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Do we need a new C-Suite Executive for AI? Today we discuss.



Today in health, it it's Friday. And we are going to talk a little bit about this. Idea. Becker's put out a question, which I thought was good. One. Do we need to do C-suite role for AI? My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system. And creator of this week health instead of channels and events dedicated to transform healthcare.

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Here's the story. The story is from Becker south it health system leaders split on this new C-suite role. And let me just give you some context and then we'll talk about it a little bit. That's hospitals, the health systems look to harness the power of artificial intelligence. Many are looking to add a chief AI officer to their executive teams, but is this position necessary? Richmond, Virginia based VCU health is one of the health systems looking for a chief data and AI officer. The individual would be in charge of data management and responsible for AI adoption. Across the health system ensuring safe and ethical use.

That's interesting. So Ellen Wiegand, who has been on the show. Senior VP and CIO. At VCU health told Beckers this role is important because analytics and AI strategy. I cannot be an other duty as a side added to another group of the leaders, existing job. All right. So that's that concept right there.

Let's see. The Vic Patel, Dr. Patel chief AI officer, a Phoenix based Mayo clinic, Arizona echoed. Miss weekends, sentiments in a Fox news article. Dr. Patel said. That the chief AI officer is more than a technocrat in essence, that GA chief AI officer is not just a technocrat, but a visionary leader. Ensuring that the organization navigates the AI driven paradigm shift in healthcare with agility responsibility of patient centric approach. He told the news outlet.

And then there's another one. Let me get to the opposing view here. Here we go. But some leaders see AI as part of the CIO role, in my opinion. If you've hired the right CIO, it's just something they take on BJ, more CIO of Renton, Washington based Providence. Told Beckers, this is the single most important tool that we've had in technology, I think ever. And if you're a technology leader and you are embracing this and becoming an expert, then you are just missing the boat. All right.

So that's the article. That's the debate. I put a poll out on LinkedIn. So if you want to participate, I only give you two options. Yes or no. Should we add a C-suite role for AI? Yes or no? I thought of putting a third option. Because people like to find that middle ground and say, wow, it's nuance.

It really depends on filling the blank. But the question is, how important is this? How much of a focus does it need? And is this. Should this be the primary focus of a CIO, this is what I'm trying to get to. I'm trying to force you into a yes, no kind of paradigm to see how many people are like.

Yeah, I see that. I could see that working. So let's let's talk about this a little bit. There's going to be different ways that you bring AI into your organization. There's going to be the. Obviously the partner, the vendors that you're currently using are going to start putting it into their tools. The role, the AI officer in that case is to make sure that it's the appropriate AI model that is there's transparency into the model and how it's formulating his decisions that it is there's a safety component to it. There's a usability component to it.

There's an integration component to it. So there's a lot of things that, that AI officer would do if you are just bringing it in through the various tool sets that you have today. But keep in mind if you hire a clinician, like in the case of Dr. Patel, you're going to be using AI and a lot of other places.

So that physician is going to have to understand. The application of AI in it, for example, because we're going to be using AI. And the provisioning of servers or would it be using it insecurity in other areas as well? So if you do bring somebody in and make sure that they understand that it is broad perspective, they're going to have to understand supply chain.

They're gonna have to understand. Revenue cycle because you're applying AI in all of those places. Not that they can't with a medical background, understand those things, obviously they can, but just make sure that the expectation is that they understand it. Across all of those things. And then there's going to be cases where you utilize a platform you might use anthropic you might use anthropic as AWS.

You might use jet CPT. PT. Which is Microsoft, you might use. Deep mind. And some of the other things that Google has, if you are partnered with them in which case, the chief AI officer, and that is really about education. Adoption the proper use of those tools and effectiveness. Obviously they're working with security to make sure that people understand they're helping to build the sandbox.

If you will, to protect Phi. And and all the the history of data and whatnot. We can't just throw things in there and ask for a differential diagnosis. That would be crazy. Without knowing how the model's working and those kinds of things, but you're going to have a lot of these.

And by the way, those are just three of the main players and then there's a thousand others. And one of the areas that we are seeing it be used more and more is in the area of ambient listening and obviously computer vision. And so there's. He didn't have different requirements for each one of those models. And then the third, which I think is going to be not overly Prevalent in healthcare, it will be prevalent in finance and in other places because they will see it as a competitive differentiator.

And plus it will drive down their costs is the development of your own. Large language models and building those models with your information, your patients said your health system data and those kinds of things. Now you can do that through a tool. Like notable or something to that effect. And I'm sure you'll see this coming from epic and Meditech and others. You'll see AI things built into the overall operation that you can. Get into you're going to see that, but there's going to be that, that side of it for the AI officer in that side of it, they're going to have to understand. Design patterns and programming and agile and all sorts of other things. And so it's interesting because the strategy is going to dictate who you hire and who should be in charge of what. And what they are actually bringing to the table. By the way, I agree a hundred percent with what BJ Moore said down here. That this is the single most important tool that we've had in technology, I think ever. And I believe I am in that same camp, the more I utilize these tools, the more I realize that it is going to fundamentally change how we work. It's going to fundamentally change what software is and how we interact with it. It will change the computing paradigm. Sitting in front of a computer and typing. We'll now become sitting in front of a computer and talking, or even a phone and talking and getting just amazing outputs on the other side. We're going to be able to have personal assistants that monitor our email and follow up on things for us, or at least create drafts of things for us to follow up on things that we should follow up on. I think it's essentially. Going to make every human, every AI empowered human, be at least one and a quarter times more effective than they are as a non AI. Empowered human, if not one and a half, maybe even more than that.

And I think this is the tip of the iceberg, because I think we're going to see AI empowered robots that are going to be moving around our hospitals. I think we're going to see AI powered robots. Within our lifetime that are moving around our homes. And so I agree with him that this is one of the most. Impactful technologies that we've ever seen.

And I'm not sure. I agree with them that if you've hired the right CIO, this is just something they take on. I agree. That every CIO should be just completely immersed in this right now. With that being said, You could say that same thing about radiology. Like we don't need somebody who understands radiology technology and all that stuff. Our I'm sorry.

Were. Imaging. Imaging in and of itself is its own discipline, its own space. It's not that the CIO doesn't oversee the infrastructure to support that. And even the workflows and the data flows around that and those kinds of things. But at the end of the day, it's enough of a specialty that there should be somebody who really understands that.

And I think I fall into that camp. Not that I think we need a C-suite person, but the CIO should have a chief technology officer or a chief AI officer or someone in the organization that is a peer. To whatever that one level is below the CIO. The CIO is overseeing the whole department and whatnot. I think if you create a whole department for it, you're missing the boat. But if you're making that a part of a specialized discipline within the it organization. I think that's where I would land on this. So that's my answer. Do we need a new C-suite?

No, but I think we need a specialized AI department. Definitely a leader for that department. Somebody who's helping us to bring it in effectively into our organization. And that's it. Gosh, we won't see you again until Monday. That's all for today. Don't forget. Share this podcast with a friend or colleague. You said as a foundation to keep the conversation going and to mentor someone. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Notable service now, enterprise health. Parlance certified health and 📍 Panda health.

Check them out at this week. Health. Dot com slash today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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