October 23, 2023: Priscilla Sandberg, Senior Healthcare Strategic Alliances Manager from Pure Storage, joins Bill for the news. The conversation brings to light topics such as data management protection and women facing more expensive healthcare. What role does AI play in healthcare, and how is marketing distinct from other industries, especially in terms of payer markets? how should companies manage data security in an era where even cloud data is vulnerable to breaches. Furthermore, they delve into gender disparities in healthcare, particularly women’s healthcare benefits. Is the healthcare industry equipped to tackle such biases and what steps need to be implemented for a comprehensive approach towards gender-neutral healthcare benefits? Engage in this discussion that pushes healthcare professionals to consider other perspectives and search for data solutions.
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Today on This Week Health.
if they could just save one person from a medication error, then, what's the cost of that? It's priceless, essentially.
Welcome to Newsday A this week Health Newsroom Show. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former C I O 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 Newsday show partners and we have a lot of 'em this year, which I am really excited about. Cedar Sinai Accelerator. Clearsense, CrowdStrike,. Digital scientists, Optimum Healthcare IT, Pure Storage, SureTest, Tausight,, Lumeon and VMware. We appreciate them investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders.
Now onto the show.
(Main) all right, here we are for Newsday, and I'm excited to be joined by Priscilla Sandberg with Pure Storage.
Priscilla, welcome to the show. Thanks for having me, Bill. So, does everybody at Pure Storage have some aspect of orange in their wardrobe?
Yeah, you have to get a little bling going, right? It's like a piece of flair if you remember that movie. But a lot of women's clothing isn't really designed for orange, so if you get a bracelet or a necklace that you're in pretty good shape.
That's how you do it, so that's how you're ready to to represent. Priscilla, what's your role at Pure Storage?
So, I'm part of the health care team here at Pure Storage. We have, there's four of us, so we specialize in all of the different aspects of the health care market, understanding that health care.
is a little bit different of an industry than some of our standard run of the mill customers. So we provide specialized advice, support, guidance, industry insights, into all of our healthcare customers. I specifically focus on the payer market, but as the lines continue to blur, we find ourselves working more as a team
Yeah, the payviders are starting to show up just about everywhere at this point.
Well, we're gonna, we have some interesting stories. It's funny. I was in a room with a bunch of CIOs and CDOs this past week. And they were almost apologizing for talking about AI. And I finally, I'm like, we need to stop apologizing for talking about the most transformational technology.
I think that's hit our industry in decades. I mean, since the internet, I can't think of anything that it's been. this transformational. And think it's because it's everywhere that people are a little concerned to talk about it, but we're going to take a look at the story. The story is the the eight questions CIOs should ask to prime their business.
for I Gen AI, and this is from CIO. com. You got a chance to read the story. which of these eight things jump out at you?
Well, I think that the first one, which it should be a no brainer, but I think maybe gets overlooked, is where they're pointing out setting the clear business expectations and our objectives for AI, right?
So you can have AI for AI's sake, or you can say this is what specifically we're going to do with it. As we're talking about AI, it reminds me of how we started talking about cloud when everybody's just cloud cloud, we're AI. Okay, to what end? For what purpose? So I think defining your goal ahead of time is going to really help reduce the burden of implementation and execution.
I'm a former CIO, so I'm going to pretend to be a CIO again. And I remind CIOs all the time, at some point you will have my title. You will be a former CIO, either by choice or not by choice, at some point you will have this title. And it's a fun title to have because you can say things.
But if I were setting the agenda right now for AI, it would essentially be to fulfill the promise of meaningful use. And I use those terms on purpose because meaningful use, it has such a negative connotation throughout the entire industry. And it's like, Oh, you forced us to digitize this stuff.
Absolutely. But the promise was always going to be reduced friction, access to our information, all the data at the point of care. and insights, new insights into the data that allow us to get better outcomes and whatnot. Well, that's where I think we're at with AI. I think we have the potential if we consume the information through these AI models that we are going to be able to identify and address these specific use cases.
And I think it'll be interesting to watch. Now, as a board member, you're probably going to want me to be more specific, and I could be, I could say, look. we could start on the administrative side because people like the fact that there's not that much risk there and say, let's just take a look at at our referrals.
Let's take a look at coding and billing and that kind of stuff. It has application in all those areas and we can build out ROI models based on each one. Does that work for you as a board member?
Yeah, and I think that, the question becomes what data are we, do we need to consider in doing this, right?
Because these are all really good objectives and being able to actualize on those objectives means that you have to take a step back and say, what are all the pieces and parts that are involved in making these decisions and being able to get the results? So Thank you. Thank you. Being able to really work backwards to be able to work forward, I think it's something that people are truly considering when they're thinking about AI and just all the, it's the less sexy part of AI is all this, the work that goes into building it in the first place.
Yeah. And there, there's a book written like all together, all at once, whatever. And I'm more in that camp where it's like, look, if I don't think we should take a specific area of the health system and dabble in AI. I think we should consume as much information into these core AI technologies as possible.
So we have an agreement with, fill in the blank, AWS, Google, Microsoft, notable, specific players whatnot. I think there's an opportunity to consume that information and then. Expose that information to the right parties with the right security frameworks around it. I would be looking at all of it because I think it would be interesting to be able to query the the entire health system.
And this is where I think we're going. I think we're going to that Google search box for the entire health system, all the data and everything that we have. that's the approach I take. Although I know a lot of health systems that are taking the. Well, let's dabble in it.
Let's try just coding or let's try voice recognition and that kind of stuff.
Yeah. Well, a lot of it is what is the organization up to? do they have the ability to buy into the all or nothing approach? Or they were comfortable with a smaller deployment of AI. So I think a lot of it is cultural and depending on, the appetite for it.
That's sort of what the executives should take into consideration as well.
So CIO. com, the eight things, what foundational model should you use? How should you make these models accessible? How do we adapt models for our own data for consumption? What's our overall enterprise readiness? How do we scale carbon footprint?
These are, this is a good set of questions. There's a ton of these articles. You can go to McKinsey. You can go to Bain. You can go to, you can go to Accenture. You can go to Deloitte. I'd be There's a ton of these types of articles out there that I think give us the right questions if we are getting in front of a board.
It's interesting when we talk about Pure Storage obviously it's a storage company and whatnot, but a lot of your foundation is on security. So we're going to go to a security story and it is essentially this cost of data breaches. Every year IBM publishes this report on data breaches and they said, let's see if 4.
45 million, the global average cost of a data breach in 2023. So four and a half million is cost. 51 percent of organizations are planning to increase security investments. 1. 76 million. The average savings for organizations that use security AI and automation extensively is that 1. 76 number. And then there's a whole bunch of graphs and other things in here.
I'm curious. You're hanging out in the payer space. You're hanging out in the... In the in the healthcare space, how are these conversations changing over the last couple of years? Are they starting to evolve? Are they starting to change somewhat?
I think that one of the things that we've been seeing is that people do rely on their infrastructure partners to set up a framework, to try to prevent, detect and in some cases be able to recover from ransomware attacks, right?
So we have changed our conversation from what is a storage platform going to do for you in terms of managing your data and providing long term value and growth for your organization to here, what tools do you have inherent in your product as well as what partners in the ecosystem do you work with so we can have a fully integrated.
Security management framework within our organization. So, we're turning more to being security advisors and pointing people in the right direction. I mean, PIRS has implemented something called safe mode that we have in our product that with the product where we are, have an immutable snapshot.
And so then the question becomes, where are we sending the snapshot? What does a, tiered resiliency framework look like? What other partners do you have? We partner with Fortinet, who does more of the, on the security layer with the security operations center versus just the storage. So now we can have a full conversation within the organization about where the risks are and what we can do to mitigate them.
So we're And we're happy to do this with our customers. We're happy to provide a lot of this insight. But it has changed the conversation from, data management to data protection. And so we do across the payer and 📍 provider space have a lot of our conversations revolve around that now.
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So you probably have subject matter experts and techs and stuff that go with you.
And I'm going to ask you a tech question and see who goes. So you have the immutable backup. My question is a lot of times what we're seeing in these breaches is they've been in the environment for weeks and months. And, so now I would assume in that immutable backup is the same plants that they have in the code and whatnot, is there a way to go into those backups?
And, clean them up before we restore them, knowing, once we identify where the malware is be able to, I guess that's my question, be able to restore them.
Yeah, so we, we have a little guiding principle, we say. Save as many snapshots as you can afford, right? So being able to keep continuous copies of snapshots and being able to automate those snapshots, that allows you to track back to find your last clean snapshot.
So you're not going to restore a snapshot that has been compromised. We provide the ability to, to your point, it could have been days, could have been months, could have been weeks. So let's trace it all the way back to your last clean snapshot to restore from that. So you don't introduce any more risk into the organization.
Here's an interesting stat from this story. And again, it's on IBM's website. You can track it down. Cost of data breach 2023 is the report. 82 percent of breaches involved cloud data. Therefore, securing hybrid cloud environments is vital. it used to be... Very few organizations back when I was a c I O 2011 through 16 essentially, moving to the cloud was taboo because of security.
but now it's really hard to find a healthcare c i o or a payer, c i o who isn't. moving some aspect of their environment to the cloud. So we're moving there. We're getting there. But 82 percent of breaches involved cloud data. How is that? assume that conversation is happening as well.
Yeah, and I think it's I think people made the assumption that if it's in the cloud, it's safe. And so that's a question that we ask our customers. If you're going to put things in the cloud, let's say you want to store your snapshots in the cloud, or sometimes folks are putting production systems up in the cloud.
Where, what is the most appropriate applications we putting up there? We do offer a product that resides natively in the cloud. So we're talking about doing a hybrid solution that mitigates some of the risk as it relates to just the cloud native storage, but I think it's a question that people need to start asking and working with their infrastructure partners to ensure that where they're putting information up in the cloud, there are security protocols, especially for healthcare, as we know.
A breach is. the actual physical cost of restoring it. But then we talk about reputational costs. We had, a number of folks in the industry we talked to. It's just all the bad press that they're getting after it. And that can have an impact on their revenue as it relates to, patients not wanting to visit that healthcare organization.
Or if their EMR goes down and and a medication gets administered, that is inappropriate because they didn't have access to, Then, what is the cost of that? That's the cost of a life. So, I think the cost is not just the financial cost and that's what people need to understand. And so whatever investments you're making into securing your data, it's, what does it cost to not do that?
That's the question, right? So I used to, when I used to sell software, we had a. Product that would do the bedside me medication verification, and that thing flew off the shelf because if they could just save one person from a medication error, then, what's the cost of that? It's priceless, essentially.
So it's the same theory with the investment of protecting your data is you're protecting it. There's the actual physical cost and then there's the larger cost. So that's what sites are grappling with these days.
We're going to go a little off the tech path here. Thank God. Yeah, well, I'm not sure this was any easier.
And I'm asking this because you're a woman. So the story is women get less value out of their benefits than men do. It's a Deloitte study. The story FHIR's healthcare. And, from your perspective, I want to talk about this. Let me give you a little. So Deloitte's report reveals women incur higher out of pocket healthcare costs than men, reducing benefit value.
Factors include higher cost services and frequent checkups. Suggestions for insurers and employers include benefit re examination and strategies to reduce high cost service impact. Small changes can greatly reduce women's financial burden. And I'm not sure where I want to go with this story. I find it to be an interesting story.
In that I wouldn't have thought this was the case and it really does require a study from a different lens, not just the broad employer lens, employee lens, but to look at the different employee subgroups and say, how do they utilize it? Is it a value? Is it working? Are we getting better at this in the workplace?
Are we getting better at identifying the areas where women may have more of a hurdle than men do.
I think it's pretty obvious and, one of the things that we like to call it the pink tax, right? So, if you go to the grocery store and you try to get a thing of women's deodorant and you look at a thing of men's deodorant, the women's deodorant is inevitably more expensive, right?
And you see that across all types of consumer products which is always, why I always have used men's deodorant. It's much cheaper for anybody that's wondering. It's just as effective, right?
Just wanted you to know, you may be oversharing at this point for our audience, but that's fine.
It's public service for all the women out there, trying to save a couple bucks. It's a surefire way, just buy men's deodorant and you'll be totally fine. So, but I mean, things like that, personal care products, right? Those are things that women, just outside of the insurance, have been, have had extra costs in their daily living.
But I think one of the... One of the things that the study cites is mammograms, right? That's a perfect example, especially, only applies to women. So you have your free mammogram that you get as part of your preventive care, typically with any plan, but then any subsequent examinations, tests, and follow up.
Is not free. It is all considered extra, it's either out of pocket or it's not covered or it's not covered at the same rate as your, preventative care. So I think that what they're pointing out, which is something that's easily identified and considered is what are the downstream effects on subsequent care based on preventative care.
And if we are able to wrap up, a mammogram visit as a series of events, which occur in a preventative state. Then we can start to mitigate some of the costs there. And then the other thing they cited was, behavioral health. And I think that, we always have a running joke. Like when you see a man, like, when's the last time you went to a doctor?
Oh, it was like five years ago. Right. So women, I think are a little bit better about taking care of themselves, going to the doctor. And getting preventative care and that includes behavioral health care. So if we can look at where women are utilizing their services as it relates to female specific interventions and opportunities to engage with the health care system, it's very easy to identify those things and we can, the insurers can make adjustments.
To the field, right?
I'll tell you what I'd like to see. So, a business owner, better than half of our staff are women. And I'd like to, the next time I go in for enrollment, I'm going to have to pick out the plans. I would like UnitedHealthcare to essentially identify a plan that's good for women.
Yeah, like I look, I only have six employees. It's not like I have a ton of time to pick this stuff out. And usually I, we pick a really good plan for the employees, but I've I'm not going to go into the level of detail that Deloitte did in this plan. I'd like the payers. to actually identify a plan that is designed to be effective for women.
And I could put that into my overall suite of offerings to the team. And then they could look at it and say, Oh no, you know what? I'm going to compare a family plan to this one and whatever. Because it turns out a bunch of the women who work for me are single. So. A plan that is specific for them, I think, would be really valuable and a benefit that would communicate that we do care about them.
Yeah, and even in little things, like child, the hospital was covered, but then I had to pay 150 co pay. Maybe because I don't really have a choice in that matter, maybe they could just waive the 150 co pay. A man's never going to pay a co pay to have a baby in the hospital.
That's a very easy... remedy. And if plans were smart, to your point, they could tailor a specific plan to cover things like having babies in the hospital. They could have birth controls covered 100%. They could have, very low deductibles on mental health visits and medications, subsequent engagements.
A lot of the FSA plans and HSA plans are covering, over the counter women's products as it relates. specific needs. So I think it's easily achievable. It just goes back to our analytic conversation about where are these members? What are they using? And where can we make adjustments in our reimbursement?
Wow, man, when I have the Pure Storage team on this show, you guys really bring it. I mean, this is a good group.
You can ask any of my friends. I've always been a very women's rights and advocating for women in general in the workplace.
I mean, as we all know, we have Face a lot of different, adversity here and there, and having two kids of my own, there's always a lot of mental health costs in my family, so mostly for me.
Where any conferences for you in your near future?
Yes, our team's going to be out at Health next week, and looking forward to seeing everybody there, and, then I just take it one month at a time, so if there's something we need to be, yeah, we will certainly
Fantastic. Priscilla, I want to thank you for your time. Fantastic conversation. I really appreciate it.
Yeah, good to see you again, Bill. Thanks.
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