April 17, 2023: Laura O’Toole, CEO at SureTest joins Bill for the news. Starting at ViVE, what were some key takeaways, booth highlights, and other memorable moments from the Nashville conference? What are the priorities in health and hospital systems, and how have they changed from a decade ago? How are health systems innovating and adapting to changes in the healthcare industry, including automation and competition, especially in face of the financial challenges? How can ChatGPT improve efficiency in healthcare, and what are some potential risks to its use? What are some of the environmental, social, and governance standards that need to be addressed in healthcare, and how can equity be achieved?
We invite you to join us May 4, 1pm ET as we discuss different types of analytics used in healthcare and how they can gain insights into health data. Let's work together to create a more efficient, effective, and modern healthcare system with data governance and analytics strategies. Register Here
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Today on This Week Health.
There's adjustment that's coming, and with that, we need to all be more innovative. We need to move to automation.
There's a host of things I think, that need to continue to happen to be able to operate in that environment. (Intro) 📍
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.
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Now onto the show.
all right. It's Newsday, and today we're joined by Laura O'Toole with Suretest, CEO of SureTest. Laura, welcome to the show.
Bill, always fabulous to see you and talk to you.
All right. We're taking the training wheels off.
Is this your third time on the show?
I think it's my third time.
I think you're right.
Wow. You know what I mean by taking the training wheels off is usually we stick to a very defined script. We have some stories we've talked about, but you and I we're gonna freeform it a little bit because you and I were both at the ViVE conference.
Yeah. What what were your key takeaways? I mean, you did some hosted buyers, you were milling around, I saw you do a bunch of things. What was your key takeaways?
I think the key takeaways were I was thrilled we got some time to spend with our clients to hear what's top of mind for our clients.
It's what we expected, right? Trying to certainly move down the digital front door journey. Dealing with pressures, financial pressures, staffing restraints, good to get validation that what we're reading and what we see when we talk anecdotally and when we talk to our clients are what are top of mind.
So certainly that was good to validate. I was really surprised by the number of bankers um, and upstairs that were knocking down,
they just come straight to your booth and say, we've got money. You. Exactly.
It was crazy. And you know what though? Mark was telling me, Laura, you were far more gracious because now I have a kid, right?
That's doing the exact same thing and these young kids show up in the booth or they wanna meet with you and they're super smart. And now I can see my own child, cuz he's in, he's doing the same type of thing. And so I was much kinder and open. But there's some really interesting smart people out there and firms out there that are trying to really be creative and give innovative firms and leadership groups that, seem to really understand healthcare, especially money.
So that was really interesting to me. I just didn't expect the volume to be that much. So that was one thing. I found,
I, yeah, there's a long road between them walking up to your booth and saying, Hey, do you want some money? To Right. Actually getting money from that, those
Right. It's a process and it's like anything be careful who you partner with and whether or not you decide to take money into your company, there's a whole host of things that come along with that. We were in a great position to be able to show them our metrics and how we've done over the last couple of years and where we are this year.
The fact that we don't need to take on any additional investment right now because we've had nice growth. So it was a great conversation for us. Met some interesting people that certainly will continue to, stay in contact with as we scale.
Did you get to walk around the booths? I really like the really small ones cuz you do interact with the CEOs.
Who are, they're there they're like the ceo, the technologist, the salesperson, the accountant, the whatever. But I love the energy that they give at the booths. One of 'em was a nurse training solution. I thought it was really interesting, a VR nurse training solution. That was, that's always fascinating to me how they're using vr.
Did any jump out at you? Yeah,
so we did walk around a lot. There was two things that I think five does really well is the uniformity right of the booths. And the fact that the way the booths are produced, I think makes it really easy to find who you wanna find. So that I thought was really cool.
We had kind of a mid-size booth, but that whole section where the little mini booths were, I thought That was really cool. I thought it was interesting cuz right across from us was the Cleveland Clinic had a carve out for folks that were doing training and nurse training and helping with onboarding.
I thought it was really interesting. I saw several where a larger organization, whether it be a health system or an entity, had. It was like powered by
Oh. Yeah. Intermountain
had a Intermountain right? Right across from us.
Yeah. Cedar Sinai had a significant, yeah.
So that I thought was really cool.
I also, I thought the events that they did and the fact that it was in Nashville was amazing. Of course we all dealt with, Earth shaking news of the shooting that was right, right down the street. So that to me was just, this constant reminder of how fragile everything is that we do in our lives.
So that jilted me a little bit. Personally, I'm sure it did everybody, but as a mother, the thought of that just is horrifying.
I tell you whats interesting to me is I didn't hear about that till I got home. And I know that's hard to believe, but you get into the conference, you get into the conference schedule, and I don't generally check my email much while I'm at those conferences.
I don't check. I am not looking at my phone like I normally do, and I'm not checking news and I'm not. And so I got home and they said, well, did you hear what happened in Nashville? Well, no, I have no idea what happened in Nashville. And they told me, I'm like, oh my gosh, how did I, how was I in the town?
And I didn't even know that had happened. I mean, it was just you get so, you just get so focused on work. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean, it was the full next day for me, it was at least 24, if not 36 hours. It wasn't immediate cuz we're in the same mode there. Once I started hearing about it, I was like, oh my goodness.
And but I was thrilled. I saw, I don't know if you saw that ViVE and Chime came together, did a GoFundMe. I mean, really immediate. You think about just some of the events that happened at ViVE, but that was one that got called out. Obviously what you guys did with Alex's Lemonade Stand.
We were thrilled to be a part of that. I thought that was really cool. I think people really appreciated the giving back nature of ViVE. To me, there was an undertone. Of, it's not just about us or me as a partner or a vendor or a health system. It's about a community. And that's one of the things about ViVe that I really appreciate and love.
So that was another key takeaway I had.
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All right. Let's hit a couple stories the one story I really liked is Jess Schram did one on Missed ViVE I got you. And I want run these priorities by you and see if these resonate. And I'm just gonna focus on the health and hospital systems priorities.
Operate faster and more efficiently. Do more with less, grow the business through specialty services. Address workforce burnout, improve overall roi, improve patient outcomes. As I listened to that list, that could have. been The same list maybe a decade ago. Yeah. What's different about this list today though?
think what's different, if you talk about, find the specialized services and you're seeing this in everything we read, finally it's about consumerism, right? And, Thinking about healthcare as a business. I read an article where gosh, was it the modern healthcare one?
I forget. Where someone said, if you work in healthcare, the new CEO is your patient. I don't know if you saw that. Yep, I did see that It was a cio I, Michael, I forget his last name,
Yeah. So to me that resonates and if you're in healthcare, your new c e o is the patient.
So thinking about those specialized services of how, number one, they can make the health system money and differentiate themselves and where the patient wants to go get those services and the services that are most interest to that particular community. That in her list resonated with me the most. I just think it's absolutely where we're heading and what our health systems are doing in order to make money.
And God knows they need to make money. If you look at what we've seen with the financial pressures,
it's interesting. I'm at the end of a long day and I've had a lot of conversations with CIOs today, and one of the questions I'm asking them is this a normal blip? Like, if somebody's been in healthcare for 20 years, they'll say, oh, this happens all the time.
Yeah. This, and it comes back. Or is this a new norm? And I would say of the CIOs I talked to, they a hundred percent all said this is a new norm. And we're asking ourselves, where did the patients go? Like they didn't move out of town. Cause our population's the same. They didn't like where did they go?
They're staying at home. Now if they're just staying at home and they didn't go anywhere else, they will come back. I mean, eventually, and they'll come back with the need for higher acuity care. Because if you don't take care of yourself, you know the Yeah. So, so is that happening?
But what they're telling me, The mix has changed. The economy has changed, the mix has changed. They're getting more Medicaid patients. Yep. They're getting more Medicare patients. Just sheer demographics. Right, right. And then they're saying, and so those two are growing and our commercial is shrinking.
Well, that's a little bit of where the. The financial pressure's coming from, clearly the costs have gone up, but that pressure's happening. And so when you say, Hey, the patient is the ceo, I think they're as health systems, we're finally asking the question, where did the patients go? And it's like, Well, man we have to go get 'em, right?
Like we, we have to bring them back. These are the people who keep the doors open. I mean, they keep the lights on, so.
Absolutely. And it's like anything, if you go to a shop or go shopping, there's certain experiences, there's certain stores. I'm sure if you asked Beth, she will tell you there's certain stores that she walks into that just give her a feeling that give her
something extra that make a difference for her. And when you think about that associated with the care that you're choosing for yourself, you're going to go. And find the landscape that's gonna give you what you need and that's gonna make you feel the most comfortable and confident. And I really do liken it too.
We go shop, we go get services. We go where we wanna go where it makes us feel good and gives us value. It's about value. And so I think it's here to stay and I think the competition is gonna continue. I agree with you. The mix is absolutely changing amongst the payers and their operational spend.
I mean, we talked about Intermountain. I don't know if you saw what Craig said in the modern healthcare article, their operating increase income was down by 80 some percent. I mean, right. There's adjustment that's coming, and with that, we need to all be more innovative. We need to move to automation.
There's a host of things I think, that need to continue to happen to be able to operate in that environment.
Yeah, it is pervasive. That takes us to the next article. It's not really an article as much as it is sort of an analyst note, if you will. It's a pwt PWC site. I'd look for the PWCs, the Deloitte's, the specific healthcare.
Consulting firms who produce this kind of content because they're constantly looking at it, saying, okay, what does a decade out look like? And this is entitled when the walls come tumbling down. Couple of quick things on this. PWC envisions a hospital and future as a network of physical and virtual delivery assets connected by a single digital system and capabilities enabling care to be delivered in communities at home or in facilities as required by clinicians.
And one other thing, and then I wanna talk to you. By 2035, healthcare will be a hyper personalized, digitized, and AI enabled with healthcare solutions seamlessly integrated into daily life, according to PWCs future of health study. So I don't find the, network of fiscal and virtual delivery assets, anything new because
literally, I could pull up a PWC document from about four years ago where they're talking about the blurring of physical and digital. Cuz it's already happened in every other industry. Right, right, right, right. And so what we've been trying to figure out is, okay, what's this gonna look like in healthcare?
And we got a taste of it in the pandemic. And now they're saying, okay, we've got a taste of it. We've got all these assets moving around, and they're saying by 2035 digital. I mean, we will have lived with digital now for almost two decades in healthcare. And they're saying at that point, we feel like that's the point where healthcare will feel like a digital experience like other industries.
Yeah, I agree. I thought this study was really solid. And I also think if you look at what happened with the pandemic, and you and I have talked about this before, it was like ripping the bandaid off because no one in healthcare ever thought we could operate in a virtual environment the way that we have since the pandemic.
No question. And if you look at that study, they talk about, the breakdown and the percentages of what's gonna happen first. And certainly all the remote monitoring, right? The virtualization. Being able to read studies and, not have block scheduling, doing it virtually and being able to do diagnostics more virtually.
That's happening in the most progressive health systems today because they have to attract physicians just like they have to attract patients. And now with the nursing shortage, the same for clinicians. I just think you're gonna see more and more anything that can move to virtual.
I think you're gonna really, we're gonna start to see it explode.
One of the things I'm telling my coaching clients who are in health systems is I think they need to take a long term view. And it's interesting because it, the financial pressure almost is in your face every day. And the trap is to take a short term view and say, oh, we've gotta do this.
And the reality is, if you're playing a 10 year game as opposed to a one year game, A 10 year game, you're realizing, you know what, if we just get that one asset in place, or if we just fix those workflows around this it starts to build on itself. And then next year you're working on something else, then you're working on something else.
Well, over 10 years, you really can have digital transformation of the entire. Ecosystem that you're talking about with the right additions, the right architecture and the right, training automation and all those tools can be applied correctly, but you have to take a 10-year view and say, okay, if this is changing, there's clearly, there's things you need to do immediate, you need to get back to operational, break even, all that.
We understand that, But just to take it, because I so many of 'em are frustrated with like, all these projects just got canceled. And I'm like, yeah, I know. I get that and understand that, but that gives us focus. What are the things that are gonna transform the experience, transform the cost of care, transform the quality of care over the next 10 years?
All right, now you're building a house over 10 years as opposed to looking at the things that you're not doing this year and. Yeah. Anyway, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that.
Well, I liken it to something even more simpler or more simple I should say. It's about playing chess, not checkers.
Right. I completely agree with you. And I think sometimes people are like a hamster on a wheel and we need to take some pause and think about the big game.
All right, we'll get back to the show in just a minute. If you've been with us for any period of time this year, we've partnered with Alex's Lemonade Stand to raise money for Cures for Childhood Cancer, and we are so excited. We set a goal to raise $50,000 and we're already up over 27,000, our 26,700 for the year.
So we're close to 27,000. I'm rounding up. We went to the Vibe Conference and with your. And the help of just an amazing community, generous community. And our partners as well. We were able to raise $16,500. So thank you all for your generosity. We're gonna do it again. As you know, we did Captains Cures for Childhood Cancer, at the Vibe Conference and anyone who got their picture taken with Captain who was facing the camera we gave $1 to Alex's Lemonade.
We're heading to hymns and bringing Captain again, and we're gonna do the same thing. As you know, captain is my producer service dog. He'll be roaming the floor. If you see Captain, stop us. We would love to have your picture taken and we would love to have you participate in this campaign.
We really appreciate our partners who helped to make this possible. For this one, so far we have rubrics, so we still have a couple of spots If you want to participate, if you want your company to participate, let 'em. That they can participate in this and we will give you the details. You can shoot us a note at partner at this week, health.com.
It's real simple. If you're on the floor, you see Captain, get your picture taken. Anyone facing the camera, go ahead and post it to social media Twitter or LinkedIn. Tag this week. Health, that's how we do the county. And again, 16,505. I think we can do it. At the HYMNS conference and really make a dent in our goal to get to $50,000 for childhood cancer.
It's gonna be exciting. We appreciate our partners who stepped up during the Vibe Conference, and obviously we appreciate rubric being our first partner to step up for the hymns event. So look forward to seeing you at hymns now, back to the show. 📍 📍 📍
So they have nine key to design principles here for Hospital of the Future. Caribbean walls expand hybrid care teams, flexible spaces, automation and ai.
We're gonna come back to that. Hyper connectivity and resiliency system level and local management, smart spaces. Standardization, environmental, social and governance standard and equity, which is all great. Great article I highly recommend taking a look at this. We're gonna end with chat G P T because it's my favorite topic right now.
One of the CIOs was making fun of me because of the number of times I've talked about it recently. It's everybody's favorite topic. I know. And I asked him, I'm like, do you think it's gonna transform healthcare? And he. Yes, I do. But, not in the ways that people are worried about it.
It's gonna transform it in that we were talking about, in my job, so I had an interview today and I actually went to Chat GPT, and I'm like, Hey, I'm interviewing this person and it knows that person. Like, what are some good questions to ask this person around healthcare and technology?
And it spit out 10 questions. I'm sitting there. No, I didn't. My first reaction wasn't, oh my gosh, I'm gonna be outsourced ChatGPT's gonna start doing podcasts and interviews. Yeah. Because you know what? I start with questions, but then there's a dynamic that goes on between people Right. That makes it interesting or changes it.
But it did save me, I don't know, 15 minutes a time. Yeah. And if it could do that three times a day. That gives me 45 minutes back in my day to do something else with, and that's the point he was making in healthcare. He's like, I have people experimenting with it and they're coming back to me saying, Hey, it saved me 10 minutes here.
It saved me 15 minutes here. Saved me. 30 minutes you've played with it. Any stories for you?
Yeah, I mean, I agree completely and I think that's how we are gonna get more efficient. I played with it, just typed in and said, what is SureTest? And started asking some questions and I gotta tell you, it came back with some things that.
Were a little bit better than even some of our marketing components to the point where I called up our marketing partner, who I love, who's fantastic, and obviously it can't replace our marketing partner, but said, Hey, some of the verbiage in the analysis that they made and the parallels.
This is some really cool verbiage and let's incorporate it. So I completely agree with you. I think it's going to be a way to help make us more efficient. The thought of a doctor using it to, treat or diagnose a patient clinically. Scares the bejesus out of me. But but I absolutely see where it can help us all be more efficient and give back time to our day for sure.
Oh, I talked to an ed doc. I should have asked him about this story. This is a good story. I'm an ER doctor. Here's, and this is Fast Company. Here's what I found when I asked g PT to diagnose my patients. Now it's important to note he went back to previous patients. He wasn't. He was looking at his notes and stuff and he went through it.
So that would be atopic pregnancy one, I think, right? Yeah. In Fast Company. I think I read that one. Yeah. Yeah,
so, so after my regular clinical shifts in the emergency department, the other week, I anonymized my history of present illness notes for 35, 40 patients. Basically my detailed. Medical narrative of each person's medical history and the symptoms that brought them to the emergency department and fed them into ChatGPT. The specific prompt I used was what are the differential diagnosis for this patient presenting to the emergency department? Insert patient, h p i notes here. The results were fascinating, but also fairly disturbing. Open AI's Chatbot did a decent job in bringing up common diagnosis I wouldn't wanna miss, as long as everything I told
it was precise and highly detailed, correctly. Diagnosing a patient as having nurse maid's elbow, for instance, required about 200 words. Identifying another patient's orbital wall blowout fracture. Took the entire 600 words of my h p I on them for roughly half of my patients ChatGPT suggested six possible diagnosis in the right diagnosis, or at least the diagnosis that I believe to be right after complete evaluation and testing was among the six that chat g p t suggest.
He says, not bad. Then again, 50% success rate in the context of an emergency room is also not that good. Right. And then he goes on to talk about that ectopic pregnancy. Yeah. And he said, essentially what ChatGPT came back with if the person had read that would likely have led to their death.
Right. If they didn't follow through on it. And so it's not a doctor.
Right. It's not a doctor. And I think we need to be really careful with the expectations that we have and use chat g p t in the right way. That's probably what concerned about.
It's great tool though.
I filling out a document. Hey tell us about SureTest. That no one is going to lose their life reading that.
But yeah, I I also talked about this with the CISOs. We did the webinar today with CISOs on their priorities. And I said, hey,
are you worried about this exactly what this doctor did? Are you worried about somebody not anonymizing the information and going ahead and putting PHI directly in this? And it was Eric Decker who said, yeah I am concerned about that. He goes, cuz we don't know what this model's doing. We know that they're taking that information in.
We know that they're gonna train it with, and and somebody else told me a story about a chip manufacturer. That they're engineers and whatnot. We're using chat G p T, and they're like, stop. You're putting our intellectual property like our patents and stuff.
You're just feeding it directly into this system. What are you doing? And so they literally block chat, G P T. At the corporate level for that?
Oh, I believe it. I mean, it's like anything, there's gotta be boundaries, right? There needs to be boundaries and, you know how I feel about connectedness and connected with people and partnership and, putting your people, your clients at the center and really having a connection.
I it's something that worries me that we're just, it's gonna be another. Medium, right? That makes us not talk to each other as much. So, I, but I think it'll be really interesting to see where it goes. I found it fascinating. I still find it fascinating. I've got the app, I use it every day for something, and like you, it is help me streamline some thoughts, come up with how I maybe wanna word an email.
I mean, I definitely think there's significant value. We have to be careful, we have to have right expectations.
We'll make an agreement right now what I wanna find out how you're doing, Laura, I will ask you, I won't go to ChatGPT and say, what is Laura O'Toole up to today? And
I appreciate it, and don't even send me a text.
Pick up the phone and call me
Every now and then. Absolutely. Well, Laura, always great to catch up with you and great to hear your insights on the news. Thank you. Thanks Bill.
📍 And that is the news. If I were a CIO today, I think what I would do is I'd have every team member listening to a show just like this one, and trying to have conversations with them after the show about what they've learned.
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