Ohio Health gave notice to 567 IT workers that their work would be performed by another company come January 3rd of 2023. Here is what they said.

"OhioHealth says the moves aren't meant to save money. Instead, the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care and services, and position the health care system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine and cell phones to organize their health care."

What do you make of this move and this explanation?

They would like to improve patient care and services and position the health system for the future and they believe a new team rather than the one they had on staff will do this better.

https://www.dispatch.com/story/business/2022/07/07/ohiohealth-announces-biggest-layoff-company-history/7829847001/

Transcript

Today in health, it the move that has everyone talking, Ohio health. Has outsourced. And so we're going to talk about it today. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week health. I set a channel dedicated to keeping health it staff, current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders.

Gordian dynamics, Quill health pal site. Nuance. Canon medical and current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. All right. Here's the story pulled this from the Columbus journal. That is out there. Dispatch actually. Oh, , HIO health to eliminate 637 jobs and its biggest layoff ever.

Of the 637 jobs, 567 are in it while the rest are in a unit called revenue cycle. That handles such thing as billing, coding, you get the picture, the it workers will remain on the payroll until January 3rd. They will be given an opportunity for training that could make them eligible for other jobs. There's going to be a job fair.

, let's see to continue. To be leading healthcare system, committed to providing the best possible patient experience. We have made the decision to engage external partners, to provide some services. That we currently provide in-house Ohio health said in a statement. , some other details. They are a 30,000 person company,

, served 47 Ohio counties and let's see 12 hospitals, 200 outpatient locations. And there's this one phrase in the middle there, which I think is pretty important to Ohio health says that the moves aren't meant to save money.

Full stop. I want that to sink in for a minute. OhioHealth says the moves aren't meant to save money. Instead, the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care and services and position the healthcare system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine. And cell phones to organize their healthcare.

All right. You pick up on that because everyone who reads this article reads this story, just we're moving so fast. We read headlines that we see snippets. In, , social media and we just read Ohio health to eliminate 637. Job's biggest layoff ever. And then we see 567 or an it, and we always assume it is about cost and it may be about cost. I'm not saying it is.

Or is it about cost? , this might be a smoke screen, but if it's not a smoke screen, this is a very interesting statement. This is not about saving money. Instead the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care. And services. So they're essentially saying, in order to position us for the future drive improvement in patient care and services, we are going to let go of our current staff and bring in other people from another organization. And it turns out they're going to bring in people from Accenture for the most part to cover the it stuff.

Let me tell you how this is being talked about in and around the world. So JD Whitlock had a great post. Which got the conversation started and it's, I mean, less than 14 hours old now. Very interesting.

OhioHealth just announced. They are laying off their epic team in January. And I heard through the grapevine incentives are being offered for them to train their off shore replacements from Accenture. My crystal ball says, this is not going to end well for Ohio health. I don't mean. And this, they will regret it in a couple years way when things slide downhill slowly because epic maintenance and optimization is not something you completely outsource. No, I mean, in the way that they will read it in a month way when their entire epic team gets snapped up by every other health system in Ohio, because we are all on epic.

These employees are very conveniently located in the geographic center of the state of 11 million people, where they can work from home in their bunny slippers. And once a month drive an hour or two to an in-person meeting in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dayton, and Toledo, they will not be around to train their replacements. Patient care will suffer in small, but meaningful ways. Doctors and nurses will start to leave.

This will be a Harvard business review case study. Not the good kind. All right. And I'm going to actually go out over here. To LinkedIn and see how this thing is performing, because it is kind of amazing at this point. Let's see. 262 people in the last 14 hours. Have marked this and you have seven reshared and you have 29 comments. I did put a comment in there.

. some of the things people are saying is a shame we're so beholden to a brand name, enterprise software. Shouldn't one alternative be to find a replacement for the overpriced, the HR and not the people. Interesting comment from a CIO. , another CIO, the EHR.

is our legal medical records so forth. And so on core systems are foundational thinking of it as hit Jenga tower, taking out the foundational EHR resource blocks. May create an unstable structure. Are the third party service models mature. So there's a lot of people questioning. Does this make sense?

, there's a lot of people asking, you know, what about the people? Ella Patty has on the say let's see Patty Padmanabhan I'm curious. Do we even know for sure that Accenture will be supporting epic apps? From off shore, from what I know that is not even an option. I can understand.

How other apps and infer support can be managed from off shore. I did a bunch of these deals, including one. With a very prominent Ohio health care company back in the two thousands. , interesting. , the answer to that is yes, they can do it. I don't know if they are doing it, but they can do it.

It's a very interesting model and I'm not sure. . There's clearly a lot of privacy and. And those kinds of things they have to consider and work around. All right. So , that's what's being said, what's my, so what on this. Outsourcing is hard.

Outsourcing is always hard. I came in as a CIO, following a 10-year outsource, and I was a part of doing the insource. And by the way, insourcing. Very hard. , And, , the outsource did not go well, especially in the later years. So I was in sourcing and there was plenty of opportunity to improve upon what they were doing. But you had to put everything in place. There was no governance., there was no processes and procedures. None of that came across when we, we insourced.

, we hired a bunch of people from the outsource provider. And some of that was a big mistake. We should have started from scratch, but at some point you're bringing on four or five, 600 people. You can't start with no institutional knowledge. So there's an awful lot of institutional knowledge. That's walking out the door.

That is a big deal in sourcing is a big deal. , this is a high risk proposition for the reasons that JD Whitlock. , put out there, if they lose all that staff and decide at some later point, they made a mistake. They are going to struggle to pick up that staff., , and I think they know that, , I want to go back though to this phrase that they have in here, because I think it's pretty telling, and if it's true,

It's , it's very interesting. OhioHealth says the moves aren't meant to save money and it probably won't save money or much money. I did a story on inflation this week. On the today show you can go back and listen to it. But what we're seeing inflationary pressures not only hit the U S it's a global, , phenomenon that's going on right now. And you're seeing.

, cost centers. , especially it cost centers in India and other places. Double and even triples in salary. So places that we used to go and say, we could get a less expensive labor here. , the Delta is starting to narrow. And so the benefits aren't necessarily there. So it can't only be a cost thing. And so we go to the next part of this phrase. Instead, the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care and services and position the healthcare system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine and cell phones to organize their healthcare.

And this is a damning statement to the current it team and the it leadership. Essentially, what they're saying is we do not believe that you can keep us ahead of the curve with regard to where healthcare is going. We need to be able to be more nimble, more agile, and you did not prepare us for this.

And you did not give us the tools necessary and we don't believe you can moving forward. I want to read the statement again. You see, if you agree with me that this is this arch, instead, the layoffs are intended to drive improvement in patient care and services. And we're choosing not to do this with the current staff, because we don't think, we think that they've taken us as far as they can.

With regard to improvement in patient care and services. And position the healthcare system for a future where patients rely more on telemedicine cell phones to organize their healthcare. So this is a pretty damning statement, I believe, to the existing healthcare and health it staff in a warning shot across the rest of us.

, we need to take this very seriously. This, this kind of outsource, I don't think is in the future of a lot of health systems, but this kind of thought process of could we. Do better. Can we perform better? Not on the day-to-day transactional. I see all this stuff out on LinkedIn. I get that the day-to-day transactional maintaining your epic system.

, are they going to be able to do better remotely , than, , locally? I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that Providence does a fair amount of this and Providence is a fairly large health system and they now have, , I don't know, upwards of a thousand, some odd people working from India.

, on their it staff. So, and it's Providence, India. That's the staff. They are not outsourced. It's Providence, India. So, , that's what they have stood up. I know it's possible to do this and do it effectively. I've seen it done and done effectively. I also have seen this fail more times than it be successful, especially on that operational side.

But with regard to the aspects around strategy of staying ahead of the curve. The question becomes. Can that be outsourced? Do you just give that to Accenture and say, keep us ahead of the curve. Your strategy thinking is better than our strategy thinking, in fact, we come to you for strategy thinking. So therefore we're going to outsource our it strategy thinking.

If that becomes the norm, that's a pretty damning statement on us, on the health it community. They're essentially saying that the leaders of health, it have not stayed ahead of the curve and cannot provide the leadership to stay ahead of the curve. And therefore, We not only have to outsource operations, but strategy as well. So this is going to be an interesting story to keep an eye on.

See how this goes. I'm sure there's gonna be a lot of pitfalls and a lot of mistakes. We may not read about a lot of them, but we can keep our ear to the ground and hear what's going on. All right. 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, health.com 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. So site nuance. Canon medical and 📍 current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today. Thanks for listening that's all for now

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