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March 8, 2024: Live from ViVE, Drex DeFord and Sarah Richardson hit the floor to interview healthsystem leaders across the board. Sharing top of mind and any innovative ideas, this episode covers quickfire answers to some prevalent questions. Highlights include interviews with Daniel Nigrin (CIO for MaineHealth), Theresa Meadows (CIO for Cook Children's), Jeffrey Blade (VP of Applications for Fairview Health Services), Jason Swoboda (Director of Innovation for Tampa General), Steve Eckert (CTO for Cook Children’s), Pete D’Addio (Director of Enterprise Technology for Moffitt Cancer Center), Terri Couts (CIO for Guthrie Clinic), Kate Pierce (Senior vCISO for LGH), Jeffrey Sturman (CIO for Memorial Healthcare), and Erica Williams (Regional Technology Officer for Ascension).

Key Points:

  • Top of Mind at ViVE
  • New Tech and Innovation
  • Clinician Burnout

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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

Yeah, enjoying the conference.

  What's top of mind?

This is a super busy year for us, Drex, I'm sure for everyone. I think it's a lot of catch up stuff that people put off during the pandemic. At MaineHealth, we're really focused on sort of two ends of the spectrum really solidifying our infrastructure basics. We're still a relatively new system that COVID interrupted our unification, formation, yeah?

And so we're getting back to that stuff where we're sort of streamlining and standardizing a lot of our infrastructural must haves. So that's one end of the spectrum. But then the other end of the spectrum is You know, all the stuff that we're seeing here at Vibe. Pushing the envelope of new technologies and how to apply them to care.

Man, you guys have a lot going on at Cook right now. You just opened a new, whole new hospital.

originally I'd have a lot of different answers. Like, top of mind right now is trying to help operations deal with the changed healthcare.


But, for us, probably a lot of evaluation about how to improve workflow and burnout. I mean, that's been our number one focus. So, we're looking at products that actually will solve problems. We've got two projects we're working on. One for physician and one for nursing. to get more nurses into the workforce and then help our physicians Want to practice medicine which most don't these days So really trying to figure out how we bolster both because if the mom if mom is not happy Nobody's happy.

So if the nurses aren't happy doctors certainly aren't happy. Yeah. Yeah and

vice versa. I'm married to a nurse So that's absolutely

I'm a nurse, so I'm super cranky all the time. So if I'm not happy, nobody's happy. And so,

So for my organization , we are growing

exponentially. So my focus is really how we're organic growth can be facilitated from a technology point of view. So I'm looking to see how I can advance that. I'm looking at things like automation, obviously AI. But what can I do in my role, in my space, to be able to facilitate some of that.

So, a lot of great vendors here and some certainly interesting


I think there's a couple of things that have come out recently that folks are starting to ponder. One is the Cybersecurity Performance Goals that were recently released by HHS.

So those are top of mind. They're currently voluntary, but what's the next step going to be? The second thing I think is third party risk management. This week's breach from Change Healthcare, I think, has really got a lot of folks thinking about how they're managing their third parties.

come to this thinking that you're gonna get some novel idea. Huh. But there's two things. I always love the network. people. I love talking to people. I love hearing what they're doing.

Because, I just think we're better together. so it's important that we learn from each other and take those stories back to our own healthcare system so that we can all get more innovative, more evolved and absolutely the network is important. The second thing is we're all focused in healthcare on experience.

We're all focused today to make healthcare just a little bit easier. And I say it all the time. If I can just imprint on healthcare just a little bit to make the process, the workflows, the technology to support what we all do, just make the work a little bit easier for consumers to navigate, then I think that's a win.

So I'm looking for those solutions that can really be innovative and think differently. Because, you know We don't think differently a lot. We think about the same, and we're still stuck in, a lot of our electronic health records and ERP solutions and, maybe those can actually influence the way we deliver care, and I think they can, but there's got to be some things that we can do a little bit differently to move the needle.

Leave it better than you found it, is one of those things.

What is a problem in your healthcare system that if you could solve it by being here, you'd be okay?

How we can get things off of our plates. We have so many projects. And, every day there's more and more that are piled up.

we're starting our budget process for the year. we're a children's health care system. And, we're blessed to, have, a very, financially sound organization. And, we're run well and all that. That presents different kind of problems, which is we take on too much.

And so, how do we say no to things that we just can't do without feeling like, hey, IT's the one that's saying

no to something

We're really looking heavily at using technology for virtual nursing, and virtual care in general.

But focusing not just in the ambulatory spaces that we've done traditionally, but more so in the inpatient spaces. So virtual nursing is obviously a big part of that. lots of opportunity to take a look at some of those platforms here and it's great to see the innovation that they're all taking.

Our focus for our organization, especially with our size, is around interoperability. So if I could snap my fingers and fix that problem across multiple different systems I think that would be the win. I don't know that we have that magic wand out there, but that's what I'm looking for.

And also anything else. help to improve our clinician experience from physicians to nurses. Those are things that are going to hurt my

ears as

I mean, I think there's several really cool technologies.

I think AI, I hate to even say it out loud, It's okay, is really in its infancy, and so trying to find someone who has actually thought about a problem, and not just, we're gonna cure your documentation with AI. Yeah, but really maybe hyper focused. So I forget the name of the company But they have a solution where they help patients get to a doctor Faster so with all the access problems that we have they have technology that will actually sit on your website and help you Get you to appointment in two clicks versus 37 clicks.

Wow that normally it takes for somebody to find something. So that's cool. Right.

So there's a combination. There's the vendors that we already work with, that we already have a partnership with. But then there's the AI component that we're in the midst of talking to different groups and meeting with them here.

It'll be good to bring it back to my counterparts, but also with the people I already met in boot camp who are here, we're going to meet and talk about those things too.

(Interview 3)  If you could have any fictional character as your life coach, who would it

be? Oh, that's a good one. I'm gonna go with Ted Lasso. I mean, who wouldn't want to have Ted Lasso? I love that. Right?

It would totally be Ted Lasso.

Ted Lasso.

I think that's a good reason why. You love that guy?

I love him. First of all, I like soccer. My daughter is a soccer player. Yeah. But secondly, his approach is how I approach things. Yeah. Like, he's very people oriented and relationship oriented. I know it's fiction, but to see how he learned what made people tick. Right. And then making people like you. Like, I'm going to stay with you till you like


you might get this a lot, but I am a diehard Ted Lasso fan. And what I love about him is that he made compassionate leadership cool . Right? So as a female leader, that wasn't always cool to be a compassionate leader. So he, as a, a male leader within his storyline, and to come at it compassionately and find success that way, I think was such a great breakthrough.

So I'm a big fan of the Godfather And so I'm going to go Michael Corleone. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. And I think there's a lot to be said about learning from the great organization he put together.

A great organization. Yeah, I mean, it might be a little corrupt. But, come on, you gotta give that guy credit.

So one of my

favorite movies is The Godfather.

The Godfather,

alright. Maybe because I'm from Italian heritage, I don't know. But with that, it's one of my favorite movies. So, whether it's Vito or Michael, you can really learn a lot about being a leader from both of them. And granted, yes, the movie is years old, but there are Thematic things you can take away from them to how to be an effective leader.

And just thinking off the top of my head, less is more. Be a listener. And listen to others. And be a strategist. And you don't need to be the last person in the room.

 I would say Tinkerbell, because she appears to be small and fragile and this little thing, but she's like actually mighty and a little bit feisty and gets stuff done, so I would say Tinkerbell .

You know who I'm going to pick? Who? The fairy godmother, because she's always happy.

She gives you your wishes can be granted, and she doesn't take life too seriously.

Man George Jetson. I threw that out there just because I don't think most people will know who that is. But think about George Jetson. He was out into the future. They were doing things, that had, cars and treadmills in their house and they'll move things around and anytime they needed anything cleaned, he had Rosie right there.

He didn't have any people to rely on. He had all of it done in robotics and tech, through technology.

I was always a Batman

fan. Nice. Excellent. So if we need something in healthcare, we'll put up the bat signal. You'll be able to help us find the solution. Exactly. I love it


for listening to this Interview in Action episode. If you found value in this, share it with a peer. It's a great chance to discuss and in some cases start a mentoring relationship. One way you can support the show is to subscribe and leave us a rating. If you could do that, that would be great, and we want to give a big thanks to our partners who make this possible.

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