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December 18: 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 William Wilson, VP & CTO at Stanford Children's Health. How does such a sizable and diverse team continually deliver projects on time and under budget? As we explored the effects of the pandemic on remote working and patient connection, William speaks on the strategies employed to retain talent and uphold service quality. They also touch on data security and AI implementation. As the conversation steered toward the future, William gave a sneak peek into the organization’s goals of 2024.

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Transcript

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

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... with another interview in action. My name is Carla Arzola. I'm at the CIO at Rocky Mountain Human Services. And with us, we have Bill. Bill, do you want to introduce yourself?

I can do it if you want me to, but I think you will do a much

better job than I will. You would do great, sure. I'm Bill Wilson. I'm the Vice President, Chief Technology Officer at Stanford Medicine Children's Health in Palo Alto, California.

Thank you. Thank you for stopping by. I mean, you and I coincided in, you know, a couple of sessions, right?

And we talked about We talk about what we're seeing and some of the initiatives that you have, you would be working on, that you're working on. So let's talk with, was there anything specific during the sessions that you have seen participated that, has there been an aha moment for you?

Well, I think one of the sessions that we were in, and I was lucky enough to be at your table, was the de and i session. Oh. And when we were talking about, you know, what do we see as results from, really having an actionable DE. And at Sanford Children's, one of the positive things from IIS is when we do our employee engagement scores as an organization, our IIS team continues to be at the highest level over the rest of the organization.

And when we started delving into that, it's really looking at the fact that we have a very diverse group within our IIS department. And with that, we embrace the diversity. And we're always very successful. People feel very comfortable. And so, we deliver projects on time, under budget. We're hitting what the requirements are for the users.

But I think what it means is we have a true team feel. So we celebrate that diversity. And whether it's ethnicity, whether it's religion. For example, next week we're doing our worksgiving potluck. And we've encouraged people to bring dishes from their native land. And, you know, what they do is a heritage that they would normally serve at their home.

Thanksgiving celebration. And we encourage that and we embrace that and I think it really leads to what we see as our engagement scores staying so high. In fact, we're setting the benchmark for the industry which is something we're proud of. That

sounds super yummy. What are

you going to bring? I will probably bring our cranberry salad from the south.

Okay. My mother's from Oklahoma, my dad was from Georgia and we do an amazing cranberry salad every year. And then the other thing to go with that is a buttermilk chocolate cake that's made So we got to keep those going in the family and they always like it when I bring those. That's awesome. That's

awesome.

So let's take a step back. So you talk about your diversity group and a lot of the topics also were around the challenges with retaining talent and also being able to service our clinicians because after COVID, a lot of people went remote. And and that has become, you know, it's difficult, right?

We all talk about the connection with the patients. I mean, our keynote speaker. Talk about that yesterday. What are some of the things that you're doing in regards to that? Or are you having any challenges with that?

Well, I'm happy to report we've got about a 4 percent vacancy rate. So being in Silicon Valley, in the technology capital of the country we have to compete for talent.

But it's the mission of the organization that keeps people with us. It's that why are you at work? And we actually require all of our employees, it doesn't matter what you're doing. We're going to do clinical rounds every year, and we have sign up sheets with different physicians and clinicians, where they shadow someone for two hours to really understand the difference that whatever they do makes to that end user and the care of the patient.

So it really keeps them focused on why we do. So even though we have people who are way more remote than they used to be, it's keeping that connection to what we're doing in delivering service. Because we only exist in IS because of the needs of the organization. Which is why we've been called Information Services.

We're a service organization.

Absolutely, yeah, we're a business partner, and I feel like that's a key to continue that relationship, right, between the clinicians and us as service providers. And I know that it became normal and common that people work remote, but then how do you make that connection so the rounding, I'm sure, is making a difference in your system.

So, change in a bit the conversation. What is on top of mind right now in your... Healthcare system?

Well, I think really what we're looking at is the concern over where we are financially. Okay. Being pediatric specialty we don't have the same impact that Medicare brings to so many organizations, but we are concerned when we look at the economy and we see more of a shift in maybe our patients to Medi-Cal than what we had in the past and what that means to our reimbursement.

So we have our regular dashboard that includes financials that are shared. throughout the organization every month, and we track where we are, so as a leadership team, we know where we need to adjust as we move throughout the year. And we also track, along with that, our quality scores, our patient satisfaction scores.

So it's really looking at the tenets that are our five pillars that keep us moving as an organization.

📍   📍 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. 📍 📍  So,

everybody's talking about AI, and what can AI do for us. Some organizations are not ready for it, but you and I mentioned Stanford is, a leader in technology theory. Are you using any of that technology to solve some of the challenges and some of your

priorities?

Well, we have a large clinical informatics fellowship program. So one of the physicians in there wrote a use case, was shared with Microsoft, and they were blown away by his use case and approved us to be one of the pilots with them. So we have recently set up our Azure tenant with Microsoft. They're providing us with our chat GPT 4 within that environment.

So we built our own chat GPT 4. we are actually working with our initial six users to test that and are planning for a bigger launch. Also we're one of two pediatric facilities working with Epic and Microsoft on the work that's being done around the in basket messaging with Epic. So, we have two different pilots with AI going on, but as you mentioned, we're Stanford.

We've had, you know, AI and Play in different formats prior over the last several years. So, it's exciting to see the advances and see it become more. Potential for widespread technology. Can

you talk about a little bit on, you mentioned ChatGPT, right, using that technology. What are some of the security \

Guardrails,

yes, thank you, that you guys have put in place to, you know, to make sure that you stay on top of it, right? Because it's very easy that people start putting information on their phone, ChatGPT, and then you know, put patient information, and so what are some of the guardrails that you guys have put in place?

Well, we've done several things. Is one is we've tried to start education, okay? For people realize that when they're using an open chat, GPT or different AI solution, the documents that are presented, the information goes into a publicly viewable database, data lake, so to speak. So part of it's education.

The other thing is we've locked down a lot of access within our network, okay? Until we really roll out what's our official, AI for the organization. And that was another reason we've worked so carefully with Microsoft in setting up this initial tenant because it is you know, PHI compliant, it's PII compliant, and the users will have the opportunity to toggle whether or not they're just internal within our client or they're external or it's into the open segment.

So we can still provide privacy and security that we need around particular documents or data.

That's super exciting. What are you looking forward into

2024? I think in 2024, what we're really looking at is the growth opportunity. We have been working on a new digital experience platform for our consumer side.

We were just recognized last week at the HCIC conference for one of the best patient engagement portals for our patients and their families. So that was an exciting award last week. Thank you. So it's really about the whole patient engagement, patient experience, as well as supporting uh, Because we all hear about burnout.

And that's where we're really trying to target what are the technology solutions that we can be looking at. To think how do we handle that while we're also managing within our budget, within our staffing and all the demands that come from the organization. The uniqueness that we have, I think, at Stanford is we have a strong governance process.

So with that over the years it's been refined so that all of our leaders help decide on the projects going forward. It's not... Just projects being presented to an IS governance committee. Absolutely. And they have that value in on what is the priority for this year for the organization. So we're trying to really look at that list and refine what are the must dos for 2024 and then what are the, you know, should doss and then obviously the NICE to-dos, the nice to have.

Yeah. And right now we're evaluating 292 projects for the year. My God, that's a lot. So we're saying that's a lot. So that's a lot. We've got to refine that down. But I think that's the exciting thing is. We truly feel like we're a part of operations both clinically and financially with the organization and how we deliver on that.

But it's a team effort. It is.

Yeah. It's like we always say, right? We are the enablers, everybody else is the owner, and so we're just here to partner. That's right. Well, thank you so much for your time. Anything else you want

to add? No, it's just been such a great CHIME conference this year. I mean, these are the fun things when we get to share with each other and learn more about each other and what people are doing.

You know, it's just, that's the excitement that I think comes from this and the new ideas we take back to our teams and talk about.

Absolutely. Well, thank you. I appreciate the time. It was a pleasure seeing you again, as always. And again, we can't wait to hear what else are you doing for, you know, your outcomes for next year.

Oh,

thank you so much, Carla.

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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