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Sorry I'm late. Internet problems down here in Florida. Today we discuss one of the most important topics in a leaders life. Fight isolation.


  📍 Today in health, it it's Friday. And on Fridays, I talked about my observations from the week, this week. We're going to talk about community. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for 16 hospital system and creator of this Instead of channels dedicated to keeping health it staff current and engaged.

We want to thank our show sponsor shore investing in developing the next generation of health leaders. Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site. Nuance Cain and medical and current health. Check them out at this week.

I want to thank everyone who attended our patient room next webinar yesterday. Great panel. Great discussion. If you miss it, you can sign up for the on-demand webinar on our website. I also want to thank Stephanie Lara for stepping in as moderator for the discussion. She is wonderful and did a fantastic job,

As a lot of, you know, for my posts on social media, we are down here in Naples, Florida, and the family's doing great. , we actually consider ourselves. , blessed. Because we have a lot of nuisances going on right now. We have no air conditioning, we have no internet, , and those kinds of things, but, , we averted any.

, really disasters. , my family is safe and , no damage to our house or anything to that effect. So, , we consider ourselves blessed and I want to thank everyone who has reached out. , but I put a post out there on social media today and I started talking about community. You know, the, the post hurricane community just feels different.

I'm walking around on the streets and everyone stops to see how you're doing. Everybody calls out to one another. Hey, how you doing? Good to talk to you. , people are sharing things freely with others. They're inviting people into their homes. , neighbors are out talking to other neighbors. , everywhere you turn, , it's special.

, and when we saw this post nine 11 as well, the number of people who rushed to New York city, the number of people who wanted to be a part of helping their neighbor. , it's unique and it's special. And I wish it didn't have to be that way. I wish we wouldn't have to go through a hurricane or a disaster.

For it to be that way. , but unfortunately I think that's how it works. I think we come together when we have a shared experience like that when we get through something like that together. , clearly there's a lot more work to be done. But that leads me to my topic today. And my topic for today is going to be community.

I love the health it community. I came into the industry from outside of healthcare. I literally had to study the names of various specialties so that I knew who I was speaking with when I was talking to a doctor. I've done this, , this transition into other industries before. And I knew that I was going to need people who've been successful in this space to help me.

Along the way. And so I asked a few people who I should reach out to, and I was introduced to the Johns John Glasser and John Malanca who gave of their time and wisdom to help me out early on. , they looked at strategy documents. They looked at, , some architecture documents. Sean Halakah looked at our architecture documents of how we thought healthcare could move to the cloud.

And he gave great feedback to me, way back in. I think it was 2012 was the first time I met the two Johns. I actually went up to. , Boston met with them. Learn from them. , Stephanie reel was a part of one of the classes and that was fantastic as well. , it is a great community. People give back, people will, , share with you their successes and their failures. So that was my introduction into the health it community. And I want you to

That is distinct healthcare has a distinct. It community, other industries. Are very worried about competition and information, getting , healthcare, not so much. We see it as a common goal to deliver the best. , health care to the communities that we serve. I think a mistake that some from outside of healthcare make is that they come in.

And they believe the words that people say to them. You know, you were hired from the outside because of the fill in the blank reason. The reason is typically disparaging to health. It professionals over the years. They take a position of superiority and start the process of isolation. And isolation is a word that I'm going to come back to later.

, this mistake is made out of pride and also a misunderstanding of the community. That you've become a part of the health it community. , this is a sharing community. People freely share their wins and losses in pursuit of better healthcare everywhere.

If I'm honest, I let my ego get the best of me a few times. And I set myself apart from this community. I knew better. Don't get me wrong. The industry is in constant need of new ideas and new approaches to problems, but it is better to vet those ideas with the community and to spread the success or failure of those ideas

, ego is a community killer and quite frankly, a career killer. It's not only for those that come in from outside the industry, it's freely available to those that have been inside the industry. You may think I'm better because of the number of health systems you ever see, 16 hospitals system. You heard me say earlier,

, you may think you are better because you oversee an academic medical center and that is considered to be above others in your field.

I realized this phenomenon and one of my first industry meetings. , picture some hotel conference room. It's not a big one, 14 CEO's in a room. And the prompt was please go around and introduce yourself. The first person always sets the tone for the answer. To that prompt. And this time the person shared their name.

Their health system, , the area they serve, number of hospitals and their EHR. The last one really caught me off guard. Why on earth is someone sharing their EHR in their introduction? Is there some sort of identity wrapped up in that. Is there some sort of ego boost by saying you were on a certain EHR? Well, it turns out in our industry. There actually is. , there is identity politics, getting people to identify more with their party.

Then their community and there is an EHR identity and healthcare. Who knew. Anyway, it got to me and I follow suit when I got to my EHR, which is not one of the top EHR. In the industry, which is actually not true,

it was just not considered to be an Ivy league EHR. So it was, as if I had said I dropped out of high school. I was placed into a bucket that is ego. It kills community, and eventually it kills career. , why does it kill a career? Now I'm going to come back to this word. I introduced earlier isolation, individuals who choose isolation are heading into dangerous territory.

Psychologists will tell you that isolation in certain patient populations can double the risk of death. Isolation leads to unhealthy habits, anxiety. Even depression. What I've experienced in my career is that when people choose isolation, their view gets distorted. They make poor decisions and they tend to drive people away. Clearly this has ramifications outside of one's career, but the impact on a person's career is obvious to everyone.

But generally the person who is isolating, to be honest with you. Leadership roles have an isolating effect in and of themselves. There's a lot of information that you are not free to share. There are strategies and initiatives, there's challenges that you were asked to keep to yourselves and to really bear that burden alone.

You may not feel safe amongst your peers to share any weakness or insecurities in your role. And I'm talking about within your health system. You know, how could you, they, they may use it against you during the next budget cycle or whatever happens to come next at your health system, the CIO role, particularly because you interact with just about everyone in the house with some can drive you into a bunker mentality.

That's the beginning of the end. It may not end immediately for you in the role. You may not lose your job, but your effectiveness as a leader is greatly diminished. So

what's the alternative choose community, fight isolation at every turn, you have a community of peers who are experiencing the same thing that you are right I was on a panel once and I was the big system, 16 hospitals, and there was a CIO from a small, critical access facility. I had 600 to 800 people, including contractors working for it at any given time. And she had five.

We had the same regulatory environment, the same security requirements. She was being asked to advanced analytics as I was, she was asked to address the experience of the, of their patients and consumers as Five people. It was at that moment that I realized I could learn something from any CIO in healthcare, because we're all facing the same challenges.

Some of us are facing. Additional challenges. If you're in an academic medical centers, clearly there's some complexity with that. You have research, you could have a university that you're overseeing as well. But we're facing a lot of the same challenges. So let's get pragmatic. If your health system can afford it, you should have a coach. I hate to shit on you. My friend always says don't should on me.

And it sounds that way for a reason. , I've had executive coaches throughout my career and they're invaluable. You don't have to keep the same coach. You can change coaches over time. Lord knows there are enough of them out there. , I currently coach a few CEOs and others. This isn't an advertisement.

, I'm not really taking on, , any additional coaching opportunities right now. Anyway, , find a coach. The role of the coach is to understand your challenges, listen, and coach you on your responses and to see the impact of those responses on you as a person. A coach can help you as you start to isolate, they should be able to identify it, identify the signs, identified decisions that you're making. And.

To help you through that. Keep in mind that a coach is not a consultant. A coach never gets on the field. Think about it in terms of football, the coach doesn't run a play. The coach doesn't take a snap. It doesn't throw a ball. Coach stays on the sidelines. They are watching what's going on. Preferably from up in the booth, they can see over overhead what's going on.

But they are there looking on from the outside. You want that outside perspective? Okay, then another way that you could fight this as

Peer groups find a peer group that allows you to be honest and share your wins and losses in a safe place. I'm not talking about meetings, where you go hear a vendor partner, pitch, have some drinks and go home. I'm talking about a group that is designed to facilitate valuable discussion between peers.

As you would imagine, because I believe so much in this, we started groups like this earlier this year, we launched three groups and we have two more scheduled through the end of this year. Of course our hotel just got washed out for the next one. So we're rescheduling that one for early next , it is so important to be in a peer group where you can have that kind of honest dialogue where you can generate the connections between people that you feel like you can share things, ask questions that you may not even be able to ask from people within your health system.

And so we are helping people to build peer groups where you can interact with each other. And it's interesting because more and more of these groups are becoming bigger and bigger and bigger. And I think that's the opposite of what we want here. , because you can isolate in a big group.

You can just go sit in your row, listen to what's going on on the stage. Go have coffee with a couple of people. And actually what people have told me is that's the best part of the conferences these days. It's the coffee, it's the interactions. It's the conversations we have between the And so we thought, Hey, let's develop a meeting, which it's only that it's only coffee with your peers. It's only those conversations and let's skip the, you know, the big old presentation from our front. There's so many of those there's enough of those.

So we're going to let that space alone and create these smaller 10 to 15 person groups and bring people together for honest facilitated discussion. , And if you're interested, go ahead and reach out to me. Oddly enough, we take a lot of obstacles away, but still the response from leaders can be, Hey, I don't have the time. , I don't have anything to share with my peers. Why don't you wait until we get something done? I'm too busy.

My system won't pay for travel. I already have a peer group. , which is probably the only sound reason in this list. I can't share our wins with people. I'm pretty far along in my career. I'm good. , , any one of those, except I already have a good, honest peer group that I share with, if any of those are you, you're choosing isolation.

Even, even the one where it says my system won't pay for travel. There's enough value in getting together with a group of 10 to 15 of your peers, that it may be worth. You spending a few of your own dollars to be a part of those groups.

As I said, some of those answers are valid. I understand there are seasons in your health system's life where you can't be away. , but so many of them display red flags, the start of isolation, isolating your system from new ideas and isolating you as a leader from the community that can help your career , and your health system and the community that you serve.

I'll close with this leaders thrive in healthy communities. However leadership in isolation. Produces sub optimal results. That's about as nice as I can say that don't isolate.

All right. That's all for today. If you want to know more about our groups, about our 2 29 groups, or if you're looking for a coach, can't find one, give me a call. I can point you in the right direction. There is a bunch of great CIO coaches out Who I can connect you with our 2 29 groups are open for people who are in executive positions. Right now, we are planning to do CIO groups next year, CMIO, , security officer, chief information, security officers. We're going

Chief data and analytics officers next year, and chief digital and innovation officers as well. We're planning all of those groups. For next year, they are actually on the table and we're looking forward to getting those off the ground next year. So. , if you're interested, go ahead and reach out to me bill at this week, That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher.

You get the picture. We are everywhere. We want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical, and 📍 current health. Check them out at this week. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.

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