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April 18: We sat down with Christine Blanchard, Managing Director at CTG, to explore the company's pivotal role in transforming healthcare through technology. How has CTG managed to stay at the forefront of healthcare IT solutions for over 35 years? What are the key strategies that have enabled them to effectively address the diverse needs of their clients in healthcare systems, payers, and life sciences? Moreover, Christine discusses the recent initiatives CTG has undertaken to enhance patient engagement and streamline healthcare operations through advanced IT solutions. This episode not only provides a deep dive into CTG's successful strategies but also offers insights into the future of healthcare IT as envisioned by one of its leading players.



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. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of This Week Health, where we are dedicated to transforming healthcare, one connection at a time. Today , we have an interview in action from the 2024 conferences, the spring conferences, VIVE in LA, HIMSS in Orlando.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Quantum Health, Gordian, Dr. First, CDW, Gozeo Health, Artisite, and Zscaler. You can check them out on our website, thisweekhealth. com. Now, onto our interview

All right, today we're going to do an interview in action and I'm excited to be joined by Christine Blanchard, Managing Director for CTG. And before we get started, I want to thank CTG for being a part of our Captain's Campaign. at the recent conferences between Vive and HIMSS, we were able to raise 22, 000 for pediatric cancer and childhood cancer.

So we are really appreciative of CTG. Being a part of that. So Christine, welcome to the show. And again, thank you.

Absolutely. That's great results. I'm really happy for you.

yeah, did interview we give it to Alex's lemonade stand. I interviewed Alex's mom, and it's just amazing the work that they're doing and the families that they help through this process.

Well, we're going to get an opportunity to re record, because we recorded at the VIVE conference and it was too loud and we, the mics didn't work. So we're going to go through this. again, and I love the opportunity. Let's start with the basics. Talk a little bit about CTG's primary focus in healthcare and healthcare IT solutions.

Sure, Bill. So CTG has been supporting healthcare for over 35 years. As an organization, we've been around since 1966, but the last 35 really focused in the healthcare space. We work with providers, health systems payers, and life science clients. Our primary focus has been meeting our clients where they are.

We have various pillars of solutions that we offer. We work in the advisory space. Helping clients make some strategic decisions and do some transformation initiatives, such as from a pop health perspective. We work on a lot of applications. We are an IT consulting company at our heart. so we work with all the major EHRs, and ERPs and we do implementations, upgrades, optimization, we'll work with RPA and automation to help introduce some efficiencies.

We'll do managed services in a whole variety of areas. We'll help organizations with their M365s. Adoption, for example. So all sorts of areas on the application side. We do a lot of work in training and activation when a health system decides to implement a new EMR, for example. So we've got wonderful experience and teams of thousands of people who've worked for us over the years that we bring to bear we have a pretty strong service desk solution.

We work with many of our clients on providing either level one IT help desk. Or MyChart support, for example, for our Epic clients, do a lot of that on patient portal, representing the health system as we talk to their patients. it's sort of one of those solutions that because we're speaking with patients, our clients often come to us and say, well, you've got them on the phone.

What do you think if you can handle this type of situation. And so each one of our clients keeps adding scope and we're really able to help with that patient experience and engagement.

let's talk about the problem set a little bit, CTG does a lot of things. first of all, you're brought in when, hey, we can't figure out what to do.

That's the advisory. But then when you're ready to implement all sorts of different technologies. You have the wherewithal to bring resources to bear on the implementation of these things. What specifically, when you're talking to a CIO, they go, hey, here's a problem I have, or here's the problem I have.

I assume they range, but give us some examples of some of the problems that they're trying to address.

Sure, an example would be when COVID happened and we already had service desks set up supporting many of our healthcare clients. We were able to quickly scale and increase the number of agents we had, setting up Hotline centers just to ease the patient's worries.

And then once vaccines were available, we set up vaccine scheduling for all their patients. So that would be one example where we were scaling based on a business problem that hit everybody. Another example would be a client is implementing some new technology. So we'll just pick on Epic since we do a lot of work in the Epic space.

So we meet with them and talk about where they have gaps from their current staff. In some cases, They need help with EPIC experts that can supplement work with inside their teams, helping their newly trained employees understand, best practices and things that have worked well in other organizations.

Or they may say we want you to do legacy support for us so that all of our employees can focus on that new implementation. That's a solution we've been doing for 30 years and really good at it, so they may be looking for something like that. They may be looking for help with telehealth, where they've, again, COVID supercharged the need for telehealth.

And we can step in and help on wherever their gaps are and getting that to be a smooth running kind of machine for them. We work with health equity, for example, so it's a new buzzword, although it's been around and people have been trying to solve it for many years, a lot of focus on it.

COVID brought a lot of those challenges to light. So you have to understand where that client is and their journey toward health equity. And then we can customize our approach to really help them where they may have been struggling or they're looking for best practices or they're looking for ideas on how to get adoption throughout their organization.

we really customize our solution to the business problem the client has. Even though we're all in the same business. of helping our patients. Each health system is at a different point in their journey and we work to customize our approach to specifically meet the needs that they have.

I thought for a while there that the big EHR implementations were behind us, And then recently there was whole, I mean, Intermountain Northwell uh, UPMC, there were some big ones, but that's not all that's going on. There's a lot of M& A work, which is leading to, work as well.

And then just new modules, like health systems are implementing new modules as well. There's a significant amount of work going on in that space. Why would someone choose CTG over another partner in that space specifically?

we may already be a partner working with them, so we have a trusted relationship.

We have built really long term relationships with our customers. So, often they'll just come to us and say, Is this something CTG can help with? Because they know that if they engage with us, they've had great experience with our delivery and our commitment to excellence and our partnership approach.

We're very transparent and open in our relationship with the leaders at the health system. So, that's one reason. Another is, let's just pick on MyChart support, for example. We're already doing it with so many clients. We've got great references. We're happy to have them call our clients.

hear them speak very personally about their experience working with CTG. And we have those kinds of references across the spectrum of the solutions we offer. So, they know we're a trusted partner. we do what we say we're gonna do. our tagline is we work in close cooperation with our clients.

So, it really rings true across our delivery organization. And the experience that those clients have, is

there a specific healthcare client that you can reference and talk about the work that CTG has done?

We're currently working with Methodist Le Bonheur down in Memphis. They are implementing EPIC. And so we've been doing their legacy support, which includes Cerner and some homegrown rep cycle applications, and then of course all the ancillary. So we have a large team about 80 some people. So in addition to taking care of all the legacy support, we have some project managers that are supplementing their PMO.

And they are each running multiple strategic projects for the organization, and we have some EPIC analysts, very experienced analysts, who are supplementing their internal teams and the EPIC folks that are engaged with them to support the build and testing initiatives right now. So, Hitting on several different areas with them.

we'll close with this. Talk a little bit about the advisory. Advisory is interesting to me because you don't know what the problem is going to be. Healthcare is facing so many different challenges. I would imagine people could bring you in and say, let's talk about population health.

They could also bring you in and say, Hey, let's talk about the technology. They could talk about implementations. where have you seen the advisory conversations going and starting these days?

Well, we don't do everything. we have areas of expertise, so we try to stick to them. We really want every engagement to be exceptional and referenceable.

We're very open to say whether or not we can support a particular area. some of the ones, I think, since we already talked a little bit about population health we have expertise and multiple engagements that have been successful related to, for example, primary care redesign we help organizations with their workflow and implementing team based care.

we supported hundreds of patient centered medical home implementations, all of which had 100 percent accreditation. So it's inherent in how we operate when it comes to transforming ambulatory care, for example. whether it has to do with reducing no show rates or Always working to have the clinicians working at the top of their license.

making sure that The physicians are focused on real patient care and not having to deal with some of the administrative and work that the MA can do, for example. change is hard. People are very resistant to change. So we have really proven methods of managing that change and getting physician champions on board.

It's always wonderful to see the naysayers who resisted come around and now they're the biggest, supporters and help the other physicians come along. So we've had a lot of success with that. We work on risk stratification and helping organizations. leverage proven models to help them identify the populations that need interventions.

And because we've worked with so many organizations, we have wonderful examples of things that have worked in the past that we can bring to bear offer all those kinds of suggestions.

That's fantastic. Christine, I want to thank you guys again for being a part of helping us raise money for childhood cancer.

If people Want more information about CTG and what you all do? Website is ctg. com. Pretty easy to remember, pretty easy to find, and I mean, you guys have been around longer than I've been on this planet. 1966, that's pretty, it's pretty amazing. So if people are looking for an organization, That has proven the test of time to be serving their clients well, and I think that's almost assumed in the fact that you've been around so long.

It's those long standing client relationships which make it work. Check out CTG at ctg. com. Christine, thank you for your time.

Thank you, Bill. Have a great day.


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