April 10, 2023: Maggie Hubbell, CEO and Co-Founder at Shift joins Bill for the news. How immersive is virtual reality training and how does it compare to other training methods? What were some of the main themes discussed at the ViVE conference and how are they related to each other? What conversations can be had around health equity, and how can caregivers play a role in promoting better equity for patients? What are the challenges faced by women in technology, and how can these challenges be addressed?How can Startups think about finances creatively and pursue difficulties?
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Today on This Week Health.
whether I chose it or not I am an example and so we all see examples and that somehow lets us know that something's possible. The more that I can, be an example to people, women who maybe haven't thought that's a path for them like that, I think that's one of my contributions. (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 are joined by a new guest. Maggie Hubbell is going to co-host with me and we're gonna talk about the news. Maggie, welcome to the show.
Thank you very much. Thanks for having me.
Well, I'm looking forward to our discussion. For those who aren't familiar, you're the CEO and co-founder of Shift and we had Wendy Morgan on one of our interviews.
Actually, I loved the interview cuz I was so fascinated with what you guys are doing. But for those who haven't heard tell us a little bit about Shift and what you guys are doing.
So at Shift we use virtual reality to train nurses, and we primarily train them in a hospital setting. And yes, we're a technology company, but what we really are is a company that wants to deliver the best training possible.
And we identified that virtual reality is a way to do that. And we care deeply about nurses and how they feel in their work and how they deliver care and how that impacts patient outcomes. And so that's where we're focused and that'swith technical skills, soft skills, all the things I need to do. A great job.
You're gonna have to pull me back here cuz I, I love this topic so much. Do you actually create the environments, do you have somebody program the environments so that they really feel like they're in that setting immersed in there?
Oh yeah. I mean, when you put on a headset, You're in a hospital room, like you've completely forget about the world around you.
You are completely immersed, and that's visually, psychologically, it's as close as you can get to the real things. So when you're learning skills it's very lifelike and you can imitate a true life experience where you're in the setting, you're with a patient, there's, beeping, there's different things going on around you.
And so you're getting all of that experience while learning all at the same time.
Yeah. I try to explain it to people how immersive it is, and people just look at me like, I'm like, if you haven't put a headset on you've got to just to understand what's possible. And there was this old thing that was done.
I think some psychologists or whatnot that they essentially took people up to the top of a building. And it was in virtual reality and said, go ahead and walk off the building. And they couldn't do it. Your brain essentially registers No, I'm here. I'm not doing this. Yes. It's very immersive.
Your brain thinks it's real, which is a great thing when you're learning how to do something. So I mean, that life-like situation that you're learning a specific skill, it means that you can go apply it in real.
what's the alternative for nurses? I mean, they probably don't get as many reps.
They probably don't get as immersive and experienced for the learning, do they?
Oh, no. I mean, some of it is classroom training. So they might be with a group of people in a classroom and an instructor, and they may have a chance to practice something on a mannequin. There is, clicking through something online, like a multiple choice or, so PowerPoint, you name it, there are lots of w different ways to learn, but yeah, This is a pretty cool way to do it.
That's awesome. All right, so we've got a lot of news to talk about, but I think probably we'll just start at ViVE, right? So the ViVE conference just was, you weren't there? I was. But there's been a number of stories and we have some of those here to go through. This one had nine takeaways from ViVE and these were the main themes, right? So staffing, uhhuh, nurse staffing, I mean, just staffing in general, cybersecurity health equity.
And I'm gonna let you pick, will play like Jeopardy. These were the main topics I'm gonna let you pick and then we'll just riff on some of these. Focus on patients and clinicians really understanding the business. So the business of healthcare that's becoming important as the financial difficulties.
Interoperability, mental health regulation and legislation. And then mental health for children is what this person put as number nine. So I've put all those out there. What did, what have you heard or what have you read from afar?
Well, so, regarding the conference and the conversations, I mean, I've been watching like, what are the conversations happening?
And of course I'm drawn to the ones. I keep thinking about and reading about and where my company focuses. And so obviously nursing health equity mental health for children, but also for caregiver, I mean for everybody. That's a thing. But what's interesting is all of these things really are related.
Why do you need to implement a new technology? Who is it serving while there's the user and the learner, but there's also the patient, that's why you're doing it. How do you get technology implemented in a setting like a hospital, which there are a whole lot of factors that you need to work with to make something happen.
But yeah, for me, what I focus on every single day in my company is nursing, and then health equity is where the passion is, like what can we do to really impact that in everything that we
do? We'll start with staffing and then go to health equity staffing.
This person had this to say, every healthcare leader I've interviewed over the past year has offered the same response when asked about shortage of talent. It's a big problem. It's a huge problem, and leaders expressed it remains a top concern. Organizations appear to be more receptive to solutions to automate some tasks, at least in part because they're struggling to find people anyway.
Do you hear this? Is this still a significant issue or is it starting to get addressed in some ways? And is technology playing a role in any way?
Bill, I hear this every day and I'm sure you do too. So, again, really focusing on nursing. We've all heard that nurses are burnt out.
I think the highest rate of turnover is within the first year of somebody becoming a nurse. So we've got all these people, going to college and getting these skills, and then they go work, and then they quit. It's like, okay, oh my gosh. Those are the people that we need to keep, getting them through the system.
And then we have with baby boomers. A whole bunch of people that are about to leave, or at least a lot of them already leaving the bedside. So the nurse shortage, like that's not even a question, right? We have one already. It's projected to grow. The burnout thing, I think there was a survey done recently that identified that 90% of nurses are considering leaving in the next year.
How many of them will leave? I don't know. But that's 90% of them are thinking about it. Yeah. So yeah, that problem's still around and I mean, that's what we focus on. And then it's not just, how do we reduce turnover and upskill them and get them what they need? How do we care for them?
How do we care for the people that are doing these jobs? And then there's the other side of technology, which is we are going to have to adapt. There will not be enough people. So I know people are a little bit scared about technology and how that might replace. People in the workforce. Well, we actually need it too.
So it's gonna be a combination of keeping people technology to help the people that are in their jobs, do the jobs. And then also just adapting the systems. Like how do we integrate technology and workflows and the way that we deliver care and to the overall system so that it can be done effectively.
mean, Yeah, go ahead. Yeah, I know it's, this is an interesting area. I will talk about the technology. Then I wanna come back to the burnout issue itself. Saw a lot of solutions, computer vision automation speech recognition obviously is taking a significant leap forward. A nuance announced they're integrating G P T to their Dax Express solution.
And I even talked to, Client today that is one of the beta programs for that. And that won't happen till this summer. But they have high hopes for it just given their experimentation with G P T four. So those things are maybe taking some of the administrative burden off of nurses maybe taking some of the more mundane tasks taking some of the nurse sitter and some of the things
that they didn't really go to school for, but it's just part of the job kind of thing. And the term I hear used a lot is returning the joy to the practice of medicine. And it's some technology companies that have latched onto that and said, this is what we're trying to do.
But I've also heard clinicians say that we need to return the joy of practice of medicine. So that's why I want to come back to this issue of burnout. When it's that pervasive of 90%, it's indicative of a lot of issues. That's not just one issue. It's not just, Hey, we don't have enough staff.
We're overworked. There's a lot of things going on there. And that tends to lead me down a path of saying, Is it systemic? Is the system broken? Is the area that they practice medicine in so broken that they look at it and go, what are we doing? I mean, I don't know. Are they losing hope?
Cuz when you talk 90%, that's usually a. We're losing hope that this is doing what I, trained to do and what I hope to do, which was to really care for these people and to make them well.
Yes, it's systemic. And there are so many areas that need attention. That could be training, preparation you name it, we, there's something we can do to help it.
That's why as a company I focus on just a few things because I start thinking about the overall picture. I know so big. I'm like, oh my gosh, I need to help with that and that needs help and this needs help is I'm like, okay, Maggie, stay focused. You can help if kind of take where it is that you're gonna have an impact.
And so again, that's nurses. How can they be better prepared so that they feel really confident when they're delivering care? And also the other piece around health equity. I mean, I can't solve all the problems. Like we can't solve all the problems, you and I with health equity and disparities in care and all of the things that go along with it.
But we could, make a difference for some people in some hospitals and it spreads, right? How do you stay positive by making a difference somewhere?
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Well, I do want to hit on health equity and then I want to come back to, the great thing about ViVE is now a combination of Chime and Health and the health conference.
Generally you have a lot of startups, you have a lot of. Investors. In fact, somebody said, man, I've had five companies come by my booth asking me if we need money. I was like and that's what they do. They send, they send some junior people to that conference and they say, go from booth to booth and find out if anybody needs money, and they'll all say yes.
But I do want to come back to the startup world and how the economic climate's impacted that and when you were starting to talk about focus. I think that is one of the traps. So I wanna come back to that. Health equity, this is what this person had to say. This was a major topic at ViVE with several panel discussions.
And health equity is on the mind of many leaders. Even in sessions that weren't centered on health equity speakers acknowledged the need to close gaps in outcomes among underserved groups. The issues of equity are hardly new, but several people I spoke with said they see more alignment across the industry to take meaningful.
And to work across the healthcare ecosystem. So there's some hope there. Systems are starting to work together around health equity. But you know, we tee this up for us. When you're thinking about, when you're talking about health equity what's the discussion you want to have?
What's the conversation you want to have around health equity?
Well, there are multiple conversations, so. I work towards creating better equity for patients via their caregivers. So that's one conversation. Another conversation is that I am a woman, founder in technology and it's not my first time. And so the challenges experienced there are, I'm pretty used to that.
I was an executive in the insurance industry before this and I stopped noticing when I was the only woman at the table, because that was all the time. So you just become used to it. And I was like, oh, I'm used to this. That maybe isn't a good thing. Like I, and at the same time, you have to balance like, are you fighting the good fight or are you leading by example?
Or what are you doing here? And. I do think that the conversation is spreading. I think there's general acceptance that yes, things need to change and people don't always know what to do about that. At the same time, I think people are getting tired of the conversation because they're like, I care, what do you mean?
I feel like I'm being attacked all the time. Like, that's not good either. There's also, there's certain metrics that show that we're maybe not doing as well as we could like funding last year for female founders dropped, I think 2% of, somewhere around to two, somewhere around 2% of investment capital like that.
That's not good. And we do need to focus on the numbers. But by the way, I wanted to thank you for having me as a guest in April.
Because it's not Women's month.
Well, yes, you need to have guests in March that are women, but I've been asked to speak at different things before as a, female in tech founder.
And there was one experience I had where I got done. I was driving home and I was like, wait a second. It's March. I don't know that sends the right message. Like I would've been on the stage in April or May, or whatever month it was, but did the audience know that? And so it made me feel like, oh did they think that I was there because it was March?
What's your story though? I mean, what, like who mentored you? Who got you to the point of saying, no, you can run companies, you should start companies? Or did you start at Lemonade Stand when you were six years old and it was just ever since you had to do something?
Kind of so I graduated from college and I was.
Not sure what I was gonna do. And I was running a small company and I didn't even realize that's what I was doing. It was a job. And then I realized, oh, okay, I'm making all the decisions. I guess I'm learning here. And I, so I was in that really entrepreneurial space early on.
In 2008, I co-founded a company that was a tech company. And the idea was born from seeing a need. In the space that I was working in. And so I was a first time COO and then I ended up moving up to CEO and I was learning on the job. I never had a plan to go be an entrepreneur, but I realized that yes, I had been doing that my entire career.
And yes, in college, there were things that I started because I saw a need to start something. So it's really about what needed to happen. What needed to be created. And you know what? I made stuff happen and at some point I realized that I'd gained all of these skills that I hadn't thought about getting them or needing them.
I wasn't getting an MBA or anything like that. I just needed to get a job done. So I figured it out, which, Co-founding this company was really useful because I was like, okay, I've learned a lot of lessons. I went to the school of hard knocks, and so definitely that experience has helped quite a bit.
But no, it was never a conscious decision. And then after, after a few years in that space, I was like, okay, I get it. I. I think I'm an entrepreneur and I'm darn, and I'm a leader.
I love it. It's like you turned around, there was people there, and then you looked in front of you and there was investors, and you're like, I'm an entrepreneur who's a leader.
There it is.
There's a problem that needs solved.
That's amazing. But so, so let's talk a little bit. What it takes to raise up the next generation of female leaders. I mean, how do you as I think about it it's not like I want to go to the people who are funding and say, look.
I wanna make sure that you have this percentage and this percentage. That's not my thought process. My thought process is that there would be thousands of women who go, I have a great idea, and I'm a startup. You're in a startup. We all struggle on days saying, oh my gosh, how am I gonna make payroll?
How am I gonna. And that's just part of the learning process is what we do. And if a thousand people who raise up half of 'em probably will fail. And actually percentages will tell us 80% of 'em are really gonna fail. But those 20% that do succeed, it's just a sheer numbers game. How do you get more and more of 'em?
I mean, I saw a woman at the ViVE Conference. She goes, I have a great idea for, what we could do. And it was in the area of. And my encouragement to her was talk to the people at the Cedar Sinai Accelerator. I mean, like, do something with that idea. Do something with that thought.
I mean, if it really can move the needle forward there's a need in the world for it, so,
well, whether I chose it or not I am an example and so women and girls. I mean men too. We all see examples and that somehow lets us know that something's possible. And so, the more that I can, be an example to people, maybe women who maybe haven't thought that's a path for them like that, I think that's one of my contributions.
And then I've of course done a lot with that, like mentored. Other potential female CEOs, and I've had groups where I've brought, women in STEM careers together so that they would have support when, whether they were wanting to help influence more girls and women to have those careers or start something.
And so I just have chosen to be like, okay, I've done this thing. I've, this has been hard and. Maybe I can make it a little easier for, somebody else or the next generation. And so I'm an example.
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.
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Yeah. So let's, I want to talk about this whole space is really interesting to me. The startup space right now.
I did talk to some private equity and some VC people while we were at the conference. And it is a tight time. It's a difficult time. What are the ways that the startups can maybe overreact to the current situation and get outta line, maybe try to do a pivot right now, or those, I mean, what are some of the pitfalls that they can get in as times are tight and maybe sales cycles elongate a little bit?
So, now it's time to be creative. I mean, always, right? But it's really easy to, oh my gosh. As a founder, every day you're like, on this roller coaster. I mean, it could be like, you start off the morning, it's amazing, and then you have an investor call that maybe didn't go so well and suddenly you think like, no one's gonna ever invest in me.
I mean, it's like, it's the rollercoaster, right? So like stepping back and maybe thinking a little bit more long term. Not day to day or week to week, but, think about the quarter or. The year. And so, also thinking about things a little bit differently, not so traditionally. There are, there's more than one way to build a company.
It doesn't all have to be venture backed. It could be through grants. My company, we've received a lot of grant funding. That's not a route that a lot of startups choose to pursue. I mean, That doesn't necessarily need to be the route for you. It may not be the only route, but it is a route.
Are there other companies that you can partner with? I mean, we're all conservative about how we spend our money, so that's not usually it, but thinking through how to get, how to handle, oh wait, the li the long sales cycle in the hospital setting. read a quote in an article. That you sent over to me, actually.
And it says, so this is another takeaways from ViVE. So this one, not nine takeaways, but five takeaways. Hashtag Health Founder and c e o. John Bass warned half jokingly that selling to hospitals will take years off of your life. Maybe I, I don't know if I should be sharing that on that, on this.
Well, he, that's not the first time I've heard that.
I mean, I've heard people be like, oh my gosh, selling to hospitals is killing. Because we're being killed by pilots. We're being, it's like I they said, even the people who said, Hey, they said yes, and then it's like six months until they get the contract side.
It's, yeah. So maybe there are some alternate revenue streams to help get through that.
I mean, that's something that we've looked at my company is, okay, so hospitals are gonna take longer, but we want them because there's so much impact we can have, so we can serve so many nurses in one place, right? We can make an impact. But you know, maybe there's schools of nursing and, smaller institutions.
So having some other revenue streams we call it let's, like gravel rocks, or let's see, yes, sand, gravel like boulders. Let's say the hospitals are the boulders, but what are you gonna fill the bucket? And so, having some sand to fill in as a strategy, as a revenue strategy, and also a way to build credibility and experience and the things that hospital might need to see.
So yeah, I totally forget what your question was about.
That's a long lines of what it is, which is like, how do you. When to pivot. I've heard people saying, well, we're gonna focus on a different market. I'm like, wow. Well, that's, is now the right time to be focusing on a different market?
Well, maybe it is if you're looking at two to three years and saying, Hey, I don't think this market's gonna change for us and we might be a better application for this. But those are all the questions I think startups are asking right now, which. Should I be focusing on the provider space education space?
Should I be focused on an IDN or an academic medical center? Or what are the spaces? And there's a lot of those conversations happening at the board level. I think as well. It's like, do we have the right product? Do we have the right sales approach? Do we have enough leads being generated?
Are we following up on those leads? These are the kinds of questions I think that boards are asking right now of startups. Not that they weren't before, but it's, I don't know, maybe it's a little more pressure these days,
I'm sure. Yeah, and I think those are all important questions.
And it's also important to go back to like, why did we start this? Yes. I mean, it's so easy to realize that you've gotten off course with something that you maybe don't even care about anymore. So why did you start it and is that a value that you need to carry with you as you're moving forward?
And are there other ways to get to that? Why? Like maybe there are other revenue streams or other markets or other industries, but eventually, You know it, you can keep getting pushed and pulled in so many ways, and if you don't go back to like what really matters, like this is hard work.
Yep. I'd love that you took it there because Simon Sinek, told us, remember your why.
Remember your why, and you're gonna get knocked down a lot. the why that picks you up. It's the now the why is still there. We haven't solved this problem. We're gonna, we're gonna do it again tomorrow and keep moving this ball down the field. Yeah.
There might be a, there are a lot of ways, to answer the why and to make an impact on that thing.
So yes, you still have to be flexible about how you fill the mission, but that piece is really important. This is too hard to do without that piece. Right? Like startup is hard.
It absolutely is. Maggie, I wanna thank you for your time. It was great to catch up with you and I'm looking forward.
Seeing how the nursing education really changes as we move forward. Cause I, I do think virtual reality offers a lot of opportunities that just are not available in the physical world. So, really exciting and I look forward to catching up with you again. Well, thank
And thank you for having me. And thank you for having me in April.
Thank you. Take care. Bye.
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