This Week Health

Modern Digital Infrastructure: What is the Digital Foundation for your Health System?

When the pandemic hit, all of a sudden we had to decentralize the way we were doing healthcare, but the foundation wasn't there. The nature of work changed dramatically. We are now in a world where delivery of care is primarily through digital means. How do we create and maintain a modern healthcare digital foundation with people and processes at the core? Just as the mandate has evolved over time from the basic Hippocratic Oath to the AMA Code of Medical Ethics, so too has the interaction that evolves around that foundation. The foundation has got to be able to support the core. How do you manage these systems? How do you keep them updated? How do you reduce the complexity of connectivity? How do you find the vulnerabilities? How do you create multi-tenancy access, so that doctors and nurses can perform different functions? The way VMware looks at modern healthcare is to ensure that you are evolving to support the people in the processes. The benefits of health systems partnering to enable a modern digital foundation is monumental.

Sign up for our webinar: Delivering Better Patient Experience with Modern Digital Infrastructure - Thursday October 13 2022: 1pm ET / 10am PT.


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Thanks for joining us. 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. Welcome to our digital infrastructure to support evolving care delivery briefing campaign. This is being done in partnership with VMware, and I'm excited to get to our topic today. A digital foundation for modern healthcare. We're joined by Cameron Lewellen director, healthcare ISVs and Alliance partners for VMware. This podcast series is gonna culminate with an excellent webinar panel discussion. We're going to have experts talking about enterprise cloud, cloud, native workforce and ecosystem. That brings it all together. Thursday, October 13th from one to 2:00 PM Eastern time. Check out the details in the description box below for registration, and to learn more about the upcoming webinar. And you could also check out our website. It's also there as well. We wanna thank our sponsor again, VMware for making this content possible now 📍 onto our show.

All right. Today we're joined by Cameron Lewellyn, Director, healthcare ISVs and Alliance partners at VMware. And we're gonna have a great discussion around the modern healthcare digital foundation and what the benefits of that are for health systems. Cameron, welcome to the show.

Thank you so much, bill. I consider an honor.

Well, I'm, I'm looking forward to this. We're gonna have a series of five discussions and we're gonna start with today and talk about the foundation, but we're gonna go into a lot of things, modern applications we're gonna go into, multi-cloud and a couple other really, I think important topics right now for healthcare.

But before we get there, let's talk about this modern healthcare digital foundation the discussion around the future of healthcare centers on digital, the delivery of care through digital means, how does VMware define the modern healthcare system in really, as it pertains to supporting care with a digital foundation?

Sure. So the core of the healthcare system are the people in the processes that are interacting in order to achieve a health outcome. Right. We all know that, but just as the mandate has evolved over time from the basic Hippocratic oath to the AMA code of medical ethics, right? So to the interaction has got to evolve and that foundation,

that's what we're talking about. Really, when we talk about modern healthcare, the foundation has got to be able to support the core. And so what VMware looks at as modern healthcare is making sure that you're evolving to support the people in the processes.

it's interesting. A lot of things are changing. The nature of work is changing. The pandemic really opened the door to a lot of different things, remote work, and now the devices are outside the four walls outside the white area network. We have different security concerns. We had to respond so quickly and it's one of the things that the pandemic revealed the need for agility.

Agility was a word that healthcare didn't really worry about too much prior to that. we did have agility with regard to business models. It was a pretty slow changing business model. And then the pandemic. and everything, everything changed. We recognized the need to be able to move rapidly in response to the changing dynamics within the market, within the healthcare environment and whatnot. How important is the right digital foundation to support that agility in times of need?

I mean to kind of pick up on what you were talking about. One of the greatest lessons, the pandemic was that we will, we strata with rigidity. Right? I, I know that I learned how to unmute myself on zoom very quickly, but on a more personal level, my mom has lupus and she goes in for a number of regularly scheduled appointments, but all of a sudden we had to sort of decentralize the way that we were doing healthcare and the foundation wasn't there. And so the next thing we were talking about going to your healthcare environment and trying to prevent a kind of buy one, get one free, right?

You went in with a broken arm and you came out with COVID. And so not having that digital foundation on a personal level for me, made me concern about my mom's health outcomes. But for a number of other providers meant that they invested in systems that still weren't flexible enough, didn't have the security posture that they needed.

And then ultimately, what we've tried to do is to adapt really now to the new normal, if you will, where we wanna be able to extend the access that people want, give the security that is needed by HIPAA requirements, but also ultimately again, to make sure that you're having a better clinical and patient experience.

I wanna talk about that, that digital foundation a little bit more, because one of the things I saw in our interviews during the pandemic was you had really two paths. The health systems took those that had a foundation in place were plugging things into it. They were standing up new capabilities. They were they were enabling new workflows across that digital foundation. And then there's others that didn't really have that digital foundation and they were able to respond. But what they did is they stood up point solution point solution point solution. And what I found is fast forward about two years, and I have this I've conversations with them and they say, yeah, we're in the process of knitting all that stuff together now.

Right? It's like, it's like, it's backwards, but the foundation really gives you that ability. What benefits accrue to health systems that have a modern digital foundation.

Well, you talked about it already, right? So I, I come from Arkansal and while it was a good practice there to take old clothing and make it into quilts for the winter. That really doesn't work when you're talking about clinical communications or connections with your, your patients. And so one of the things that happens is when you have a good digital foundation, you obviously are going to save on the complexity of connecting people in the processes and system to system.

But also as you already illuminated too, those point systems that you set up also wind up costing you a lot of money, they cost you cycles to update. And so having a good foundation, right, allows you to put all of these things together, seamlessly update them, which is something that really people didn't talk about until the pandemic really was going on.

How are you managing these systems? How do you keep them updated? How are you looking at the vulnerabilities? How are you giving sort of a multi-tenancy access where the doctor has something different than the nurses? Do you know, in case you need deliveries, right? Mm-hmm the, the big sort of. Benefit here, right.

Is a unification that allows for kind of simplicity, but also kind of comfort. Right. And that comfort also comes through transparency. That's the other thing that point place point solutions also do a lot of times they put some of your information about around different walls or around different sort of let's say education paths that in order to really get the full value of you have to invest more cycles.

And again, all of these cycles are money for your FTEs and then that complexity ultimately can lead to systemic breakdowns.

Yeah. So I think this is the exit question. I mean, we're gonna talk a bunch about security throughout these five, these five sessions. And this is just being the first one, just talking about the, the foundation, if you will.

How does an organization know if they have that foundation or if they need to. If they need to look at it. I mean, what kind of things sort of reveal whether you have a strong digital foundation or you don't have it

I'm, I'm a big fan of looking at your data and looking at your systems in the same way that we look at our health, right? If you're not doing sort of regular quality check-ins, if you're not checking yourself to see if you have any abnormal growth, right? These are the things that can lead to systemic failures. So what we usually do at VMware is we say, Hey, let's connect the processes to the people, right? Then we wanna look at clinician clinician, patient retention, because those things are moving into a space where the level of care is, either rightly or wrongly as associated as being proportionate to the way that you were treating the overall system. So we say let's, let's connect those people. Those processes let's look at them qualitatively. Let's look at them quantitatively because ultimately the accessibility, privacy, mobility and efficacy of the data is a story in itself.

Right? And that's one that for modern healthcare different systems are really learning to interpret. So if you, right now, can't read and interpret your data in a, in a systematic way. One that helps for budget cycles. And like I said, for retention, then I think it's probably a good time to go in for a checkup.

Fantastic. Cameron, I wanna thank you for the discussion. We're gonna go on next time and talk about modern applications until then. Thank you for your time. Appreciate it.

Thank 📍 you, bill.

what a great discussion, love talking to Cameron fantastic insights into the industry and what's going on. I wanna thank our sponsor for today. VMware, for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Don't forget that this whole series of podcast ends with a great webinar. We have healthcare leaders from several health systems coming together. Experts from VMware. And we're going to hear about multi-cloud solutions, enterprise cloud, cloud, native workforce, and obviously the ecosystem that brings that all together. You can get more information on our website this week top right hand corners where our webinars are. You can also get more information in the description box below. Love to have you join us, please register again thursday, October 13th 📍 from one to 2:00 PM Eastern time. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.


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