Sarah Richardson on Apples Healthcare Expansion Are We Finally At The Starting Line Of Healthcare Consumer Revolution

Sarah Richardson This Week in Health IT
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Sarah Richardson joins us to discuss Apple's medical record expansion from 13 to 39 healthcare systems. Does this signal the start of the revolution? An important discussion on gender pay equity and what are CIO's spending their time on?

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Bill Russell:                   00:09                Welcome to this week in health it where we discuss news information and emerging thought with leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 12. It’s Friday, March 30th. Today apple expands their moving to healthcare. Is this finally the moment we’ve all been waiting for an important discussion about gender pay equity within healthcare it and the priorities of the CIO. This podcast is brought to you by health lyrics, a leader in moving health care to the cloud. To learn more, visit health lyrics. Com my name is Bill Russell. Recovering healthcare CIO, writer and consultant with the previously mentioned health lyrics. Today I’m joined by one of the leading voices in consumer digital transformation, who is a visionary and pragmatic. It’s one of the, one of, one of the things I love about her and it’s a wonderful combination today. I’m excited to have this, the California market CIO for healthcare partners, uh, Sarah Richardson join us. And so when I say healthcare partners, do I have to always say health care partners a part of Devita medical group? Is that like taboo? Not to say those together.

Sarah Richardso:           01:08                No, we are currently health care partners, a Davita medical group until our close with often, in which case we will then have probably a new level of branding. But for now that is how we like to coin ourselves.

Bill Russell:                   01:19                So that’s, that’s something we have in common. So we’ve both, I’ve gone through a big merger and that’s why I’m a former CIO and you’re going through a merger now and that’s, that’s a pretty exciting time. Are you getting a feel for what it’s going to be like in the, in the new and the new order or new world is that you’re entering?

Sarah Richardso:           01:36                Yeah. No, absolutely. And it’s funny because what I love about this whole experience right now is that all of us that are in the it leadership role within Davita medical group and doing this work, we all say this is not our first Rodeo. None of us has not been somewhere else before. And so us flexibly being able to come together and create that new structure of future for our assisting teams. It brings a lot of confidence to the organization because we’ve all done it before. Uh, and more importantly, we’re all excited about doing it because you, every time you do one of these, you learn helped one of my friends through a big merger acquisition recently, in fact, I wrote an article a couple of years ago about how to maintain employee engagement during a merger and acquisition. And he called me and said, I can’t tell my teammates what I want to say. Will you write an article about what I want to say to them and I’ll just give you content. So I interviewed him and wrote the piece and it was a, he, it was a huge win on, on both parts. And so, you know, either we’ve done it ourselves or done it with others. And so when you, it’s every time it gets better. Um, and this one’s just really unique because of the size and the scope and the level of professionalism that’s tied to it.

Bill Russell:                   02:34                Yeah. Optum, Optum’s a great company, we could actually do a whole podcast on handling mergers and acquisitions. There’s so much going on in healthcare and people want to know how do I navigate my career through this thing. So maybe after, after we go through this merger will have you back on and we’ll, we’ll talk about that. Let me, let me give you some of your, uh, let me give you some of your bio. Let me a list of some of some of the bio. So Kansas city business journal says a woman who means business and next gen leader and a rising star. Um, I mean those are some great accolades. A BS in hospitality administration and Masters in business. That’s a good combination for where healthcare is going. Uh, Sarah spent six years in the hotel and casino industry in Las Vegas before making a purposeful decision that she could make a larger impact on health, on the health care industry. So I sort of happened into healthcare and then fell in love with it. You actually step back and said, there’s a place where I can make a difference and chose to go into healthcare. I talk to us a little bit about how you, how you made that move.

Sarah Richardso:           03:37                Yes. It’s interesting because everything was comfortable circles and like to stay in our lives. So I was worried and I’m still to this day, I love the hospitality industry and I’m spending more and more time doing more, uh, I think I call them side gigs. And when speaking and consulting and life coaching and whatnot with a lot of hospitality professionals that I know that I was in the hotel business and I was young enough that working, you know, seven days a week, 90 hours a week, and opening these mega resorts was not a big deal. It was kind of a thing to do. But I always reached a point in my life where I wanted to start to understand what work life balance meant. And I knew that that would have to do something different. So two things were the catalyst though. It wasn’t like I just woke up and said, I want to be more purposeful in healthcare.

Sarah Richardso:           04:15                Um, I was working for an airline that was a startup and we all went there. It was in Las Vegas. We knew that it was a good chance to go, go bankrupt. So I started going to Grad school. I was there because I knew that I was going to need to have a next level of education. Well, while I’m going to Grad school, they went bankrupt and I’m like, okay. Now what happened to be in my primary study group in Grad school was a guy who works at the county hospital and he would always tell me about doing it in the hospitals and the choices that he had to make because it was indigent care facility, never had money, et Cetera, et cetera. And I’m like, well wow, you can really start to bring these things together. So in a nutshell, hospitality is really healthcare and hotel.

Sarah Richardso:           04:55                They don’t run very differently. And that used to bother people. When I said that a hospital runs a lot like a casino. They’d be like, oh, but there’s patients here. I get that the emissions are slightly different, trust me. But you still have food services and HVAC and facilities and it, and when you have all the same components, it’s just a different core competency that runs them. But I’ll tell you, I think at my first level always be hospitality. It’s now being able to bring those two worlds consistently together. And here I am 18 years later in health care and the patient experiences the big thing. Um, and it really does resonate. Uh, I don’t know if I was smarter, lucky, maybe a little bit of combination of us. They want to tell you that 19 and 22 I was, I was really strategically thinking about what I was going to be doing at 25 years.

Bill Russell:                   05:38                Yeah, no, that’s, um, yeah, I mean that’s fascinating. And the two are very similar. I’ve seen that in terms of the way you describe a hospital and how it’s similar to, you know, it has beds, it has rooms, it has a, they’re just a whole bunch of those kinds of services. Is there anything you’re working on a week? Typically every new guest we ask, you know, is there anything you’re working on that you’re excited about that, that you want to share with us?

Sarah Richardso:           05:59                Sure. I’ll have to be transparent two fold. Number one, we are actively working towards what we call day one readiness for our close with Optum. And then there’s just a huge, we’ve been a part of of Davita kidney care for over five years. It’s been a phenomenal relationship, but after five years you share a lot of systems and so there’s a lot of separation and a lot of activity to occur to make sure that because here’s the deal, like anything it related, the day after close phones need to work, servers need to work people expect a paycheck. All the logistics that go into all the back end type of planning. So really excited about the day one readiness, making sure all of our systems work, that all of our teammates are aligned appropriately. So that’s part’s really cool. And the, and then corollary, we’re still running our local business for doing a lot in the population health sector. Bring a lot with utilization management a lot with transitions of care clinician and physician experience quality. Those all continue to be just that things at the forefront and a probably most excited about some work we’ve really been able to accomplish recently. And transitions of care. We completely took a home grown care management system and flipped it into, uh, an industry system that is already like reaping massive amounts of rewards in our ability, not only care for our patients, but provide an environment where our teammates can be at, do their best work.

Bill Russell:                   07:09                Yeah, I did, I skipped over this in your bio, but I’m a, Davita has, or health care partners have 600,000 managed care patients. And I know a lot of hospitals would love to replicate that, that model and, and, and that gives you a leg up on that, on the popular population health side. Um, all right, so we’ve got to get to the show. This was, uh, so, uh, you ready. So here’s what we do. I pick a story, you’ll pick a story and we’ll just go back and forth. So I’ll start us off. The big news actually came out yesterday. We actually had different stories picked out at the beginning of the week and then yesterday happened and a big announcement, 13 hospitals that partnered with apple around their personal medical record has now become 39 hospitals. And that’s a big deal. It means it’s, it’s starting to get some, starting to get some momentum.

Bill Russell:                   07:55                I’m not going to talk about it. And there’s, there’s a bunch of places you can read about that. Healthcare it news is the story I looked at. But the story I’m going to focus in on is, um, is a story from the Harvard Business Review that has last week’s guest and Aneesh Chopra and David Blumenthal, both very active, uh, in this movement and in the government. And they talk about Apple’s packed with 13 healthcare systems might actually disrupt the healthcare industry. And let me, let me just give you a couple of things here. Uh, it could be, it could herald truly disruptive change in the US health care system. The reason is it could liberate healthcare data or game, changing new uses, including empowering patients as never before. And they go on to talk about, um, a world in which patients have access to their data and they can now share it.

Bill Russell:                   08:43                If people want to hear more about that Aneesh and I talked about it last week and Sue Schade and I talked about it, a couple of, when it first came out the 13 health systems that this really could be a game changer. So they gave us, um, uh, you know, why it can be a game changer in terms of liberating the data. They also gave us some obstacles and the first obstacle they get, gave us, and this was before the announcement was a large number of hospitals and doctors have to follow the lead of the 13 systems and it seems like, Hey, we’re over that first obstacle. The second one is the opportunities for fraud and abuse and we obviously that’s still a daunting task and we have to figure that out. And then the third is once new companies starts to develop consumer facing applications everything’s going to depend on the quality of those applications. But I have a lot of confidence in that area. The second one’s going to be a little harder. I guess my question to you is, are we finally at the starting line? Is it, does this apple announcement going from 13 to 39 are we finally at the starting line for this consumer revolution within healthcare or are we, are we still being a little over overly optimistic?

Sarah Richardso:           09:44                Anything apple does has hype. I mean come on. That’s what they’re known for. But I think about we have, so one of the things I love about apple is they talk about it needs to be simple. It needs to be elegant and needs to be easy. You think about how they, they’ve historically always designed their products and I laugh because we, we and my house, we’re a house divided. It’s either an android house or it’s an apple house as this constant battle. And yet I can’t imagine my life without my apple products. And it’s not because I’m an evangelist for Apple. It’s that everything I do revolves around my apple products, my Mac book, my Ipad, my iPhone. I’d been more upset if I couldn’t find my iPad then like my shoes in the morning because I live my entire life on that device. In fact, that’s how we’re communicating.

Bill Russell:                   10:29                Yeah, you do that because they’re easy. Are they in? Are they going to be able to take that easy, the easy button and move it into healthcare that I guess that’s the question.

Sarah Richardso:           10:37                They will. So long as Apple’s able to continue to push and we overhype began the whole interoperability in this. Then the other thing when you look at your, if you go to your apple phone and you go to health kit, your information is already there. It’s already telling you the things that you’re doing. So as long as the Emr vendors, as long as the third party applications that allow themselves to connect into health kit like even today, I use vitality at work and some other things, they’re all connected to health get already. So as long as we continue to make sharing that information easy, um, then yeah, I mean at the end of the day apple already has all of our information. What’s the difference if they also have our health information now and some like that information to make it easier to share. It’ll be interesting how to get that information back out of health kit. So if I go, if I go see you as a patient and you’re a specialist that has no history with me and all my information is on my phone, you have to make it easy and at my discretion to give you the information in my phone to you if you’re somehow not and then connected into the apple ecosystem yet.

Bill Russell:                   11:33                And that’s uh, I mean, so that’s going to be the key and I’ve written a couple articles about this and um, you know, the thing is if, if we’re able to push the easy button, if we’re able to walk into that clinic that we’ve never been to before and with our iPhone, you know, just do the, the apple pay thing except it’s a, you know, our health record going and all of a sudden we were not handed a clipboard. They have our information, we’re checked in, we get to the doctor and he’s actually, even though we haven’t been there before, he or she is looking at our entire, the clinician has our entire medical record and maybe not our entire medical record, but at least the parts that are going to be relevant for, for that initial visit, they may need to request images, they need to need to request other aspects.

Bill Russell:                   12:18                Uh, because the, the idea today of having the entire medical record on the phone is probably a little farfetched, but probably not in the future. I mean, we should be able to get to this common record that’s sort of moves around with you. It’s sort of like the, uh, uh, for lack of a better term, it’s sort of like the common app. I’m taking my daughter to look at colleges and they have this common app that the various colleges share. And if we can get to that common a framework for a enough hospitals, uh, we are going to make this help. It’s going to be a lot of things, right? So it’s not only apple bringing the, the easy button in the ecosystem, but it’s also going to be the health system is doing the heavy lift on creating that framework, that data and the federal government, they’re doing some things around that as well.

Bill Russell:                   13:07                This is going to be interesting to me. I think, I think this is the beginning. I think this is the start. I think apple has finally gotten to the starting line. I think Amazon is really close to getting to the starting line with their, with their announcement and the things that they’re going to be doing. Um, I think we’re, we’re right on the cusp of a huge digital transformation. Um, that’ll be interesting to see how CIO’s is sort of address that. So you have, you have a story and I, I’m looking forward to this, to this conversation.

Sarah Richardso:           13:41                Yeah. So do want me to continue on the apple path.

Bill Russell:                   13:45                If you have more to say on the apple path, by all means, but then, then feel free to kick it to your, whenever you’re ready. Take it to your other story.

Sarah Richardso:           13:52                Uh, I think it just briefly as he, is it close to apple thought is that when you think about having your information on your phone, it’s important for you, like you start doing your genetic testing and I remember being in the patient experience conference last year for southern California himss and then one of the gentlemen presenting talked about having his 23 and me profile done and when he was out of town and he was injured and a physician wasn’t prescribed to him a blood thinner. He said, hey, based on my genetic profile, it’s actually not going to be a good fit for my treatment. He also happens to be a physician. So that was the relevant conversation. But I think about my, my mom who’s in her late seventies and for her to have her information on her phone or for me to have her information on her on the phone, it’s key as you start to have elder care or if you have children, you know, your own history, but to be able to really be tracking what’s happening in your family.

Sarah Richardso:           14:37                Because most of us have the proxy for our parents as they get older. Um, and its fallacy to think that they’re not using their phones. I mean, she’s got Alexa tied into her phone at anything. So I’m already thinking Amazon and apple are already part of her, her everyday ecosystem. That’s, that’s common for all of us. I mean, we live our lives around about four major players out there, including Facebook and Amazon and Google and apple. I mean, that’s kind of our lives today. It makes sense that they help us start to manage our care. So. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. No. One of the things that I sort of hit me this last week and I, and I do go out and find a cool article almost every day and then post it on linkedin and Twitter and it seems kind of traction. We get what people are caring about, what’s resonating.

Sarah Richardso:           15:16                And it continues to be this whole thing about gender equality and how you get to getting to equal. And Accenture put out an article recently and what I loved about it is they interview 22,000 people in 34 countries. So it wasn’t just a myopic view of what we’re doing in America. And they talked about getting to equal and what those drivers were and they talked about bold leadership being one of them. Um, how you need to provide diversity. Um, you share your targets for employment, you share, you communicate pay gaps. Um, and that’s one of the things that I love right there. Imagine if, because I used to work for, I’ve worked twice for nonprofits. You’re salary is published, right? Why don’t we do that in across the board. I mean, if everybody’s salary was published in an organization, it would remove so many walls that we have.

Sarah Richardso:           16:02                I mean and a lot of people go, oh no, it’s going to create all kinds of consternation people are going to be focused on how much she will make versus how much they do. Once it becomes commonplace and think about the think with the level of accountability. When you say I make x, I need to prove that I’m worth making x. It’s not just because I’m a man or a woman or years of experience or whatever, that your worth is really tied to your performance and it’s something that is publicly published. I’ve always loved that. I think the same thing about titles or the guy who invented Gortex, nobody had titles. You call yourself whatever you want it. They didn’t have titles, they just, they were just, everybody got the job done. Um, but one of the things that they talked about an Accenture article as well as how they recruit, retain and advance women networks, um, specifically with, we also have networks for men and women, so they don’t just focus on programs only for what women are doing.

Sarah Richardso:           16:48                Um, and then I love the piece about if you want to create a culture of equality, everybody gets the same level of parental leave. So why should a female be the one taking six 12 weeks off for, you know, for having a new baby? Um, it’s just as important in some cases if not more so for the father to be able to take that time with their child as well because they don’t always get the same amount of time off and we don’t make it easy financially for people to always do that as being empowered to LMS. Where would they want to work? We get to wear jeans two days a week. I’m a huge proponent for wearing jeans three days a week. And I say, anybody who doesn’t, who doesn’t think it’s professional, I’m like, go put on a pencil skirt and three or four inch heels and tell me which day is more comfortable for you to operate. Y’All all get to wear the same thing every day cause they, oh Sarah, you can wear pants every day. Yeah, I could, but you don’t want to see me in a pair of dockers. It’s just not awesome. You know, it’s just like this. You still have this brand in this image. And so allow people to look how they want to look and feel how they want to feel because that’s when you bring your best self forward. You’re just, authenticity is really the driver behind some of the things you’re doing.

Bill Russell:                   17:53                Yeah, it’s uh, it’s a man, there’s so many things I can jump off on that, but I, I do want to highlight another story on the same topic. So, um, let’s see. You did the Forbes Story. Here it is, uh, so Korn Ferry Institute to this story on February 8th, the breakthrough formula women CEOs as a really great story because they highlight store, uh, about six different female CEOs and their, the rise to the top and how they got there. And I, you know, I’ll just highlight one of the, so, uh, Jackie Hinman CEO of, um, I think I’m going to say this, right, ch two m hill, uh, early in her engineering career, shortly out of college, Hinman and sat down with a senior manager for an end of year performance review. When he told her to write down her career goals Hinman answered. Honestly. She wanted to be a partner at the firm.

Bill Russell:                   18:43                The manager who she believes was well intentioned, said there’s no doubt that she had the prowess, but this office was never are, you know, this office will never going to have a female partner in her lifetime. So he passed the bottle of correction fluid to give you, give you the timeframe of it, you know, the white out, uh, across the desk and told, told the eager employee to write something that didn’t make her look naive. And, uh, it goes on to say the daughter of Italian immigrants who grew up next door to grandparents and romantic notions of the American dream. Hinman started looking for a new job the next day following her review. And when she saw that, saw that man many years later, she said, thank you. I knew that he was right. I couldn’t make partner there, not at that company, and I, you know, it’s interesting cause I think it, at least in this story, and I think really across the board, every, every woman has that kind of story.

Bill Russell:                   19:35                And in their career of saying, you know, you can’t make it to this level or whatnot. And we look across the board and the number of female CEOs is, is, uh, still dramatically lower than their male counterparts. And these kinds of stories and whatnot need to need to stop. And, and, and actually your story notes, it’s just bad for business. Yeah. Not, not promoting people within the organization and having diversity of thought, diversity of background and experience. It’s just bad for business. Um, but, uh, you know, with that being said, I wanted to get a little bit more pragmatic in my, in my experience. Um, this whole idea of pay equity is a, almost a person by person situation and it really impacts all people. If we published everybody’s salary, people would be upset. But a lot of it’s their own fault in terms. And I’m not saying, look, I wanna be real clear here.

Bill Russell:                   20:33                There is, there is a gender issue here and it needs to be addressed. There’s a cultural issue. It needs to be addressed, but it takes some time. So if we want to be pragmatic and talk about it, let’s talk about some of the problems that exist within companies. One is, um, you know, we shouldn’t assume that we’re gonna be able to make our way to the top through a single company. And there’s three things at work to keep that from happening. One is HR won’t allow it. I know that’s going to sound interesting, but HR won’t allow you to progress through the company. Let me give you an example. I was hiring for a VP role and we had external candidates and we had internal candidates. The role had a range and the external candidates, the, it came down to two candidates, one internal, one external. The range was going to be right around $200,000 for VP, $6 billion company. So, um, so the external candidate, I went to HR and I said, well it’s 200,000 but the current, the internal candidates making 150 and I want to pay him 200 and they said, you can’t do that,

Bill Russell:                   21:34                but I could hire the external candidate at 200 it made no sense. I’m like, well, I don’t understand. They’re like, well the most you can give us a 20% pay increase. You can take them two to one 80, but you can’t take them to 200 and, and so HR policies need to be looked at in terms of if somebody is qualified for the role and you’re going to go externally and hire somebody. But you know, HR needs to allow for that kind of promotion within. I’ll say the other thing is culture won’t allow it. My daughter is, is working at Sephora shes just starting out and she’s moving up in management. I hope she doesn’t listen to the podcasts. Um, but one of the harder things is she went from being a peer to being a manager of those same people. The culture is very difficult on that.

Bill Russell:                   22:16                And so sometimes it’s easier to, to go to a different store or go to a different, uh, location. Uh, and the second thing is experienced won’t allow it. A lot of times organizations aren’t good at and need to get better at allowing people to get experience in a lot of different areas and they hesitate to move people around because we brought you in as the data person or we brought you in as the EMR person. And in order to get to those c levels, I think you just need to have a breadth of experiences that most organizations just don’t allow. So I think the last thing I would say to people on, on those things, you have to be willing to move. My three biggest pay increases, my three biggest, uh, job title moves are things equated to me moving my family to a new location.

Bill Russell:                   23:02                And uh, and I, and actually all the leader Deborah proctor was a Ceo at Saint Joseph Health and she talks about the story of, she moved several times for very good career moves, very good pay increases, and that’s what it takes in order to get sometimes to get to that c level. So I throw all those things out just to be a little bit more pragmatic. I do recognize that the, these stories of, hey, take the whiteout, you know, you’re never gonna make it. There is a that’s, that’s that stuff just needs to end. But there’s also some things that people just mistakes in ways people are thinking about money and the negotiations I think that are, that are causing us some challenges. I’ll let you close, close this segment out.

Sarah Richardso:           23:42                Every, every example you’re giving. I’m thinking yes, this and yes this and yes, it’s happened over here and this happened over here. And I think what’s most, uh, it’s, it’s hard for people that, that don’t want to be as mobile. And I say that because I’ve moved a what, five times in 12 years now for various companies and um, my family knows that this is probably not our last move. And I’m saying this is my employer, likemy employer saying, are you leaving? Whatever. No, that’s not what I mean. But let’s be honest, I’m going to be working for a, at the end of the day, a fortune six company whose headquarters are not in Los Angeles. And so you always have a choice of where you want to live, but you also have a choice of taking certain roles based on geography, a lot of time, and you have to make sure those line up with what you want to do.

Sarah Richardso:           24:30                Um, I was, I, if you had told me even 15 years ago that you’re going to go live in four more states and all these things are gonna happen. I don’t know that I would have believed that was a true statement. And I left some place that I loved to go someplace, that geographically I didn’t love. And yet it was the best decision I ever made in my career. And once I got there, I created an entire life and had a wonderful time. And so you said to be open to the fact that you can create your life and your career anywhere in that you live, but you’re right. Um, I always joke that people never leave their companies for less money and it’s sad. Sometimes you have to, but when it was, as long as we continue to have that level of transparency bill, when people say, cause people do exit interviews, why are you leaving?

Sarah Richardso:           25:13                I’m leaving because I don’t like my manager I’m leaving because it’s too hard to get things done. Most of the time people are going to also leave because they have an opportunity for a title and money that no one would recognize them for in the organization that’s there and today and then that’s just a fact, both male and female. And I see it happen often really in healthcare because you want to talk about a place that people poach like crazy. Um, we all move around and the first phone call you get is, hey, I’m at such and such. Do you want to come work with me? And quite often if you’ve built a strong following of people will move for you.

Bill Russell:                   25:43                Yeah. The last thing I think is nuts is when hiring managers, I’ve had hiring managers coming in and they negotiate with new employees. Like they’re, they’re buying a new product and they’re like, hey, I got the lowest price. They need to change that mindset. It needs to be, you’re negotiating to have them feel the best about the company and the best about the culture and the best about themselves. And so there are, when you’re negotiating there, it’s not to get the best price. It’s too, how do you get to the point where they feel good about what just happened, that they, they’re coming into a company that cares about them, the values them. I’ve had people say to me, you know, I want to make 65,000 a year, and I looked at him and said, okay, we’re going to pay you 75 and they feel great about themselves because you know, quite frankly, I hope everybody can make the maximum amount they can make.

Bill Russell:                   26:33                And that little thing, there is a story that they will tell their parents, they will tell their family, they will tell their, you know, and they’re going to be like, this company cares about me. This, you know, I asked for this, they gave me this. And somebody might look at me and say, hey, that was irresponsible with the company’s money. Was it really, I mean, you now have a, uh, an energized employee who, who loves the company and you know, quite frankly in when you’re looking at the kind of budgets we were looking at, you know, that $10,000, that was a really good investment. Um, in terms of culture. All right, I’m sorry. So we’ll

Sarah Richardso:           27:10                We can talk all day on, on those topics such as good generate compensation.

Bill Russell:                   27:13                We could, so we, we’ve cut this topic short. So let’s talk about CIO priorities. The beckers did a story. They interviewed some people and they said, were a CIO spending too much time. Were or overinvesting and here are some of the things I’ll just, we’ll go back and forth real quick on some of these. They said, uh, they’re spending too much time right now in blockchain and a couple of them came up with this. Do you think we’re spending too much time there today?

Sarah Richardso:           27:35                Yeah. No, it’s not. We’re spending too much time or getting distract people get people see their work. How do I say this? I see a lot of industry professionals looking to uh, show that they’re ahead of the curve and cause they’re talking about machine learning and natural language processing and AI and blockchain and this and that. And it’s great to be informed and that’s the purpose of being tied to the agencies that we are. That’s why we go to things like you know HIMSS and chime events cause we want to know what’s out there. But at the end of the day, how many of us are going back and working on our block chain and AI strategy with an organization’s probably none of us unless you’re really fortunate to have some of that funding. I mean I will tell you right now, I’m this week my biggest challenge was how do I get four buildings moved and opened at the same time with 10 desktop technicians.

Sarah Richardso:           28:26                And I’m not kidding you that that’s the reality. Like I literally the conversation up, I have a hard hat from, from a previous lifetime of construction of it projects. If I have to go to the site this weekend cause we have temporary certification of occupancy and carrying PC’s up the stairs because the elevators aren’t working yet. Guess what? That’s what I get to go do. And I’m okay with that because I can then pivot to Oh hey, here’s a new distributor. It’s distributed general ledger opportunity for us to make sure that we’re more secure in the world. But um, we focused on appearing, uh, industry relevant, which is important because I think sometimes we forget about the blocking and tackling that’s happening in terms of razor thin margins on, on what CMS reimbursement is really doing and, and how do we really eek out that next level of quality.

Sarah Richardso:           29:12                How do we like work partner, their health plans to understand how important medication adherence is, are certain disease states. Because when you get multiple Comorbidities, you’re more likely to have behavioral health and mental health issues. And those are the patients that are most likely to get admitted to the hospital and have a hardest time for a state for recovery. And so it’s not only, it’s the blocking and tackling and all levels that um, may not be as, as sexy to talk about. So yeah, I can have a blockchain conversation. Well, I’m in the office, I’m really having a conversation about medication adherence.

Bill Russell:                   29:44                Wow. Okay. So let me give you that. Just yes, no. On this, are we spending too much time on an internal data where internal enterprise data warehouse and big data strategies, are we spending too much time? There are not enough time.

Sarah Richardso:           29:57                It depends. You have a warehouse, make sure it’s clean and providing necessary relevant data, but at the most routine level that it needs to let it provide base level information now versus data lakes of information. Make sure the data you have is usable and clean. Right?

Bill Russell:                   30:12                Absolutely. So are we spending too much time on the EHR?

Sarah Richardso:           30:15                Yes.

Bill Russell:                   30:16                Are we spending too much time on population health?

Sarah Richardso:           30:19                It depends. So I would say yes. If you don’t have an ability where you can manage it, manage risk, lives appropriately, and have a strategy really defined because if you don’t have the ability to manage the entire risk population, the entire journey and that patient’s a continuum of care and you’re going to be in a, in a sticky wicket.

Bill Russell:                   30:36                Great. So you mentioned AI and machine learning. Are we spending too much time? There are just, we’re just talking about it now. We’re not really spending a lot of time on projects.

Sarah Richardso:           30:45                Um, we’re talking about it in some cases it’s there. Like when you look at being able to bring Alexa into the patient room and be able to take some of that time off of nurses and say, Hey, I need a blanket hey I need to use the restroom. There are some cool use cases, but it goes back to, again, it’s those Maslow’s needs that are going to be covered by those needs, by those technologies first.

Bill Russell:                   31:05                Yeah. I had a great discussion with Patrick Anderson this week when we were going back and forth on that. I use cases of AI, machine learning. Take a look at Oschner. They’re doing some interesting things and look at UPFC obviously both of which are doing some interesting things with Microsoft. And then two weeks ago we talked to Halamka who was doing some interesting things on the AWS cloud. So anyway, last question I want to ask you is, uh, what’s one area do you think CIO’s need to be really focused in on right now?

Sarah Richardso:           31:33                Patient experience. Okay. What hyper consumerism is where I would focus on more because patient experience to me is a banner and a campaign. And it is, isn’t of that no hyper consumerism driving everything to a digital experience. Because if we don’t make it easy for patients like ourselves to use healthcare on our smart devices then people like, I shouldn’t say people, companies like apple are starting to do it for us.

Bill Russell:                   32:00                Right? And this is going to sound like a little bit of commercial. So I won’t mention my company again. But essentially what we talked to people about is, um, you know, actually being intentional about the experience you want your consumers to have instead of just allowing to happen and going, oh, well, you know, that’s just their experience. But really identifying those points, those points of meaning where people go, Hey, I got a call back from my primary care physician the next day and that makes all the difference in the world. And they become loyal to that company and loyal to that organization in that primary care physician for life just because they know is my parents’ story. They got a phone call the next day. Uh, she did have to call them. It was, but she wanted to follow up and they’re like, and she did, she actually moved from one health system to another and they went from one health system to another to follow her.

Bill Russell:                   32:48                So, um, that’s great. This was a great discussion. I really appreciate your time. Let’s close out last segment where we highlight our social media posts of the week. Uh, I’ll go first here. So mine’s actually a, not a social media post. It’s an obituary from, uh, from the Wall Street Journal, which my, uh, my wife Beth put on my desk. And it’s just a great story of, uh, you know, we should never retire and always be looking for something to do. It’s Jack McConnell, a retired physician, Hilton head, South Carolina in 1989. He retired. He thought he was going to play some more golf, uh, and he just started chatting with some people in the neighborhood, any found out that people could not afford health care. And so he went out and found some retired doctors. She put together a program and they started delivering care that picked up steam and then all of a sudden now they’re in a 89 affiliated clinics across 28 states. And, uh, I think it’s just an example of a life well lived. And, um, I just wanted to highlight that, that we have different phases of our career and you know, there’s the making money phase, then there’s the giving back phase and then there’s the ultra giving back phase where, um, where I think Jack McConnell really excel. So that’s what I’m going to close with. What’s your, uh, social media posts?

Sarah Richardso:           34:02                Mine was that a Elon Musk does not read business books. He wrote down, he listed the 11 books that he’s read that are influential to him and thinks next to think about. And when I love, you know, how you look at certain like, uh, celebrities in the, in any industry and you like to either emulate or be stinky or as smart as they are in some cases. And business books are great. But at the most, for the most part, I read war history books. Um, I just think that the whole thing is fascinating in general, but the leadership skills, like right now I’m really fixated on Eisenhower and just learning more and more about him really. Then the deep details. And when you’re a continuous learner and you’re curious and you apply either biographies or history or whatever, whatever gets you interested in things. Um, and, and why it motivates you. I thought it’s fascinating. He thinks like Lord of the rings and, and reading. Um, one of the things I loved was zero to one about entrepreneurism. I mean, he really focuses on thebiographies of people that he has admired and about stories that allow you to do things that seem impossible, really cool. And so, uh, the curiosity to continuous learning and business books are, can be great, but the most part be curious about something other than what’s happening around you every single day.

Bill Russell:                   35:12                Yeah. Zero to one great book and a good advice that, and listen to podcasts, I guess.

Sarah Richardso:           35:17                Yes, it right.

Bill Russell:                   35:19                Yeah. So that’s all for now. Uh, so Sarah, tell us how people can follow you and, you know, shout out to your podcast as well.

Sarah Richardso:           35:27                Yeah, absolutely. So, uh, Linkedin, Sarah Richardson, uh, on Twitter, I’m at concierge leader. I have a website concierge, I do blogging, book reviews, podcasts, uh, and I am currently the chair for marketing and communications for southern California chapter of Himss. We do have our own podcast channel on iTunes. We featuring new industry leader every month and you can find us on iTunes at, so cal him.

Bill Russell:                   35:49                Sounds good. Awesome. All you can follow a, you follow me on Twitter at the patient Cio, my writing on health lyrics, website health system CIO also picks up my stories. And don’t forget to follow the show on Twitter this week in health it. Oh, I’m sorry, this weekend Hit. Health It was too long. Uh, and check out our new website this week in health If you liked the show, please take a few seconds and review us on iTunes or Google play. And, uh, please check out our youtube channel. We will cut up the show and the one, two, three minute segments, we put it all out on youtube and then we post it throughout the week and social media. But social media, sometimes you don’t see all those. Now there’s a almost 60 of these kinds of videos out there. Please check us out. If you like it, please subscribe. That would be great. And it would help us out. Uh, please come back every Friday from our news commentary and information from industry influencers. That’s all for now.


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