not really learning kinds of things. So, we're trying to figure out. Yeah. What are our customers, you know, what are the healthcare as an industry, the practical side of it, not research, not the people with a lot of money that could do anything.
Right. But the people who are trying to get the day-to-day work done, nurse for nurses or doctors and patients, what are they really gonna use it for? Right. What is the thing we could do soon today? Right. Very, you know, tomorrow. Right. That would actually make a real difference
For sure. Not the thing that we're gonna figure out in five years
Right. For sure. At some point there might be a bot walking down. Right. For
sure. One day we'll be in a sci fi movie, but not quite there
yet. Maybe, yeah. But for now, that's not the, probably the aim. At least I don't think so, so. Yeah,
so, what what kind of things are you looking forward to in 2023?
What do you have on the horizon? What's coming up for CDW and your team? Well, AI is
one of those. Yeah, for sure. Yeah. You know, just. There's a lot, we're a partnered organization, right? So there are a lot of people out there doing things. We've been doing AI in the machine vision space for quite a while.
Certainly people have been dabbling in the audio space for quite a while. Right. And see how real that gets. Can we really start to just create documentation, not in the traditional, I have a device, I talk into it kind of mentality, but just in the flow of work, I pick up what I need to, I put it where I need to, I store it where I need to, you know, and then.
So we're looking forward to those kinds of things. Figuring out height, narrowing it down. We're trying not to boil the ocean,
so you know what we're doing. That, yeah, boiling the ocean takes a little bit more than... Yeah, I
don't quite have enough that much heat here. Yeah, for sure. And then getting, we have two new labs coming on.
Of course we've had the one in California, we've had the one Salt Lake City with Intermountain. We've announced the one in Scottsdale with Honor Health. And we announced at the Health Care to Health Care a few weeks ago that we've got one with St. Lucie. So we'll be bringing the two new ones on in the first couple of quarters of next year.
And then we're still in conversations about starting one on the East Coast. Right. A lot of people not happy that everybody has to fly to the West Coast. We're going to try to get one on the East Coast, of course. And we're in conversations, and I'm hopeful that'll happen in 2040.
That's really exciting.
Yeah, you were just telling me about some of your labs and what you've done already. Um, what is the big... Ask from health systems, what are they looking for when they're coming to you for labs?
You know what's funny is it's all practical. Yeah. We were on with the, pretty much the entire clinical team of one of our lab organizations and we started talking about all the things that we could do, and not in bright and shiny, but things that we think are close to what they want, and they stopped and said, hurry up.
We can't wait much longer. Our nurses need this. Our doctors need this, our patients need this, and they want to get on with things. They're really fairly practical. It's like nurses are doing too many tasks that there's got to be a way to carve some of that off and just give them some time back so they can do the rest of their job.
And they just want to know how to do that. And then they want to know how fast can I move to get it done. naturally the battle ensues between, you know, that's a lot of work for IT to do its part. There's certainly processing culture change and, you know, how do you line all those up and get it done in time.
That's Usually nursing first. Patients. Traditional physicians, right?
That's fantastic. I'm really excited to hear more about those labs. I, hopefully, will get to see one eventually. That's one of my goals, personally. I'm sure I'll come out and see. They sound like really great, innovative things, but that practical piece, like you said, we still have to work on those little pieces of people process so that we can do healthcare well while you...
Utilizing AI as the tool that it is, not the replacement that people fear that
it might be. Yeah, I mean the labs could spend a lot of time really being out on that edge and doing some of that stuff. And most of our, there's obviously different levels of customer. But most of them are in that sweet spot that says, I just, I don't have a lot of money, but what I want to spend my money on, I want to make a huge difference.
And I don't want another bright shiny object. I don't want to be carrying something else around. I don't want to create ten more buttons and clicks for them. I want simplified, I want something that fits in the workflow and something that they'll actually use. So while we're, the labs are looking out a little further and trying to figure out what that future really is, we're trying to be more practical and that's why we build them with a healthcare organization.
So that I'm not a clinician, even all my time in healthcare, I've never been a clinician, that's my brother. So we leverage the people we build these labs with to tell us yes, no, good, bad getting cl Yeah, that's close enough. We could start rolling it out or putting it in a pilot or whatever, you know, the next process.
that's so important. Because if you have something where you're building a technological something, anything for a clinician and a clinician isn't in the room, you've missed the mark. Yeah
and, you know, to be fair, a lot of people hire a physician or two, right, to give their input.
But when you think about it, there's many thousands of physicians. Yeah. Everybody has their own way of doing it, so it takes at least... A small village to have input on it to find that common denominator that says, it won't be exactly the way Fred wants, it won't be exactly the way Holly wants it, you know, at least we get this much, you know, in common and that's right, and then figure out how to do the rest.
That's so fantastic. Fred, thank you so much for stopping by. It was great to talk to you. Great to talk to you. Yeah. Thanks.
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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