A Team Approach to Health IT from Baptist Health KY

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Bill Russell / Tricia Julian / Brett Oliver MD

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January 31, 2020: Coronavirus preparedness is the name of the game in healthcare right now and for this quick episode, we are joined by Dr. Brett Oliver from Baptist Health to hear about how they are providing for their community and employees during these trying times. Dr. Oliver stresses their role as a source of trusted information that is so needed at this point and explains the measures that are being taken at Baptist Health in order to keep safe social distancing and put their personnel at least risk. He also comments on how coronavirus can stretch healthcare systems and ways to keep up with the regular amounts of patients and cases that are present on top of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stretched healthcare facilities are one of the biggest threats we are currently facing and managing these concerns remains a priority for many involved. From there we turn to the use of health technology, commenting on e-visits and remote patient monitoring. Dr. Oliver shares his thoughts on chatbots and messaging with patients and inquiries before finishing off offering some ideas on remote work and managing limitations of infrastructure and facilities. 

Key Points From This Episode: 

  • Ways in which Baptist Health is providing for the community with trusted information. 
  • Measures for minimizing contact and protecting those on the frontlines. 
  • Keeping up with normal workloads of sickness and injury on top of coronavirus. 
  • Measures at Baptist Health in the technology sphere; e-visits and remote patient monitoring. 
  • Communication with community; on hold messaging, reminders and chatbots. 
  • Remote work at Baptist Health and the role of the infrastructure team in setting this up. 
  • Dr. Oliver’s recommendations to other health systems in process of preparation. 

A Team Approach to Health IT from Baptist Health KY

Episode 179: Transcript – January 31, 2020

This transcription is provided by artificial intelligence. We believe in technology but understand that even the smartest robots can sometimes get speech recognition wrong.

[0:00:04.8] BR: Welcome to This Week in Health IT Influence where we discuss the influence of technology on health with the people who are making it happen. Today, we interview a fantastic CIO, CMIO team to talk about how they make it work. My name is Bill Russell, healthcare CIO coach and creator of This Week in Health IT, a set of podcasts, videos and collaboration events dedicated to developing the next generation of health leaders.

We have a few more channel sponsors who have chosen to invest in developing you and the industry through this channel. I’m going to highlight one for each new episode of the next couple of weeks. StarBridge Advisors is a firm that I’m excited to have joined us as a new sponsor.

You ever think I wish I could bring someone into our health system who has been there, done that and is willing to come alongside my team and help them to be more effective? That’s StarBridge Advisors. I find their distinctive to be that they want you and your team to take the victory lap and they are willing to invest in people to make that happen.

 

StarBridge Advisors provides interim leadership to expand your team’s capacity in times of need. Visit Starburst advisors to connect with them today. Today, Tricia Julian and Dr. Bret Oliver join us for a great back and forth that covers collaboration, governance and the value of a strong partnership to handle the ever-growing demands on clinical excellence in the markets that they serve. 

 

Here’s the show, hope you enjoy.

 

[INTERVIEW]

 

[0:01:26.1] BR: Good morning two of you and welcome to the show.

 

[0:01:29.4] TJ: Good morning, thanks for having us.

 

[0:01:30.8] BO: Hey Bill, thanks for having us.

 

[0:01:32.2] BR: You know, we had Dr. Bensema who used to be the CMIO and CIO, he was one person and both of your roles for Baptist Health but I don’t think I’ve ever asked him this question about the system. Can one of you sort of give us some background on Baptist Health? Where you guys are at and then what the system looks like?

 

[0:01:51.8] TJ: Sure, we are an eight-hospital system, we’re across the state of Kentucky and into Indiana, we have about 2,100 licensed beds, we have all the continuity of care you can think of from in-patient through employee physicians, home health, infusion services. We have a ninth hospital that we are in the midst of acquiring, ins fact, there is a meeting about that today to set some final terms and agreements around that acquisition.

 

That will be another hospital in our Kentucky state, the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Bret, you want to add about the physician group perhaps?

 

[0:02:33.3] BO: Sure yeah, we have employed physician providers of about 1,400 at this point. We have an ACO with about 48,000 lives I believe, CIN’s, sort of a full gamut, we don’t have any long-term care facilities that we employ but we certainly work with them but otherwise, kind of full gamut of care across the state of Kentucky and southern Indiana.

 

[0:02:56.0] BR: Yeah, there’s a lot going on in those markets. I know that CHI was in those markets. CHI still in your market or are they moved out at this point?

 

[0:03:05.2] BO: They are, they divested their Louisville properties and Louisville investments but still in the eastern, southeastern parts of the state is still CHI, the common spirit. 

 

[0:03:14.0] BR: Yeah, common spirit now. See how that progresses. Well, you know, it’s interesting. Today, what I’d like to do is cover and effective CMIO, CIO partnership and I have the two of you on for this topic, not because you’ve raised your hands and said hey, we’re a good example of this but because other people have said you’re a good example of this.

 

You know, no pressure on you guys to just sort of live up to that but people have noted that you guys have worked really well together in the EHR implementation and in terms of new initiatives and things that are going on. I’d like to go down this path a little bit with you and just stay on that topic. To start with, just to give us some background on both of you and how you got into your roles. Tricia, I’d like to start with you.

 

Can you give us some background on how you got into the CIO role at Baptist? 

 

[0:04:09.3] TJ: Sure, my exposure to IT really started in a banking career, shortly after I graduated from Perdue University, I worked with Bank One in Lafayette and so I was on the operation side but Bank One was going through a lot of growth and that growth required new technology implementations and also a lot of acquisition work and so with acquisitions, you’re thinking about migrating data, et cetera. 

 

I was actually selected from the operations team to serve on that, a multi-disciplinary group, thinking about the technology and how we would make that technology available to our customers. After five years in banking, I transitioned to healthcare and I was again on the operation side of healthcare and my first career, with my first organization in healthcare, I rolled out three different technology solutions for transcription, dictation and physician portals to get that information, the physician’s hands, back when paper charts were the norm of the day. 

 

What I learned through those experiences as I was coming at it from an operational perspective but as I would interact with the IT team members, what they were surprised at was encountering someone from operations who seem to understand that they just didn’t have a magic wand to make all this technology work and that sometimes, operational leaders ask the impossible and yet didn’t appreciate that they were asking the impossible.

 

In my career then, what I noticed was the IT team, IT leaders were saying, if we have to do this project, we want Tricia at the table and operational leaders were saying, if we have to do this technology project, we want Tricia at the table. Through that, I actually led projects at different organizations towards the EHR transition, NextGen, Allscripts, and Epic were all systems that I have some responsibility to serve on in a leadership capacity to help deploy.

 

For NextGen, Allscripts and Epic in my early days with Epic, I’ve actually seen Epic two different times now. I got certified and those applications myself. I’m feeling comfortable on the application side, on the operational side in terms of thinking about from an IT perspective, how those technologies need to work in operations. The technical teams, I’ve just been blessed by being with really talented technical team members throughout my career who have taught me a lot about what they do, what does it mean to build an interface, how is it – how complicated is it and how do we break it down?

 

How do we think about delivering the infrastructure, the networking, the citric, all the platforms? Again, that’s not something that was a natural spill setup for me. But I recognized that and so I defer to those team members who A, have that expertise and B, Passion. Just give them the opportunity to let that shine and deliver it to the businesses.

 

[0:07:24.4] BR: You’ve moved around a fair bit. I mean, you started in Lafayette and then you went to another house, where is the health system you went to?

 

[0:07:33.2] TJ: I was in Lafayette Indiana, I was with a group, at the time, it was called our Net Clinic, it’s now part of IU health. Then, from Lafayette, I returned to Evansville, Indiana which happens to be the home town for my husband and me after Joe finished his doctorate at Perdue and I worked with a group there called lower clinic. Now, that group is actually part of Deaconess health systems in Evansville.

 

Then, I moved to Corvallis Oregon and I served as the chief operating officer in Oregon and it was really in that role at Oregon was my first opportunity with Allscripts, there was a project underway and as I was hired to serve as the COO there, it was made clear to me that I wouldn’t have to roll out the technology, they had a project manager and actually, the medical director for the group was in charge of the project but as it turned out, some things, medical director left within two months of my arrival, the big investment that you make for that sort of technology.

 

I partnered up with the IT team there, I got to know that group pretty quickly, formed the team we needed and we deployed Allscripts and then, from Corvallis Oregon, how I came back to the Midwest if you will, the Kentucky area is again, my extended family is in the Indiana area. Baptist Health was looking to deploy Allscripts to its employed practices so I had just done that again but from the operation side.

 

Interviewed with a group of individuals and leaders here at Baptist to talk about that. Dave was actually on the interview panel and he said, what stood out to him was that I was coming at technology not from the IT side but from the operation side but I was hired at Baptist as the director of IT to deploy Allscripts to the practices here.

 

[0:09:34.0] BR: Yeah, I spent a little extra time on your background because it’s interesting when we talk about removing the gender barriers for getting to the CIO role, because if you look at my show and I interview a lot of CIOs. People will say, hey you interview an awful lot of guys and I say well, you know if you look at the CIO role, it’s still like 10% are female and the remainder are male.

 

One of the things I like about your job progression is, and one of the things I tell people is if you are open to moving, there will be more opportunities for you. Even if you end up back in your hometown, you just – there’s just more opportunities as you move around because there’s always a system hiring a CIO somewhere in the country and there’s you know, someone with your experience was able to continue to move and move up the career path.

 

[0:10:31.0] BO: Then she got an MBA during our Epic implementation, Bill.

 

[0:10:38.4] BR: The Epic implementation wasn’t too much, you got extra time on your hands?

 

[0:10:42.8] TJ: Thankfully, I was near the end of the program when Dave approached me to ask if I would serve as the executive director for the implementation. I doubled up on classwork in the summer to finish it up so that I could. But, to Bret’s point, we had to hire our Epic team which consisted of about 140 analysts and we had a full three weeks to get that done in order for epic to commit to us that we could be on the platform by December 31st, 2016 which was really a drop-dead date for Baptist Health.

 

It was a pretty intense summer, I’m glad it’s in the rearview.

 

[0:11:24.7] BR: Someone who came up saying, you know, I recognize when people ask the impossible. You continue to ask the impossible from time to time.

 

[0:11:31.6] TJ: That’s right. I’ll get in there and do it with them.

 

[0:11:36.2] BR: Brett, give us some of your background, how did you get into the CMIO role?

 

[0:11:40.2] BO: Yeah, certainly not a traditional one, although I’ve not met too many CMIO’s but there is some kind of traditional pathway.  I’ve been a family physician for 22 years and as I was thinking through that, I’ve really run the gamut. I started off actually as an employee physician with no bonds in Winston-Salem in North Carolina when I got out of residency, from the state of Kentucky. When we moved back, I joined a private group practice. Ended up starting a solo practice on my own.

 

Only to then bring others in for a solid private group practice, ultimately to sell my practice to Baptist and become employed again. I’ve kind of gone full gamut, seen quite a bit. It was nine years ago that I saw my practice at Baptist and at the time, Dr. Benson, Dave Benson was – he led the position group in our market, he was the physician executive in our market so I negotiated my practice sale with Dave and he ended up becoming a friend and a mentor and we connected and some different leadership roles over the subsequent years.

 

But honestly Bill, I wasn’t looking for a change, I like computers but I don’t have a computer science or computer background and Dave came to me one day and said, like to have dinner, I want to talk to you about something. I knew something was going on with Epic piece but I mean, maybe it was my naiveté but I really didn’t know what he wanted to talk about and he said, asked me to be the medical director for the implementation.

 

Which you know, curious, okay, what’s that about, we talked for about an hour about it and then really, the other shoe was I need four of your five days a week of practice. You know, fortunately, my practice was setup where I had some new partners and they could absorb some of that change but I really had to me the decision that if this doesn’t work, you know, I return to my practice and it’s going to be an uphill battle building that back. 

 

But I trusted Dave, I trusted his assessment of what he thought my skill set was and that how I could contribute to the team. I took on that role as a medical director for Epic implementation. And over the subsequent two years, it was clear Dave wasn’t long for the job, maybe it was because he had both roles for two years but he retired in December, three years ago and asked if I would be the CMIO and kind of the same time.

 

Dave is a planner and so this was not any surprise to Tricia and I that he wanted us to assume those two roles and that he had been grooming us in that way. It’s been about three years since then and it’s fabulous but I think the key and I’m glad that we’re talking together because I think the key in me taking the role and Trish and I even talked about this before there were formally offered to us.

 

I don’t know that I would want to do it with a different person and some of our other senior leaders. Sometimes when people talk about what’s your structure, what’s your this or that. Not just at Baptist but other places, sometimes I’m not sure if that matters as much as the people that you’re plugging in that structure.

 

Anyway, that’s a little bit about – I still practice a day a week which is getting tougher and tougher to do but I try to be valuable in terms of what I can bring to the table.

 

[0:14:34.1] BR: Do you still consider Dave a friend or do you feel like you pulled the wool over your eyes. I mean, he took you out, it looked like a nice dinner with friends and then he put you in that role. That’s a tough role where you guys were out at that time.

 

[0:14:48.6] BO: Yeah, no, he’s definitely still a close friend and mentor of mine. You know, we’re at a good spot now that even when we’re rolling out new hospitals, I don’t have to wear the Kevlar anymore, I was coming to any physician meeting just tensed up, ready for a fight after going through what we did with Epic implementation. 

 

I do remember Dave saying something along the lines of you know, one of the risks that he took from a Baptist perspective is that at the end of this process that I would be valuable and have to go somewhere else and do the same thing.

 

Take another job, some rest and after going through it, I told Trish that like, can you imagine going somewhere else and doing that again? My head shut down.

 

[0:15:25.9] BR: There are people who are doing that, they’re making a career going from one system to the other and if you want a list of systems that are still at the beginning of that journey, I can give you that list and – 

 

[0:15:36.3] BO: That would be great, yeah.

 

[0:15:39.5] BR: I mean, every time I look at them, I’m going, man, you guys are the start of a very – I mean, it’s a difficult road but it ends up being a lot better. At the end, you just have to go through it. 

 

Anyway, I want to get into the heart of this, you know, the CIO, CMIO relationship, how you guys work together and it’s really a tough act to follow. I mean, David, Dr. David Benzema was the one person in both roles and the benefit of that is, he shares a brain with himself so he’s always on the same page with himself.

 

He is strategically thinking about the organization the same way because it’s one person. But, you know, in his mind and now in the situation, the roles are split. Why do you think it’s important to have two distinct roles? A CIO and a CMIO? It might be obvious but I just like to talk about it a little bit.

 

[0:16:35.9] TJ: As we now have exited the Epic deployment. What’s interesting is, there are so many demands for strategic thinking around our IT needs and there is enough for what I need to consider and enough for what Brett needs to consider that it’s definitely a full-time job for each of us.

 

It’s really reassuring to know as it comes to matters relating to clinical needs or physician requirements that the natural person to first think about that will be Brett and Brett can let me think about what are we going to do with the budget and how are we staging our capital needs and what are the timelines related to that. 

 

I can be focused on that and he can be focused on physician needs for an example. I really can’t imagine – Dave did a wonderful job and I will say to you what I think Dave also did back to Brett’s point about – he was such a planner that he had, Bret serving as the medical director for the Epic project and I served as the executive director.

 

I would see him even at times be able to rely on, delegate to us what may be more natural when we were transitioning to CIO and CMIO. He really started to help delegate some of those responsibilities to us so that we could – the transition would be very just organic honestly.

 

[0:18:15.8] BR: Is the split of the work pretty natural? Is it just – anything to do with clinical and medical starts with Bret and anything that’s sort of technology or digital-related starts with Trisha? Is it a pretty clear split?

 

[0:18:32.4] BO: You know, there is some of that, sometimes the clinical piece will determine it. We had a change in our reporting structure after Dave left, maybe a year after Dave left where instead of Tricia as CIO, as CMIO and then our CISO, we all reported to one particular person and the organization went kind of different direction and that position no longer exists and so now Trisha reports to our CFO, I report to our chief health integration officer.

 

Who is also in charge of our medical group and then Michael Ericson, our CISO reports to our chief legal officer. At first, I think we’re a little concerned, we know we communicated well with each other but okay, all of a sudden, we’re not kind of coalescing with the same person in that reporting structure but it’s turned out to be really wonderful because we’re getting glimpses of the organization from different angles, we have three of the direct reports to our CEO.

 

The seven direct reports to our CEO, we interact with one, we report to and then we have time with the majority of the other ones. I bring that up in your question about how we split up the work. Sometimes that just comes naturally. If the CFO has something that’s kind of bubbling up, Trisha knows about it, she may not do all the work herself but she knows about the work and the projects that are necessary, kind of the same thing from the medical group or the ACO that I’ll hear and of course, Michael was security and legal issues.

 

It’s sort of – it does come a little more naturally but I think it’s not without some effort on our part in terms of we’re very intentional about our communication with each other. I mean, we have our executive team meetings every week but then we set aside time each month to round back with each other. There are plenty of times late in the day that I’ve taken up Trisha’s evening as I commute about an hour when I come to the Louisville area. My practice is in here and I will get on the phone and we’ll debrief for an hour and a half and I will realize it’s 7:00 and she needs to go be with her family like I do. 

 

But that is very important intentionality that I have that I don’t think you see in her reporting structure but it really makes this work. 

 

[0:20:28.1] BR: Yeah that’s great and I appreciate the long commute phone calls as well. I’ve been a part of those. So was it pretty easy, an easy transition for the staff? I mean at one point I assume it was all under Dr. Ben Sima but then they had to split out. So that is the nature of that question, was the transition easy for them or was it natural or was there some challenges? 

 

[0:20:53.7] BO: You know I think it’s been a transition. There is always challenges when you are dealing with 540? 

 

[0:21:00.7] TJ: Right around 500 actually. 

 

[0:21:03.4] BO: Yeah, FTE’s and so a day again as planning goes, he was extremely intentional during his years as CIO in that role to develop a team. It was never about Dave. It was never about one person. It was always celebrating the team. He sent out emails every Friday that celebrated the performance of different applications, infrastructure teams, whatever, calling out the team members and really develop that sense of teamwork and then I think as Tricia stepped into the CIO role, she’s just continued this transparency where maybe IT was always not thought about in the organization. 

 

She makes it clear that we’re at the table that our current senior leadership hears us and when there are things that they would like to know about whether they are inter-departmental or part of the system, she is articulating that quickly to them before a newsletter comes out or rumors can get started. I mean there were times where she would send out something early on and I am looking at things, “Can she say that? Is everybody clear on that?” and yet, of course, she could. 

 

But it was just being that clear and cascading that information broadly. So I mean, the other thing I’d like to mention too that we have established are these birthday meetings. So we’ve got 500 plus folks you can’t meet individually with all of them and so Tricia establishes birthday meetings, why don’t you tell them what that’s all about? 

 

[0:22:25.4] TJ: So with the department of 500, I wanted to find a way to connect if the individuals wanted to just hear from the senior leadership. So Michael, Brett and I, Michael again is our chief information security officer, the three of us set aside time once a month, if your birthday is that month, you’re invited then the invitation goes out and essentially we spend an hour and they know upfront. We’ve been doing it for over about 18 months now in tune. 

 

That we’ve been holding this long and they know there is no set agenda. It’s whatever questions you have, something that is on your mind, a concern that you have, we want to hear about it so that we can aid you with the knowledge you need, the information, relieve any concerns or fears or anxieties that may exist. When we take detailed minutes from that meeting each month so that those go out. So if it is not your birthday, you still have the benefit of hearing what we were sharing. 

 

And the purpose of it is really we have a strong philosophy of leadership within our IT team and it carries naturally even from there’s been a lot of senior executive transition. So Brett and I were actually in our roles before we have a new CEO now, we have a new COO. So those individuals came into their roles when Brett and I are ready as CIO and CMIO. So maybe to some of your questions earlier Bill, the transition wasn’t even a transition for that.

 

We were already in play so they naturally are looking at us as CMIO and CIO but what we are saying to our staff especially during periods of transition especially at the senior-most level of the organization, I recognize there could be therein and we have been with them. I have been in the department, I’m going on nine years now. So I am not a new face to our team members and I just wanted them to have the forum of safety, ask your questions. 

 

And so I think that helped again, to your point about transition, how we are managing it, how we maintain a culture of openness, I think we all do better all right. I do better when I can understand what our senior executives need or what our customers need that we serve with technology. But also, my own employees are my customers and I do better understanding what they need from me, what sort of barriers I need to remove, what sort of back to reality, what can we deliver and what is too much to ask in this given set of time based on competing priorities for them. 

 

[0:25:01.7] BR: Yeah, wow the birthday meeting idea is wonderful. I mean I hope as a result to this podcast we start to hear about executives implementing that across the board. That is a phenomenal practical tip for people. 

 

[0:25:18.7] BO: Hey Bill, I’ll add one thing. The other piece that we try to do in terms of the culture of the department is reminding them of the why of what we’re doing in terms of patient care and I think that is something that we really try. It is something that I get to see when I run in the office taking care of patients. I see an application and a BPA, some kind mid-morning that’s trying to help take care of the patient but we try too at the department level. 

 

Recently I think just last week our Floyd hospital got re-accredited by the Commission on Cancer and that came to the senior leaders and Tricia was quick to send that out to our oncology support teams and anybody involved in making that happen to remind them that this is why we do it and you know we have talked sometimes about mandating a day with someone in the clinical realm but short of that just trying to relay that the why and showing them that the stories that happen from real patient care. 

 

From thanking the work that they are doing is sometimes when you are sitting behind a desk or a cubicle you might miss or forget. 

 

[0:26:17.0] BR: Yeah, you know to the health system I was at, we do the values and action at the end of every year and four people are nominated on our four core values and we showed the videos at an IT function and I remember we got done and I said, “Do you see who the best supporting actor is in all of these movies?” because in all of them you had the technology, it was everywhere and I think the other thing I saw that was really reinforced that was in Providence and St. Joseph Health came together. 

 

Providence brought what their culture that the IT staff was called caregivers and I was like I didn’t know how I felt about that at first and then I really let that sort of sit with me for a while and I realize yeah, no they are. They are providing care, they are easing the transitions of care, they are moving the information. These are all things that make the experience, the care experience better for those people who are at that moment needing to be cared for. 

 

And part of that care is, is the technology working and working effectively so it is interesting. You know, talk to me about strategy? So the strategy is one of those areas where you guys could potentially fight. You know, Brett you might want more dollars and Trisha you might want more dollars or you might think your project is more important than the other. So how does that work together? How do you guys work together on strategy? 

 

[0:27:42.1] TJ: Well so one of the first things we do as you well know and you just described how you play the supportive role in many of your business initiatives when you were CIO that is true for us too. So first and foremost we can’t – IT doesn’t form their strategy, our strategy on our own. We have to understand where the business is going after and then as we understand what the business strategy is then we ask ourselves, okay where will they need technology? 

 

How ready is our technology to support those initiatives? So some of what we thought to do is Brett and I was working with our leaders and Michael is involved in this with his, the three of us are intentional about seeking to understand in what priority are those given business strategies. So what is the timeline for a said given or a given business strategy and then backing into that, how much lead time are we going to need from a technology perspective to deliver to that. 

 

And that is honestly how we start to reward times our funding, our budget and while Michael’s security budget is separate from the IT budget, we even still look at it holistically because there are a lot of security initiatives that Michael as the CISO leads but in order to carry them out he needs members from my team to fulfill them. So we have to have that ongoing transparency, the collective three of us, the three chiefs in IT have to appreciate what each other is being asked to do by their respective leaders. 

 

So that we position the staffing because often times I would say if there is shared staff it is mostly team members from my group coming to support what Brett might need or Michael may need. We think that is fair for us. 

 

[0:29:42.2] BO: Yeah, no absolutely. I think our organization has had a wonderful cultural shift over the last couple of years to want to include IT early. You know it’s been the more traditional way of coming in after a deal assigned, a vendor selected and the network doesn’t work or something but when IT gets notified that this project even exists. In a world that we are living in now is wonderful in that the vast majority of the time, the business leaders are asking the question why do you run this by security as IT is involved. 

 

Can Epic do this or some of the existing platforms that we already have? So that really helps our strategy become simplified where if they’ll just come to us with their business case problems or business problem they are trying to solve and then let us find the technology that we either have that could just be repurposed or a new vendor and so our roles like the work pops up and our different verticals really are about keeping our head up for those new technologies. 

 

That could assist in the strategy or business planning at the organization so honestly, there is not a lot of infighting over I mean Michael gets special treatment with security but otherwise there is no in fighting with our budgetary wishes and desires because they really come from outside of IT if that makes a lot of sense. I mean I advocate for things ad there are a few projects that probably wouldn’t happen if I wasn’t advocating for them but most of it we are supporting what the business is asking for. 

 

[0:31:09.0] BR: Yeah and you guys will have to pass along my apologies to Michael. It seems like it almost seems like the three of you work as sort of a triad of leaders that work very closely together and if I have had this conversation before, I would have naturally invited him because I think it would be interesting to add that in that component. It seems like you guys communicate. Are there areas where you end up co-presenting that you represent both sides of the technology and clinical and you are co-presenting? Does this happen often or special occasions kind of thing? 

 

[0:31:49.1] BO: You know I was thinking I don’t think we have ever actually co-presented something. We do a lot of co-work on things for sure. Business continuities, disaster recovery and you know there are clinical aspects and certain operational aspects but I don’t know if we have ever co-presented anything. What’s nice is that because of the way we communicate with each other, we oftentimes choose to go separate ways on projects or meetings because we could cover more area, more territory. 

 

And I know what Trisha’s going to say and I know if something surprising comes up, she’s going to let me know quickly and vice-versa. So honestly I think it really helps and that is another reason to split the roles up back to one of our earlier questions is we literally can be two places at once with the same mindset and understanding of things but Trisha I don’t think we have ever co-presented anything. 

 

[0:32:40.2] TJ: No, like you I couldn’t think of a time where we have done that. A few going to the governance examples, I think that is probably the best opportunity where I could think where Brett and I are serving on the same governance committee for the perspective of they want to hear from Brett and the clinical technology aspect of it than they want to hear from deployment or budget, those sorts of things. 

 

[0:33:07.3] BO: Yeah. 

 

[0:33:08.5] BR: Well speaking of governance, where did governance functions lie and which ones, how do you split up that role within the organization? 

 

[0:33:19.0] TJ: So we have multiple governance committees that run here at Baptist. So ones where we even our triad, the triad exists on cyber governance, all three of us are on cyber governance. Brett and I served on business continuity governance on the executive sponsor of that with our COO but Brett is a voting member of that committee. The triad will serve on a new committee that we’re forming, which is informatics governance because we each have unique perspectives around that area of informatics. 

 

And so, Michael will represent his views on that, Brett his and I will have mine. Capital committee I serve on that for our department. So when capital requests need to go through, if it is anything from our triad I present it on our behalf and also other members on the capital committee. Brett, you want to talk about some of yours within BHMG and safety? 

 

[0:34:27.3] BO: Yeah. I think I sort of have been part of the system safety committee and our Epic governance councils, leading several of those but again just reporting back to our executive team the initiatives that are coming trying to get the medical group in those governance areas to think IT, to be thinking security, to be thinking dollars, you know the vendor says it’s free and I’m like, “Okay but there are some flaws behind that” and even though I wouldn’t be the budget expert. 

 

Or the security expert just being able to be there to get someone to pause for a minute and think and so I think that all amounts to how the culture is changing and really helping us along those lines. 

 

[0:35:07.7] BR: How does innovation bubble up at BHSI and then how do you sort of take something from an idea that could have a significant and positive impact on the community, community that you serve and make it a reality? 

 

[0:35:23.6] BO: Well, unfortunately, we are not blessed with some 50 million dollar innovation arm or sponsorship or partnership with Google or something like or maybe there wouldn’t be such a good thing but anyway, ours incurs more organically. For instance, two years ago our physician cabinet would consist of employed and affiliated physicians who had two goals for the year and one of them was working on physician burn out but the tagline was physician burn out and EHR optimization like they are one and the same. 

 

So after my head dropped and I had a chance to articulate that it is not just the EHR that is when we started thinking about innovative things and so I went to our director of training and support and she and I work through developing an Epic mastery program being very intentional with the word mastery that this is a lifelong or career-long at least learning process with EHR with technology and developed a program to where each provider in our employment we work at least will get touched twice a year. 

 

Coming out and checking on them, look, using some reporting to help them along or to help identify some potential problems with shadowing them and really just starting to develop a culture of this isn’t about a one-shot deal. We are going to be here for you, reach out to us, start keeping your list but you know that at the time was innovative for us but it grew out of an organic need and that’s where I see things happen. 

 

I will see innovation comes out of our human resources department when they are trying to address a problem and then again, trying to turn to us for those potential technology solutions that could help. Not all are going to be certainly technology. 

 

[0:36:58.3] BR: Yeah, you know what? As it is usually the case, I put too many questions on a form for – I have 10 more questions to ask you guys but we are really out of time. It is really interesting I mean when things are really thought through and really set up correctly and you have trust between the leadership teams, a lot of the things that you hear in other organizations, the politics of it and some of the challenges whatnot sort of go away. 

 

I mean you guys really trust each other to attend different governance meetings and you are going to communicate, you are going to bring things back. It really is, you know the kind of interesting as I am listening to this because it all sounds like common sense and simple but it is not common nor is it simple. 

 

[0:37:53.0] TJ: I would say it is a blessing to have Brett and Michael as my colleagues. They have trusted confidants, you have the chance to bounce something off of them who do know the technology well and can think through this is going to make sense and what more can I ask, they are just tremendous partners. 

 

[0:38:12.7] BR: That’s fantastic. So Tricia and Brett thanks for coming on the show, I really enjoyed our time together. How can people follow you or is there a way that they can through social media or otherwise? 

 

[0:38:27.5] BO: I am on LinkedIn Bill. I am also involved with the Federal High Tech community that is part of the Cure’s Act and some of the task force there like USCBI annual report workgroup, things like that. So you can check out that work and I would encourage these listeners that I am sure already do but you’re paying attention over the next couple of months from the final reels come down. 

 

[0:38:49.3] BR: Yeah, it should be interesting. 

 

[0:38:51.9] TJ: And so I am on LinkedIn as well for me but that’s about it from a social media perspective. 

 

[0:38:57.1] BR: Yeah, so you have a full-time job is that what you are telling us? 

 

[0:39:01.1] TJ: That’s right. 

 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

 

[0:39:03.1] BR: I really want to thank Trisha and Brett for taking the time to join me on the show. They are such a great team. I’m glad I got the chance to share their story with you. 

 

Special thanks to our sponsors, VMware, Galen Healthcare, StarBridge Advisers and Pro Talent Advisers for choosing to invest in developing the next generation of health leaders. Please come back every Friday for more great interviews with influencers and don’t forget every Tuesday, we take a look at the news, which is impacting health IT. 

 

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