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December 29, 2023: In this end of year keynote episode, several healthcare leaders share their highlights from 2023. From EHR implementations to integrating new AI technologies, there is a lot to celebrate. They share some future prospects, like new hospitals or generative technology, they are looking forward to in 2024. Finally, they share a moment of gratitude, acknowledging something they are thankful for from this season of life. Check out this episode featuring Matt MacVey, Theresa Meadows, Myra Davis, Jeff Tweed, Shakeeb Ahkter, Zafar Chaudry, Joseph Hales, and John Henderson.

Key Points:

  • 2023 Accomplishments
  • 2024 Prospects
  • Gratitude

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 Today on This Week Health.

You guys are all thankful for your teams.  Yes. Can't do anything without our teams. We are just the, hopefully master orchestrators, but, the teams are doing all the work.

Thanks for joining us on this keynote episode, a this week health conference show. 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. For five years, we've been making podcasts that amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward. Special thanks to our keynote show. CDW, Rubrik, Sectra and Trellix for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Now onto our show.

Here we are from Charleston, South Carolina. We just finished a 229 CIO roundtable. 2023. Looking back, what are you proud of that your team has been able to accomplish?

We did a lot in 2023.

I would say the biggest thing is just a lot of modernization. So, consolidating data centers, preparing ourselves to get into the cloud, and then preparing ourselves to really retire a lot of systems that were holding us back from our, data and digital strategies

we accomplished several big things this year. And R23 ended in October, end of September, because we have a weird fiscal year.

But we brought Workday Live in July. We opened a hospital. We've done several large other implementations. We acquired, I think, 10 physician practices during that time. So the team's really been working super hard to ensure all of those. Initiatives happened on time and were successful.

Success in 2023, primarily we have a tremendous amount going on with improving access.

So that encompasses three domains. Implementing a new file based call center platform. Creating a digital mobile experience for our patients patient families. Also implementing Salesforce CRM to really bring 360 view for our patients. So we've gotten through two thirds of that journey.

Getting great feedback on that. And really creating a new way for us to deliver services.  

So 2023 has been a challenge for most people in healthcare, including ourselves. We've done a lot of work in IT to do cost improvement programs. But what I think I'm most proud of is my team's work around moving our analytics stacks.

So we used to have a huge analytics function. that sat on premise in the IBM Netezza platform. And we've done a massive amount of work to move that over the last five months into a GCP platform. has allowed us to do is crunch our data in much, much faster ways. And that's been quite revolutionary to see that actually evolve itself.

So, I'm really proud of the speed at which the team has done that. And that's going to bring benefit to clinicians to see data around whether it's operational excellence or it's equity, diversity and inclusion .

For children's health, I think getting ready to open a new hospital, that's a big deal for us, lot of work.

What's that like? I mean, are you looking at new technology, or are you just trying to replicate what you already have?

Well, we have a unique relationship with the University of Utah, and so a lot of it is trying to replicate that relationship and the kind of services that we provide for the university pediatric sub specialists there. But it's also trying to be a little bit different. One, we're part of a very large system, so we want to build a children's hospital, not an adult hospital.

And it's also in an area that is a lot of young professionals. in an area called Silicon Slopes. So it's the kind of inner mountain equivalent to the Silicon Valley. And so we're anticipating a very young, somewhat mobile digital native population bringing their kids to the hospital.

So we've tried to think about what would they be looking for that's maybe different. So

the expectations are going to be a little... A little bit higher, I think, yeah.

think the first big success is the team created a research data network, which is separate from our enterprise data warehouse, which affords our researchers the opportunity to go and explore and use data in the way that they need to,

I think the other big win for us has been the achievement of triple seven, stage seven for data, for ambulatory, for inpatient. We reattested for both of inpatient and ambulatory, and first time we received stage seven, so we call it the triple seven so it's been pretty cool. The third is just a completion of implementing our enterprise Warehouse Planning Solution, Oracle. We will be opening a hospital in North Austin. In February, I want to be clear, I'm not talking about very different teams, I'm talking about the same group of people who have just been really focused, and then last but not least we've made some really Strong Headways with Cyber, where for the first time we have cyber training as a requirement.

Across the entire workforce, and there's a goal to be achieved in the coming year.

this year, we focused real heavily on our US news ranking.

Was a real big strategic thing. And there's a lot of data gathering, data analysis that goes into that. One big piece is we actually consumed everybody's submission from US News that they host after you submit yours three months later, they dump all the data out there in really ugly forms. We're able to ingest that and actually give our strategy department a dashboard where they can go in there and say if we tweak this metric to go up or down, if this person does this, and give them a real what if analysis all in one nice little package.

I think a couple of things. One is we, Refresh for technology strategy.

So previously we had a digital health strategy. We had a technology. I s strategy, building all that together to have an enterprise digital transformation strategy. And we have a three year plan for that applies to everything we do at shop digital is now part of the enterprise strategic plan. It's on the vision board of the CEO.

So that was a very large success for us because we feel like it's finally arrived in a way that is enterprise wide. And then a couple of digital transformation ones. One is we focused on e check in across the entire enterprise. So electronic, digital check in, bill pay, seamless experience for all our patients.

As well as rescheduling appointments when a slot becomes available in an automated fashion. so That has increased our co pay collections. By 80%, and it has reduced on average time to access care across 14 divisions by 29 days. So, in terms of impact to our patients, providers, it's been great. Senior Director who led that is Tracy Haynes. It's fantastic!

2024 is fast approaching. what are you looking forward to? What are your priorities for 2024?

So we're already in FY24. we're going to look at making sure that Our services, in terms of cost, are as lean as possible. But the big, focus for us this year will be how are we going to support changes in clinical practice, access for patients, etc.

And we have a big ERP implementation that just kicked off. We're moving from in floor to workday.

Intermountain has just made the decision to move to Epic. And so we're going to open a hospital and then we're going to turn on a new...

A new EHR. We're going to build an old one in first. So you're anticipating that's going to be a lot of work. Oh yes, a lot of work. Every time EPIC comes up, I've been taking a lot of notes. Intermountain built its own systems for a long time, and I actually came back to Intermountain because I was interested in that.

 2024 is really a stretch and looking at having more foresight in terms of what problem statements can we particularly solve, whether it's with nursing and the challenges they have with staffing or driving efficiencies and squeeze out waste.

So, all healthcare organizations sees opportunities for financial improvements. So we're focused on that. Also continuing to figure out how data can become a true asset for us and how we can benefit from the use of data. And then, of course, you can't get away from cyber.

  the biggest priority in 2024 will be data, data analytics. And taking the goodness that exists in pockets across our organization of capability, but really making it an enterprise function. Both from a governance perspective, from a process perspective, and then investing in a more modern, contemporary data platform. in order to move and progress forward enable our clinicians and our... Business decision makers with the right information. We've got to approach it differently, in a more holistic way.


Yeah, So a couple big ones . One is around data and analytics, where you have a brand new Chief Data Officer that we're bringing on, George who is really starting our data governance.

I mean, as sophisticated as we are, we're not very sophisticated in the use of data, and we really want to up our game And then we're continuing on how do we build our consumer experience. So we have a lot of initiatives around improving our portal access, our mobile access for patients, and then overall team experience because we are experiencing so much burnout.

we have a system wide initiative called LESS, which is senseless stuff. And people are submitting, ideas to eliminate things that just don't make sense. And so we're going to start looking at how do we rationalize things that just, yeah, it started with the Epic thing, which was eliminate stupid stuff or whatever their thing was.

But instead of focusing just on the EHR, we made it on anything that could occur in the health system and people can submit those ideas.

24, continue to build upon the experience from a mobile perspective. The other things we're doing, we have a new joint facility coming online with UCI Health focusing on integrated model of diagnostics, urgent care primary care, and that's coming online. Data and analytics is always critical.

It's driving everything. So continuing to provide insights, building new prediction models bringing together clinical data, operational data, external source data social determinants of health to really create some new models for us.

I think there's a lot of them, and it's hard to prioritize amongst, but you know, one is finding ways to incorporate Gen AI into what we do. It wouldn't be complete if I didn't say AI, but you know, really having generated AI, I think number one priority is to reduce friction for Clinicians, terms of documentation time, administrative burden for our physicians or nurses. That's a hyper focus area for us. I think the other space that we're really looking at is revenue cycle transformation. So we are, obviously facing financial challenges like everyone else. And so are amongst a very deep rev cycle transformation.

And last but not least, we're doing an EPIC refuel. So, standardizing, going back to foundation. We've been on EPIC for 25 years, and there's a lot of work to do there.

2024, our big goal is to get our data de siloed. So we've data all over the organization that we found, partly through COVID that, we'd be asked to answer an HR question.

I'm like, okay, well, that's three databases over in the cloud that, bandaid that with a flat file coming over to somewhere we can touch. But being able to de silo all of that really bring a more data fabric approach to the data at Children's.

So we're approaching the holiday season. What are you most thankful for?

I think I'm most thankful for A, having a job. B, having a great team surrounding myself who really get the job done.

And I'm grateful for working at a pediatric facility simply because every day I come to work I don't have to think why I'm doing this job. 

I can't believe it's the holiday season.

Yeah, I can't believe it's already that time of year. I'm thankful for a lot of things. But my family, friends my peers who've been extremely invaluable, and then my team. I had this opportunity to lead this amazing transformation at a great organization that I hope will have impact on patient care.

My team and then the support of my leadership. Because really, I don't do anything at work. I just help the people under me and then, follow what my senior leaders want to do. But having that support of the senior leadership to help. Put that strategy idea out there and help them shape it to where it'll work.

And then also get the support and buy in across the organization. Or if we have to deprioritize something else, we've got that support. And then also my managers that I can just send an email that used to be something that would take me a week to take care of. And it's done and they take care of it.

I am thankful for just the teams that we have at work.

I'm thankful for my family. I'm thankful for Being able to do a job that I love, I truly love it, even though it is a large, hard, terrible job most days, most days, I'm thankful for that, and I'm thankful for groups like this, who allow us to come and learn from each other, but also vent, and alleviate some of the frustration and know that we're not, So I really appreciate being able to get together with our compadres.

It feels like this year has flown by. I guess first and foremost, my family, and continuing to, watch them grow and prosper and that's always fun and exciting. I've got a couple younger ones, and that every year it goes by, it's just amazing how fast they grow up.

It's been a great year in building a team. So I've, expanded my IT organization a fair amount in the last year realigned. A lot of people, and it's just been great to be able to bring that structure together and see it start to generate results for the organization. Hard work, dedicated people, it's a great mission at Children's National, and it's great to have a team that really aligns around doing good for our patients and their families.

Thankful for family. Yeah, got a great family. And love to have opportunities to be with them

. Got to see your son last night.

I did. Playing in the symphony here in Charleston. Had his tux on and everything. Yeah.

There's so much to be thankful for.

I think professionally I'm very thankful for well, the organization that I work for. I have a great deal of support whether, It's a top from the CEO to even my colleagues and their support, the board support, but then my team. can't say enough about my team these people are, just have grit.

They define grit . They don't look for other ways to say no. They're constantly, figuring out opportunities and how we can improve, and there's always a path to yes. It may not be yes immediately, but they define paths to yes. and then personally just, life and being with family and friends looking forward to that as well.

I am thankful for... Thankful for a fantastic team. My leadership team, the team we have at CHOC We're Lean. But they're an amazing team, so I'm thankful to have such a great group.

It's, yeah, it is great to have executive support. It's great to have a team that you can actually be away for a couple of days and know that things are moving forward. thank you for your time. Thanks, Bill

I love the chance to have these conversations. I think If I were a CIO today, I would have every team member listen to a show like this one. I believe it's conference level value every week. If you wanna support this week health, tell someone about our channels that would really benefit us. We have a mission of getting our content into as many hands as possible, and if you're listening to it, hopefully you find value and if you could tell somebody else about it, it helps us to achieve our mission. We have two channels. We have the conference channel, which you're listening. And this week, health Newsroom. Check them out today. You can find them wherever you listen to podcasts. Apple, Google, overcast. You get the picture. We are everywhere. We wanna thank our keynote partners, CDW, Rubrik, Sectra and Trellix, who invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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