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March 9, 2022: Today, we bring you another #InterviewInAction from the ViVE 2022 conference.

Andy Crowder joins us to share his approach to current staffing challenges. Also, some of his insight into mergers and acquisitions.



Today and interview and action from the Vive event down here in Miami. 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 dedicated to keeping health it staff, current and engaged. We would have thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical, and current health.

Check them out at this week. Onto our interview. All right, here we are from 5 20, 22, and we are here with Andy Crowder with atrium health. Um, how are things going? What's been

a blast so far this week. It's

been a great event. It's a, it's a little different normally than what we do. We used to do the, um, the chime spring forum the day before, and then we'd go into him.

So there were two very distinct. This is a sort of mix and match. I mean, it's, it's going on at the same

time. It feels a little bit more like an integrated event. Like it's all pieced together the right

way. So, yeah. So, uh, what are you excited about? What are you seeing out here that you're, you're excited about?

Uh, I think that, uh, some of the work with a brand new startups that early stage companies allowing us to see innovative products and players is different. You know, you can get kind of relaxed about your stack of solutions and where you're at and just kind of opens up a different side of your brain.

The, uh, that's the thing I like, you actually talked to some of the owners and the founders of the developers in here. They're like, how are you thinking about this? What are you looking at? Um, I know you and I have talked about this before I met with, uh, Andrew with, uh, artists. I disagree very, I mean, sometimes when you see that technology is starting to go, this, I, I, this will work is a game changer.

Yeah. It's pretty interesting. Um, top of mind at atrium right now,

Huge growth, huge success. Uh, I think the war on talent, keeping your top talent engaged and happy with choice and flexibility is really key and, uh, attracting the right talent for these critical roles.

No, I'm talking to some of the smaller health systems and they're afraid of you.

Um, here's, here's why I was talking to somebody this morning and

we have a four on mission.

We deal with the fear is, you know, they're, they're a, uh, smaller health system rural, but they have. Yeah, they have some great analysts, have some great, um, you know, farm tax and other people and they're, they're getting, they're getting picked up.

Yeah. I mean, they're maybe not so worried about you as much as they are worried about, uh, you know, the New York hospitals, the DC hospitals, and whatnot who come in and offer these rates, these people on. And, uh, it's a, it's really challenging, but you, you also have that challenge. How many, how many unfilled positions do you have?

Um, you know, we're actually in a pretty good spot right now. Um, yeah, it's in a, in a really good spot, you know, I think that, um, on our entry level we're able to attract and retain. I think that, um, in some of our seasons, you know, people ready to go from manager to director and director to AVP. Those are the rungs where you've got great experience, great ETQ and IQ and organizations are targeting.

They know how to come in one layer, two layers deep and get the people that you're grooming. And so you have to be very responsive to that.

But you also applaud when they go off to somewhere else and do something. Yeah.

I think if you focus on what's best for the individual karma plays a great role when they come back to you at different times and you attract people differently.


yeah. I love walking through here cause I could see, I see people progressing in their careers. It's fun. It is, uh, it, it is left on. So I, I want to talk to you about technology. We can easily talk about, cause I've talked to so many people about what you're doing in terms of the real estate. And, uh, hiring in 48 states and those kinds of things.

And I think that's really interesting and we could have a dynamic talk around that, but I want to talk around that technology, the digital front door, um, maybe addressing the, uh, the, uh, clinical staffing shortage. I mean, what are, what are some things you're being asked to do as a CIO? Right.

So I think the first thing is that the, you know, the CIO is really, uh, a strategy in directions.

And they're as much a transformation agent, business partner for innovation as they've ever been before. I think that, um, COVID and the pandemic opened up people's minds and how innovative and beneficial we could be to solutions. So we're in conversations that we probably weren't in three to five years ago.

Uh, they know that they understand the power of what tech and digital can do today, uh, because they did it over the past year and a

half. So at a time there's an intersection of, of technology. The CIO is now at the table. We used to have to fight to get the table, but now that it happens

now we've got too many tables to get to.

So we've got to put our teams in all of these spots, which is a great, great opera.

I think I told you this before there was a meeting I was at and we had a six or eight pillars of our strategy and they said, all right, now, whichever one, you're interested in go up to that board and interact with people.

And people kept coming over to me going, we need you at ours. We need you to do

absolutely. It's an awesome place to be. I mean, if you're service minded and service oriented and you like. I can't think of a better place to be

right now, but that's why it's so important to have lieutenants. What are you, what are you doing to, to train that next generation, that, that next group of people just underneath


So they do things like this welcome this week and help it. I mean, I think that, I think that collaboration of people in this industry and the way you deliver it, I think chime is a great, great teacher and collaborator people, the boot camps, the CMIO activities. Um, it's a great place to build connection and to get perspective outside of their own.

New a new skill sets required for a manager and this, uh,

yeah, so I mean, uh, what's interesting is when we did one of these surveys for the employees, it was like 95% of them were really favorable on it. And some of the managers were scared. How do I keep morale? How do I get culture built? And so thankfully Jim Dunn and our HR team and our HR partners did a phenomenal job of arming them with tips and tools.

Rituals to keep the team connected. And so it's been, it's been really rewarding

to watch those relationships amongst the, uh, the executive team. I, it feels to me like, they've, they've gotten a lot tighter through COVID, even though the distance is greater.

Yeah. I think they have, and you know, with COVID, you know, we, we had a common enemy that United us all to be different and act different, uh, partnerships outside of our core healthcare system.

And I think it created a, a new culture and behavior that we're going to, you know, Every day and everything else. So

M and a, you guys shoot a fair amount of M and a, um, I have we, have we, uh, have we nailed this yet? I mean, do we have like a playbook and it just it's. Yeah. Yeah. So,

um, gene woods and Anthony Furio and some of our other senior leaders have an integration management office, we've developed multiple versions of the playbook on how we do it.

Um, I think the thing that is the most key right out of the gate, Before you get into execution of that, making sure that it's a cultural fit. If it's a cultural fit, um, trust is built quickly and you can get the action and results really, really well. So we're, we're improving it. I've seen three or four versions of our own playbook.

It gets better every time and you have to be good at listening.

So the, uh, you might not have, gene might be the right person to ask this. I mean, are you looking for culture when you're going in there? Are you looking for that?

Absolutely. And if you think about our forearm mission and how we connect with the communities that we serve and how we treat people, you can usually tell pretty early on in, gene has gotten great.

ETQ on this as our other leaders and go this one's a quick yes. And this one's a quick note.

So grips was that where your CIO before was primarily an urban population? You stretch to the, to the four winds here. I mean, we're talking North Carolina, Georgia, South Carolina. A little bit. Yeah. Um, Alabama. Yeah.

So you're touching a lot of different, I mean, it's it, is it very different as you're looking at those different

populations? Well, I mean, I think, I think that you can have an enterprise view, but carrots, local and every community has its own view and lens of that. And what you do in a rural community, in critical access areas in different populations is very different when you're doing the.

And having the ability to leverage what the core enterprise has and deliver that same care in those markets. That's the power of scale and enterprise. So,

so I, I wanted to ask somebody that you could answer it. You may not answer it. It's entirely up to you, but, uh, as we look at the M and a stuff, we have Cerner shops, we have Meditech shops, we've, uh, epic shops.

I mean, when you go in there, is it how important is it to get on that single platform? Because I mean, from a clinical driving, um, You know, clinical adherence to standards and those kinds of things, you want to be on a single platform, but it is kind of disruptive.

It is disruptive. You know, we've had great relationships with all of our enterprise vendors and they've been very helpful to make sure that we can do it effectively and efficiently.

You can get the outcome soon, but, but I think if you're going to have scale and you're going to be able to deliver same great clinical care for oncology and, and, um, uh, all of these different specialties, you've got to have that. To spread the data, the analytics and the insights. And I guess it could be done, but I think the cost is prohibitive.

And I think your speed to market has really

reduced 'cause I, I think more, more and more organizations are going to that mindset of saying, look, um, as they're negotiating field, sometimes I wasn't even on the table, they were saying, oh, we'll figure it out later.

That's usually what you're leading with.

And many of those organizations are coming because they don't, they couldn't acquire those assets or those capabilities without a. And they're coming to the table. I just left the conversation 20 minutes ago about that same topic.

Fantastic. Uh, 80. I want to thank for your time. It's awesome.

Thank you for everything you're doing.

I appreciate you.

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