March 23: Today on TownHall Sue Schade, Principal at StarBridge Advisors speaks with Jack King, Chief Information Officer at American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons(AAOS). What is his team focusing on currently at AAOS? What new innovations did he discover at his organization’s annual meeting? What are the differences in supporting IT for a physician-member organization like AAOS versus a more typical provider organization? What is it like to have physicians from many different health systems as his primary customer? What is he most excited about working on in the coming year?
As the healthcare industry undergoes a rapid digital transformation, IT security must stay ahead of the curve. CISOs need to think ahead and proactively develop security policies and processes to ensure that healthcare organizations are secure and compliant with rapidly evolving regulations. Join us on our April 6 webinar, “Leader Series: CISO Priorities for 2023” to explore healthcare companies' challenges today and the strategies CISOs can use to stay on top of the security priorities for 2023.
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Today on This Week Health.
Folks that are with large academic medical centers tend to have different needs than someone who might be at a newly started, ASC who might be completely different from a rural provider, in, Arkansas or somewhere that might be even more rural location. But the one thing they have in common is that they wanna use data to get the best outcomes for their patients, regardless of where they're practicing or.
the social status of their patient.
Welcome to TownHall. A show hosted by leaders on the front lines with interviews of people making things happen in healthcare with technology. My name is Bill Russell, the creator of This Week Health, a set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff and engaged. For five years we've been making podcasts that amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward. We want to thank our show partners, MEDITECH and Transcarent, for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders now onto our show.
Hello, I'm Su Shade Principal at Starbridge Advisors and one of the hosts for the Town Hall Show. Today my guest is Jack King. He's the CIO at the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons uh, abbreviation, A A O s. I first met Jack when he was at a provider organization, Broward Health in Florida, before he moved back to Chicago to serve as c I O at A A O S.
Thank you, Sue. Pleasure to join you.
Great. Good to see you today. Let's start by having you briefly introduce yourself and describe a A O
S. Sure. Terrific. Thanks for the invite. I'm Jack King. I'm the c i o for a o s I'm going on my third year, completing my third year here at the organization.
As you mentioned, I think we met back when the pandemic was getting underway when I was at Broward Health. Yes. And I came up here to be closer to family during the pandemic and had the opportunity to serve at aos. In the meantime,
and, moving to be closer to family is certainly a story I can relate to
I did that when I came back to New England. So tell us about what you and your team are focusing on these days at A O S.
Yeah, absolutely. Aos is one of the premier organizations that represents 39,000 surgeons across the globe, primarily here in the United States. The majority of our members we support them through advocacy, training education tracking of CMEs.
And in general, helping them advance their careers and profession. The overall goal of the organization is to assist in helping with musculoskeletal care and advancing that care for everyone around the globe. we've been working on many different things. To that end some of the things that we've recently talked about is we held one of our largest annual meetings in the last three years.
Just completed that out in Las Vegas over the last week. So that was a tremendous success. We had 20,000 people come out. We had great conversations around innovation, over 600 different exhibitors, thousands and thousands of members, and it was a huge. .
That's great. So tell us a little bit more about some of the innovations that you saw at the annual meeting.
Well, we saw a plethora of different things. Some of the things that stand out and that really, are always top of mind is how far things have come in terms of robotics and the continued advancements in the use of surgeons and machines in order to lead to better outcomes. Right? So whether or not it's the uh, equipment itself, the.
Introduction of new techniques, using that equipment and advancing shared knowledge around that. So whether it's training people going through different process and procedures on the floors and emulating and training breakout sessions where people share the information around that, et cetera, it's been pretty big.
In addition to that, you have things that are moving very quickly, the 3D printing of custom implants biodegradable implants. Touching on telemedicine, remote monitoring, continuing those trends that we saw during the pandemic and for cases that are suitable. Doing the follow ups remotely and helping our members adapt to that technology and use that as well.
The other pieces are things around minimally invasive surgery and just different techniques that overall lead to better quality and a better value for the patient.
So in your role at AAOS do you and your team. help Physician members with new technology that they are using in their organizations and train 'em on it or how to adapt to it.
Yeah, We work very tightly with industry and industry develops quite a bit of that. We do have our traditional curriculums and our members come up with we have resident Orthopaedic Core Knowledge, which is one of the modules that our members have helped developed. It's a product that we sponsor here in-house.
We have partnerships where we put on programs with other people. I'd say one of the more recent things that our tech teams have been focused on is helping to evaluate new technology as with regards to virtual reality, extended reality, augmented reality. And what's happening in that space. As you can imagine, the traditional training that was going on before Covid hit was more hands-on and classroom led, et cetera.
Things moved online very quickly, right, in order to continue there. But now we're seeing the very fast evolution of the training of, I'll call it repeatable steps or fundamentals in surgery so that folks who are. Going about perhaps their residency moving into these things for the first time are able to simulate things with headsets, goggles, oculus devices on their head, and they're able to walk through and, see with their mind's eye what's going on.
And it's been amazing to see how when you set side by side and look at some of the comparisons, the advancements in how quickly people adopt new technology, when they're able to practice it over and over with goggles and handsets, even with haptic feedback versus looking at what used to be, when I grew up a printed out pdf, right?
What step am I on? What am I supposed to do next? So, the promise of that technology and the opportunity to kind of speed up the learning process and make sure that people come in to actually put their hands on a cadaver in a lab, or to actually simulate a procedure on real bone and tissue. The opportunity to speed up that process and to move it along quickly exists, and it's moving very rapidly.
So we've been involved with trying to figure out where does the academy continue to play in that space? How do we leverage our members knowledge and make sure that we, continue to ensure that the types of. education that's being delivered meets those needs of excellence, that we've continued to have the standards, if you will, to be the keepers of that.
Okay, great. So I can tell the enthusiasm as you talk about this and working with some of these new technologies and innovation and as I'm processing it, it sounds very different than the CIO role in a provider health organization. So let's talk about that. Tell me what are some of the similarities and differences between.
Supporting it for an association like this, which is physician members and supporting it for a provider organization.
Yeah. Thanks. I have a unique context because I've grown up in the organizations academic medical centers, mid-size organizations you know, ASCs, ambulatory practices.
I've had the opportunity to build new bed pavilions and operatories, et cetera. So I'm very familiar with how our members operate in these different environments and within. these different Institutions, and perhaps it's more similar than I let on at the beginning I got excited to talk about some of the, sexier parts of what we're dealing with, right?
Some of the intriguing things that are breakthrough technologies, but much of what we do is helping our members with day-to-day technology needs as well. A big part of our business is registries, right? And we started off with knee and hip registry. We've grown into fracture and trauma, shoulder elbow.
rotator cuff We have spine registry, so there's a myriad of different registry products in order to. Absorb that information, right, and integrate the information out of the traditional EMRs. Much of my old hat and old world plays a role in understanding what are their challenges, right? What are their challenges in collecting this data?
Where does this data live? What are the levels of sophistication? Right? There's. Certain academic medical centers have a great amount of resources, right? And we can talk with them fairly quickly to sort out an issue. When you talk with folks who might be in a rural or safety net environment, that's a whole other conversation or discussion, right, about how you're gonna be able to help them integrate data or what they can do, within their organization to do that.
So some things are quite different, meaning, we've got some cutting edge technologies we're looking at, but a good chunk of our time is, spent Looking at how we can help our registries, clients and others send us that data so that we can continue to analyze it and come up with the proper dashboards to help share that information with others, right?
To analyze that data and show trends of what's going on and to help set best practices, et cetera. So it is very similar in that regard, and the experience from the old world is very similar. You know, The other similarities. are You have your day-to-day lights on doors open, challenges of continuing to move things to the cloud cybersecurity and addressing the board.
So, it's probably far more alike than it is different. But I do think I have unique advantage in that because I've seen this through the eyes of our members and their day-to-day struggles in their organization.
📍 📍 We'll get back to our show in just a minute. We have a great webinar coming up for you in April. We just finished our March. On April 6th at 1:00 PM Easter time, the first Thursday of every month, we're gonna have our leadership series. This one is on CSO priorities for 2023. Chief Information Security Officers, we have a great panel.
We have Eric Decker within our mountain, Shauna Hofer with St. Luke's Health System out of Boise, Idaho, and Vic Aurora with Hospital four Special Surgery. And we are gonna delve into what are the priorities for security? What are we seeing? What are the new threat? What is top of mind for this group? If you wanna be a part of these webinars and we would love to have you be a part of them, go ahead and sign up.
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Right. So I bet you were a very attractive candidate when they hired you in as the CIO there, given that background and provide organizations,
it's kind of you to say, but I do think it's it's given me a tremendous advantage because, you know, I'm always thinking about how can we take the friction out of what our members do, whether it's in their day-to-day operations, or how they even interact or transact, with the academy.
And we have membership is obviously one of the products we offer, right? People go through a five year residency. They apply for the candidacy here. When they're accepted, they become a full paying member, if you will. So as part of that process, whether it's simple things like renewing your membership connecting to another member, You one of the things that I'm really proud of, what the team's been able to do here in the last year was come up with a membership application.
So it's available, via the Apple Store as well as Google Store as well. So we've got the opportunity to create shortcuts, right? So at a glance, what are the major things that I need to know that are going on? As you can imagine, the banner on there leading up to this last week was all about the annual meeting, right?
It'll switch and be about other things now, but there's about nine tiles on there that run the gamut from, what can I do to renew my membership to connect to another member? What's going on with orthopedic advocacy? What are the latest journal articles? Where are my CMEs and how am I tracking to those?
You know, I think I've had a good advantage in working with surgeons from a day-to-day perspective out in the field to know that the last thing that they really wanna do is have multiple clicks beyond what they already suffered through, right, with their EMR to try to renew their membership.
So we're trying to take what I've learned over there, bring it into this world, and make life easier for them.
That's great. So, this leads into a couple other questions and I wanna ask you about supporting physicians and advocacy, but as you talk about membership and some of the other systems and applications that you have to support.
I did serve for nine years on the board of Amy. And I learned as a board member some of the unique challenges that an association has in terms of those systems. And just like our users within healthcare organizations may never really be happy with us, members never seem really happy either about, some of those systems and an association.
So let's talk about physicians. What's it like to have physicians from a lot of different health systems as your primary?
Challenging in a word, right, but challenging in a good way. you know, I always, there's a difference between puzzles and mysteries, right? As, people point out, these are puzzles, but they're fun puzzles to solve, right?
And each of these surgeons has many things in common, right? They're mission driven. They wanna take care of their patient. They're looking for AAOS to continue to try to protect their relationship with their patient, their ability to confer with their patient, try to do what's right for their patient, regardless of, the insurance industry or other people who weigh in on these things.
So, you know, when we speak a little bit more about advocacy, I think that's an area that we feel very strongly that we're trying to help our members and their patients with. Their Levels of involvement differ depending upon where they are either in their career or where they're practicing in the system.
? Folks that are with large academic medical centers tend to have different needs than someone who might be at a newly started, ASC who might be completely different from a rural provider, in, Arkansas or somewhere that might be even more rural location. But the one thing they have in common is that they wanna use data to get the best outcomes for their patients, regardless of where they're practicing or.
the social status of their patient. So we're excited about the opportunities to take data from the registries and be able to start to lead and use that data to help providers with prior authorization to help make sure that people who are having great outcomes at the right cost points are getting the recognition they deserve, and the ability to hopefully get past some of the hurdles that are in place right now that are keeping patients from getting the care they.
That's great. So a little bit more about advocacy. I understand that there is, that's a focus and there's a presence on Capitol Hill. Can you tell us any more about that?
Yeah, absolutely. I, and I have a couple of things that I would share with you. So we have an office beautiful building out in DC that's right near the hill.
With folks that are very active. So alongside of some of the other major medical organizations we're on the hill quite often. Right? Within the last election cycle we raised over 3.3 million. We went to over a thousand political events. We were very instrumental in helping pass language to mitigate the Medicare payment cuts in 2023 and 2024.
We. Part of the sponsors of legislation is streamline prior authorization for Medicare Advantage, right? Passing in the house. When it comes to protecting our caregivers and burnout, we help pass the Dr. Lorna Breen Healthcare Provider Protection Act into law. That was something that was very large.
This uh, establishing a grant program for training and education and increased access to evidence-based treatment for physicians, medical students, and other healthcare professionals in order to address burnout. The safety from violence for healthcare employees save act. We were instrumental in moving that forward as well.
And regrettably, we had a member who was actually a victim of violence in the previous year,
Wow. Those are a lot of positive. Issues and results it sounds like from the advocacy work. So, you know, we hear a lot of negative about lobbying in, DC but that sounds like some important work, so thanks for sharing that.
Let's switch back to you and your team. What are you most excited about working on in the coming year?
I would have to say it's a combination of emerging technologies. I've spent the better part of this morning in some discussions and using some examples of chat G p t four and taking a look at how this technology can potentially help us right out of the gate, right, with routine things that are being done on a day-to-day.
Basis. But like anything else it's moving faster than I think we can all assimilate its capabilities and I've had the opportunity to serve in state government as the C I O for the state of Illinois. And innovation always outpaces regulation. I think there's a lot of pluses and a lot of great things that are gonna come from this technology, but I think we need to make sure that we have the right governance, we have the right controls in place, we have the right disclosures.
Just like we've talked about previously, I don't think it's gonna be a machine or a person. It's going to machine and person. . Mm-hmm. .. And how do we make sure we have the controls in place to take advantage of what these tools can offer us, but in the meantime, make sure that we have a footnote.
Make sure that we're doing our homework and checking it and make sure that we're looking for the inherent biases and the things that will inevitably come out. Where an unintended consequence happens, and then we'll have the inevitable swing of regulation back in. I find it also fascinating that when you talk about intellectual property and generative ai I can't imagine what a field day this will be for attorneys over time.
When you think about how do you take these tools that are going out and scanning and collecting other people's, copyright or intellectual. And then mashing it back together for the use by the many. And I think that's gonna be interesting as well. I, I can't help but wonder if this will revive, you know, NFTs or blockchain technologies or other p flashes that we've seen out there of new technologies and the role that we thought they would play versus how they might have a new role in a world where we have generative ai and it could establish more ownership or authenticity, et c.
you mentioned emerging technologies when I said, what are you excited about for the coming year? And then you talked about chat, G B T, which there's been so much press about it. I've been trying to read a lot about it as well. I stuck my toe in the water and trying something pretty simple.
But I think you're spot on in terms of what some of the issues are gonna be. Maybe it's something that we come back and talk about again in a few months. anything, Before we close, is there anything else that you wanna high.
just think that the, creating a culture of curiosity is the most important thing that we can do as leaders in it.
Right now, healthcare is in tremendous need of , advancing itself. We've come leaps and bounds. I know you and I have shared previous thoughts about where we were pre covid, where we're at now. I think it's not time to be taking our foot off the gas. It's not time to be cautious. It's time to be optimistic.
With the right guardrails in place and moving forward as quickly as possible because the need is growing greater and greater, right? Our ability to deliver care to more and more people excellent care to more and more people is going to be facilitated through the use of this technology. So while we're gonna have some people that will be, fearing things or blocking things and, Banning books, so to speak, the rest of us need to make sure that we continue progressively moving forward because I do believe that one way to deliver more care to everyone, whether it's muscular skeletal care that affects 1.7 billion people across the world, you know, orthopedics matter.
What we do here matters. What we're doing in healthcare matters. So now's the time to be bold is something that I'd like to make sure people.
Well, we will end on that. Love your enthusiasm and absolutely there is so much more to be optimistic about and to do within healthcare with technology.
And glad you're in the role that you're in. And thanks so much for talking to me today. Take care.
Thank you soon.
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