October 16: Today on the Conference channel, it’s an Interview in Action with Molly Zimmer, Innovation and Emerging Technologies at St. Luke’s Health System. How can we sift through the noise of AI solutions? What tenent of improv comedy does Molly incorporate in change management exercises? AI may be on every billboard, but are we using it effectively or have we been seduced by the hype?
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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, here we are at the Health Conference, Health 2023 out here in Vegas, and we're catching up with Molly Zimmer. Hello. Who is in charge of Emerging Technologies at St. Luke's Health System in Boise, Idaho. That's right. And we already discovered that you have no title. No title. It's like Innovation, Emerging Technologies.
I'm a ghost. I don't even collect a paycheck. I just love how good you show up. Yeah, it's amazing.
Well, for emerging technologies, this has to be an interesting opportunity. I mean, it's, I, there's so many boosts in there. What do you see besides the word AI on every?
Oh yeah. Well, it's funny, I'm totally going to take this opportunity to compliment you, even though I, you're probably like sick of it, but.
I think this side of
the company is really
high. Well, I'm going to compliment you. But I think like, when you look around and you see like the giant walls with all of the vendors, like all of these amazing technologies that you could never possibly evaluate, I guess I shouldn't say it, they're probably not all amazing, but you just don't know.
And it's, so one of the things I appreciate about this week health is you do kind of like sift through the chaos a little bit and give us little bites that we can work with. So this conference is absolutely amazing for emerging technologies, but it's also completely overwhelming.
It's interesting because people say, hey, why don't you do more interviews that help?
And we had I'm looking at Holly behind the camera. We literally received... Hundreds of emails of people, Hey, do you want to interview us? And we'd read through the thing and we'd say, focus on the payer side or focus on consumer, focus on, or pharma and whatnot. And we would just look at these things and say, no, we're just going through them.
But that's what goes on, on and say, do you have a solution for variety?
Totally. Yeah. You have to be very clear on what your problems are and what the priority is, where it's at. You're out of luck. Totally.
Yeah. AI is on every billboard. How do you determine, like, who's using AI effectively? I guess you start with the problem.
Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. Yep, and I think, so you start with a problem, and then once you think you know what the problem is, you also have to know that it's laden with assumptions, and then you have to actually talk to your customers. So, in our case, we're really just interested in how can we really make our workforce sustainable?
How can we improve clinicians experience today, so that they don't want to continue to lead to perfection, right? I'm a former teacher, so when I see some of the burnout that's happening with clinicians, it's exactly why I love teaching. Right? So I want us to do anything we can that can move the needle in a clear way that has a a clear time savings.
And those are the things that really matter more than just seeing AI. Can we really see how this could effectively move the needle in that area?
So, Pajama time,
yeah, for sure. Yeah, and we just did My team, so we do emerging technologies and also we kind of have this do you know Todd Dunn?
Yeah. Everybody knows Todd Dunn. He's a legend in innovation. So, he's kind of been a mentor to both Reid and I in the area of innovation. And so we also do a lot of facilitation. And so we just did this huge workshop, two day workshop with our providers on InBasket. The whole two days was all about InBasket.
And they're... People are completely burnt out with these constant notifications supposed to improve their lives, right? But it just adds so much stress. So how do we kind of clean this up and deal with these things? It should be making us more efficient versus adding stress.
So, what did you learn in two days talking about investment?
That sounds like a lot of time.
It was! Yeah, well, so we were just, the ten minutes fire, right? We were just talking about how often there's this... Mistrust or kind of divide, at least in the lens of the business versus, clinicians. And so the biggest thing was we got everybody in the room to talk about the problem, instead of all being, siloed 15 different directions pulling on the same thing, right?
So, we got aligned on four solutions that we prioritized that we're going to move forward and test. So, it was actually really successful and exciting.
Sometimes just getting people in the room to hear each other. It's huge. It's huge because you hear all of them. Huh, yeah. And then people assume, it's like, why aren't you working on my thing?
Right. But when you put them in a room and they all hear from each other, they go, oh yeah, that's more important than my thing. Oh
yeah, and one thing that we found too was there was a lot of work going on, even like, like IT had really partnered with some of our APPs to work on this. And other people didn't even know that it was going on and they were just like relieved to know.
Oh my gosh You're prioritizing this huge pain point for us. So yeah that communication is huge 📍
📍 We'll get back to our show in just a minute. We have an excellent webinar coming up for you in November. We had an excellent conversation about AI in September with three academic medical centers around the topic of artificial intelligence.
It really was exceptional, and we released it on our podcast channel so that we could share it with a wider audience. I wanted to explore that topic a little bit more, and I asked a couple of additional health systems to join us to explore the use of generative AI and other forms of artificial intelligence to see if we can identify some pragmatic approaches to how health systems are looking at taking advantage of this technology.
The webinar is on November 2nd, 1pm Eastern Time, 10am Pacific Time. You can reserve your spot on ThisWeekHealth. com and one of the things we love is that you can submit your questions in advance and we can make sure that we, answer those questions and keep the webinar relevant to the things that you're looking to talk about.
So, please join us November 2nd, 1 p. m. Eastern Time, 10 a. m. Pacific Time. Now, back to our show. 📍
We're hearing AI being applied to the in basket. Yeah, What I would say a very generic way Right, so it reads the message and it creates a draft response to the message, and I think that's the way that IT gets in trouble.
It's like, oh, there's a solution, we're going to bring it here, we're going to put it in. The more sophisticated way is to essentially do what you just described. It's to identify the whole of the problem. Oh, yeah. And then look at it. Are you applying AI to those solutions? Are some of those just really...
Just blocking exactly
that stuff. It's all of it. I mean, what you just said is exactly the beauty of that because when you, and we use like the business model canvas and those tools that Todd introduced us to, and when you really look at the jobs to be done and customer pain points, it's not, and Autodraft is not gonna fix 90% of those, maybe not even 50.
I mean, I, you know what I mean? Like, so, yeah, we had to look at that holistically. We are piloting the ai, the auto generated And it's been interesting. We've learned a lot. But we absolutely had to look at where, I mean, there's workflow considerations. There's lack of standardization. Shocker there, right?
Of the way that people handle and route the messages. The way that people use their nurses. Like we heard some real horror stories of like, I have to print off the messages and hand them to the provider and he writes notes and I put them back. So, absolutely. We had to just really look at it holistically and bring it all together.
Yeah. I was I forget who I was interviewing. I get great stories before and after. And it
was on paper. Huh, yes. And then the administrative team, which is highly bloated, and they're trying to figure out, why do you need so many administrators? Every morning they come in, they color code, and print out everything, and put it on clipboards. Oh my goodness. And hand it to the docs. Essentially practiced the way they did 10 years ago.
Well, so the irony of that story is I mean, I have several trusted clinician colleagues and I hear often, like, the statistic I heard last week was 85 cents of every dollar in healthcare go to, like, administration. Right. But that's hilarious to me. They think that's annoying that we have so many administrative people, but
that's part of The other thing is call centers.
Oh, absolutely, yeah. When you think about it,
we had a ton of calls. We had a ton of big call centers, and there's expensive software associated with that, and CRM associated with that, and licenses and seats. But that wasn't our problem. Our problem was that every physician practice Operated as a call center.
They took phone calls. And so we had the better part of 500 destinations people could call into with a question. So when we wanted to standardize the responses, Yeah. We really couldn't do it without like deploying 500 licenses of something.
gosh, yeah. And then training those staff. And if you train them like they're call center people, They look at you like, I do a lot more than just the call center.
Right, So, in your role, are you just looking at the technology side, or are you looking also at, okay, this has to be implemented, we're going to have to change the culture.
Probably more of that. More of the, and that's my wheelhouse. Like, I love technology, but I think even like generative AI and AI in general.
It's a change management exercise. It's about the people more I think than the technology. And so no, I think it's absolutely, you have to, again, you have to go near your customer in a struggling moment. You have to understand their pains. And most of the time, there's a whole kind of suite of services that have to go along or even maybe just processes that have to go along with that technology solution.
And it's going to fail if you don't look at that.
So that change management side, if you had a bunch of people out there saying, okay, What's the magic? What works? What doesn't work? I heard part of it is you get everybody in that room. That's a great place to start. So now everybody's level set.
Hey, these are the four things we're gonna do. Yeah, so it's I assume Communication
There's a little bit of magic involved, which is not our health lancer, but my little team like I do think we are able to connect with folks and bring them in and have this nice little innovation center. so I think getting them in the room, creating a safe space, and like we do some stuff that, like we do a yes and exercise, it sounds so cheesy, but like getting people, especially physicians, So driven and kind of, stereotypically type A.
yes. It is what? Yes. Okay, so, um,
improv comedy, right? It's a tenant of improv. Is that you ask me a question, I'll say, Bill, that's a dumb question. How dare you? I want to talk about this. Yes, and is all about taking whatever you're given. And then taking an element of that and then adding on to it.
And so when we do ideation exercises with these groups coming in, especially when there's tension in that room, we like, we'll do some of these exercises to get them to shift mentally into that space before we ideate. So, if I'm playing
the antagonist in your presentation, and I go, we just need to get rid of these uh, and you would yes, and?
and ooh, this is so good. Yes, and? Let's think about how that might impact our patients.
Well, our patients really don't care, as long as I'm providing the best care. That's all they
really care about. Yes, and some patients, this is hilarious, some patients actually really want to be involved in managing their care and understanding what's there.
And if we don't have an EHR, they can't actually kind of look and be part of their care journey. Well,
we used to give them folders of data, and that was enough, they could, they, I don't want them doing research on their own, I mean, it's my office, I mean, I've heard all these things, I don't want them coming to my office with Dr.
Google and going, Oh, I researched this, and they go, Look, I think I have Leishner's disease,
I know. Yeah, I will say that I actually just wrote, I just finished up my final paper for my first class of my master's degree, and one of the things that I looked at was I'm not gonna remember the exact statistics, but when people are actually involved, especially like chronically or, or patients with comorbidities, that's so hard to say.
When they're involved in their care and they're involved in their care plan, they have way better outcomes than patients who just show up when they have something go wrong. So there's actually some evidence behind it. Yeah.
Patient engagement is, yeah. Huge. Probably another area we're looking at very closely.
Yeah. Molly, we can talk for
another hour, but I appreciate
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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