November 25, 2020

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November 25, 2020: What does a Chief Innovation Officer do? What does innovation really mean? Myra Davis of Texas Children’s Hospital joins us to talk leadership, talent, innovation and COVID-19 response. The role of CIO is a precarious one. What is the secret sauce to longevity? How do you build a team that has diversity and inclusion? Can the problems within your organization be solved with simple changes? Or do they require partnering with an outside company? Front of mind should be enhancing existing opportunities and optimizing and leveraging the assets that you do have instead of going out and buying more technologies. And what is your leadership statement? Is transparency the key to success?

Key Points:

  • What is your leadership statement? [00:09:15] 
  • What does innovation really mean? [00:12:10] 
  • Texas Children’s Hospital’s COVID-19 response [00:14:59]
  • To make progress in healthcare a lot of barriers have to come down [00:19:23]
  • DISC profiles [00:31:45] 
  • A CIO’s responsibilities first and foremost are to keep systems available, reliable and secure [00:39:00] 

Strengthening Your Health IT Team in Crisis with CIO Myra Davis

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Strengthening Your Health IT Team in Crisis with CIO Myra Davis

Episode 333: Transcript – November 25, 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.

[00:00:00] Bill Russell: [00:00:00] Welcome to This Week in Health IT where we amplify great thinking to propel healthcare forward. Today, we’re going to talk with Myra Davis, the CIO and CIO of Texas children’s hospital. if you’re wondering what CIO and CIO is, chief information officer and chief innovation officer, we’re going to talk innovation.

[00:00:21] We’re going to talk COVID response, talent, a bunch of other things. This is a really fun conversation and I’m looking forward to sharing it with you. My name is bill Russell, former healthcare [00:00:30] CIO, CIO, coach consultant, and creator of this week in health IT a set of podcast videos and collaboration events dedicated to developing the next generation of health leaders. I want to thank Sirius healthcare for supporting the mission of our show, to develop the next generation of health leaders, their weekly support of the show this year has allowed us to expand and to develop new services for the community. And for that, we are extremely thankful. 

[00:00:54] One last thing before we get to the show, and that is, we’ve opened up our 2021 sponsorships. [00:01:00] So if you’re listening to the show thinking, man, I wish my company, were a sponsor of This Week in health IT, this is your opportunity. Go ahead and shoot me a note [email protected] I will get you the sponsorship materials. You can share it with your marketing team, your sales team, whoever’s in charge of it for you. This is a great way to get your message out and, we want to help you to do that in 2021. Well that’s all for our announcements. Let’s get to the show. So I’m excited today. We have Myra Davis, the chief information officer and [00:01:30] well actually chief information and innovation officer for Texas children’s, here to join us. Good morning, Myra how’s it going  down there

[00:01:38] Myra Davis: [00:01:38] Good morning. It’s a beautiful day in Houston. Seventies, low woke up to about 50 this morning. That’s actually really good. 

[00:01:46] Bill Russell: [00:01:46] I have found it best not to talk about the weather where I’m at, because I get hate mail from people. So,.

[00:01:53] Myra Davis: [00:01:53] Yeah, I’m pretty excited today though. So it’s good. 

[00:01:56] Bill Russell: [00:01:56] Yeah. Yeah. I’m in Naples, Florida, and it’s a [00:02:00] 82 here today and sunny. So, if you can, if you can tolerate the hurricanes, we live in very nice places. All right. So, today we’re gonna, we’re going to talk a lot of things. We’re gonna talk innovation, we’re gonna talk, COVID-19 response talent and whatever else we happen to stumble upon. I’m really looking forward to this, conversation. Let’s start with Texas children’s, give us some background on your health system. 

[00:02:29] Myra Davis: [00:02:29] Yeah. [00:02:30] So it’s, Texas children’s is a four hospital system. One of which is women. We take care of, we have OB GYN services, it’s primarily pediatric base. We have over 60 primary care practices distributed throughout, the greater Texas area. We are also most recently, you may have heard. We’re in Austin, which is about to Austin, Texas, two [00:03:00] hours, from the main area in the Texas medical center, we are licensed for about 900 beds across all of our hospitals and occupancy is anywhere to 75, 80% of the time we in the last year, just to give you some stats, we had more than.

[00:03:21] 40,000 surgeries, close to 200,000 emergency center visits over 4.6 million. That [00:03:30] million patient encounters. our clinic visits are close to 800,000. We also have the largest pediatric based health plan where we serve close to a half million members, in Texas as well. And, our it missions has been about 37,000 in the last year. And deliveries have been in excess of 6,000 deliveries in a given year. [00:04:00] We are about 13,000 and the workforce from a people standpoint, our partner is available. Baylor college of medicine is our academic partner where we have about 3000, physicians that we, partner with. so yeah. What else do you want to know? It’s a pretty big place. 

[00:04:23] Bill Russell: [00:04:23] Yeah. yeah, it’s huge. by the way, go bears is just because my daughter goes to Baylor. I [00:04:30] have to say that. So, no, and that’s, I mean, that is a significant. for hospitals, for our children’s side, usually at children’s hospitals, not that extensive, they, the amount of work you guys are doing in, in Southern Texas is pretty, pretty amazing. Tell, tell us a little bit about your journey though. How did you get into computer science? How did you land at Texas children’s? 

[00:04:56] Myra Davis: [00:04:56] Yeah. So I’ve been at Texas children’s [00:05:00] 18 years. it was 18 years in August. This past August. I, started my journey originated from out of new Orleans, Louisiana where, my mother was a math teacher and so I really didn’t have a choice, but to be good in math. And as a result of that, when I went to college, I actually wanted to be a teacher and [00:05:30] she, firmly said, no, that’s, that’s not what you’re going to do. So in the spirit of being really honest here, I thought, well, what else can I do understanding math?

[00:05:42] So it kind of peruse the catalog and said, Oh, why don’t I try this computer science thing? So I really didn’t set out to, to do that. so I received my degree at Loyola university and morons. went into software development and realized. [00:06:00] Early on that. I did not really want to have a relationship with the computer, just sitting behind the desk and coding, somewhere and the translation of what I was asked to code and what was desired of the customer. There was always some disconnects. And so one day I just thought I’m going to go talk to the customer myself and only to learn that the translation was not really happening, but more important to me. [00:06:30] My niche was in the ability to really not only facilitate in problem solving, but to be able a good translator and speaking English to code and code to English.

[00:06:42] And so that sort of took me out from behind the desk and into the journey of project management, leadership, et cetera, in, throughout my career. and when I started Texas children’s, I was in consulting, and had one son at the [00:07:00] time and really thought we probably should. I should probably. So have land somewhere where I can just come in to work and not travel.

[00:07:09] And so I paused and found this opportunity at Texas children’s. I went from new Orleans to Northern California. And then from Northern California to Minnesota, where I, received my master’s in software design and development in the engineering program there. Once [00:07:30] again, though, all for the purposes of truly understanding the base of what it takes to how software operates, but more importantly in wanting to translate that in the partnership and customers that I would desire to serve.

[00:07:46] Bill Russell: [00:07:46] Yeah. That’s one of the things that really resonates with me is the idea of having a relationship with a computer as opposed to people. And that sort of mirrors my journey as well of just have to, [00:08:00] after a while you’re like, I’m an introvert and I like this stuff, but you know, I got to talk to more people.

[00:08:07] Myra Davis: [00:08:07] That was, those were my words actually. Well, I may be an introvert. I actually like talking to people, so, yeah. 

[00:08:16] Bill Russell: [00:08:16] Yeah. And, and, yeah, and there there’s a, there’s a good path there. In fact, I, when I talked to, people who are aspiring to be CEOs, they say, tell me what the path is to the CIO. And I’m like talk to 50 [00:08:30] CIOs and you’ll get 50 different stories. I mean, there. They’re all very different, but one of the things they have in common is at some point, everybody makes a transition from, really being computer focused individual contributor, to being team focused and, building out, the information systems and solutions for the, organization that they work for. And so that’s, that seems to be the commonality. 

[00:08:59] Myra Davis: [00:08:59] Yeah. My, [00:09:00] our CEO president really challenges, the leaders in this organization. Everyone’s who have a leadership statement he made from time to time. If he see you, what’s your leadership statement, Myra, and for me, my leadership statement is really around, and transparent partnerships, for the success of any problem we’re trying to solve.

[00:09:24] So when you really unpack that and break it down, It really speaks [00:09:30] to the ability to have dialogue, to articulate the problem that we’re trying to solve. And, Oh, by the way, maybe it needs to be solved technically, but it may be mean to be solved operationally. And so I think that dialogue and facilitating, which is what I’ve really grown to love is just. We talk about technology as a secondary source of solving a problem. We actually talked through the problem first and that’s, been very, invaluable for [00:10:00] us here. 

[00:10:01] Bill Russell: [00:10:01] Yeah. So I said earlier, I want to talk about, innovation, we’re going to talk COVID response and talent. Let’s start with innovation. You have an interesting title, right? So you’re the chief innovation and chief information. officer for Texas, children’s give us an idea of what the role entails at your organization. 

[00:10:20] Myra Davis: [00:10:20] Yeah. so here, when I was appointed this role, maybe I’ll close to almost 18 months now. I went on a [00:10:30] journey to D when it was, when the announcement went out, that I was, my title was going to change. I received congratulatory, but I also received some interesting data points that said, I probably should go and start defining and look, go on a journey to define innovation. And so I worked really closely with the executive that’s over the area and said, let’s define innovation for Texas children’s because we’d been around for [00:11:00] 60 years.

[00:11:00] We’ve been very innovative. So what makes me think by having that in my title, people would see me any different than how Texas children’s has been innovative throughout its entirety. So when defining that word, and asking board members, senior leaders, what does innovation mean, a couple things became obvious.

[00:11:24] One, innovation is everyone’s responsibility, just because I have it in my title [00:11:30] does not make me the brain trust for all things innovative. However, the second one, that moment was that. When you ask people for that definition, there was a lot of conversations on big, bold, innovative ideas, creation of products, buying companies, creating them on companies, initiatives that had a really long runway to truly bring value to it.

[00:11:59] And then [00:12:00] there was a small footprint of innovative ideas that just had to do with making some change. So then I did some research and said, well, let me go look up the word. What does innovation really means? And at its core, it means to change. Period. And I went, okay, I can do that. So having that in my title, what it led me to work with my team on is how do we build a very nimble, we call it the innovation hub, where we [00:12:30] would sort of bring forth ideas that, problems that we need to have solved in the organization. And we would basically determine, can those problems be solved by simple change and or does the problem need to be solved by partnering with an outside company? Or does the problem need to be solved by looking at opportunities to create new products?

[00:12:55] And so essentially it encompasses a little, I, [00:13:00] just some changes that are right at your fingertips. And then the really big guy that has a very long runway in investment of dollars. That is creation of products of the like, so by facilitating it that way, and having a very small, nimble team, we’re able to sort of be the conduit to all the great ideas that the organization has and a place to go because everybody’s responsible for innovation. And so therefore it allows us to facilitate [00:13:30] based on true problems that we need to solve. We stood up an innovation advisory group. That’s our senior execs. So when we bring problems that need to be solved, we want to make sure, with their representation and understanding that it actually is seen that those are problems that we really need to solve for and then we go from there, but it’s a long way to answer how it became innovation. But I share that because I think. I mean, I’ve said this in many other forums that [00:14:00] CIO’s those are many of my colleagues are doing just that they just haven’t been afforded the second eye in their title formally. But I would say the first side is that it’s more about innovative ways to translate information. That is now the second eye in the title. 

[00:14:20] Bill Russell: [00:14:20] So your innovation group is really focused on, enhancing the, operation and the performance and the, and [00:14:30] just all aspects of your health systems. operation. Is that there’s that pretty? 

[00:14:35] Myra Davis: [00:14:35] Yes, that’s it. And, and oh, by the way, we may have a small footprint of opportunity with new products or creation of products, but that is not front of mind. What’s front of mind is really enhancing existing opportunities, and optimizing, and also leveraging the assets that we have, within apps and of going out and buying more, technologies. 

[00:14:59] Bill Russell: [00:14:59] Yeah, [00:15:00] that’s interesting. So, so let’s talk COVID-19 response a little bit. So COVID was, it was really a challenge unlike anything we’ve ever experienced in a, in healthcare, let’s start with your health systems journey through COVID. How did, how did, Texas children’s experience or is experiencing the pandemic? And, what was the health system’s response that our health it response to that really was focusing on that 

[00:15:26] Myra Davis: [00:15:26] We just, we prior to [00:15:30] COVID like many other organizations, we were starting on the journey of using, going down telemedicine televisits and we were slow in forming and moving, at a, not at a rapid pace. Since COVID or at the onset of COVID, we went from maybe one to two visits in a day to over 800 visits in a day.

[00:15:58] We’ve leveled out at [00:16:00] about 40% of our. Overarching patient visits are leveled out in televisits, but what it afforded as a couple of things is one. the good news is we had already, we had put all the technology in place, so it was just a matter of. Really, training the organization on how to use it. We had started down a journey of embedding the visits in our EMR, but we accelerated it and did it in like three [00:16:30] weeks record time to where the experience for the patient and the provider would be a whole lot easier. We actually stood up sort of a makeshift, training help center to help patients and providers with these types of visits.

[00:16:49] We also, converted about 500 appointment types to make them available in online scheduling for the telemedicine, visit [00:17:00] type. so we, we rapidly bit this in record time. I think now that, I mean, call it still. The pandemic is still here actually in the state of Texas. I heard this, statistic this morning that we’ve had over a million COVID cases just in the state of Texas alone.

[00:17:19] We’re actually starting to see some ramp up. So the good news with that is that we are prepared. To continue to care for our patients in a [00:17:30] telemedicine way. We also internally through provided remote monitoring visits. So if there were, families wanting to see patients, we provide them with an iPad and they’re able to have the visit via telepresence, a video visit.

[00:17:47] Presence the rounding of our physicians have now taken place, via video visits by which they’re not all, crowding the, the, [00:18:00] workstation on wheels. Some are in their, in their disparate locations. I’ll be at home or conference rooms, but they’re still able to still have the rounding that, wants to place pre COVID.

[00:18:11] So basically our world has really shifted to being video presence. and I’m very pleased to say, that our teams delivered in record time. And now, and we’ve actually been optimizing it, along the way. And when this [00:18:30] next wave occurs, because it definitely looks like we’re going to have another wave we are well-prepared. 

[00:18:36] Bill Russell: [00:18:36] Yeah. So now Myra, I do have to, I have to call you on the carpet here. So, it took you three weeks to do this stuff. So if I were your CEO at this point, can I just condense all your projects down to three weeks if your team is that? 

[00:18:52] Myra Davis: [00:18:52] No, you can’t. No. The reason we were able to do that in record time is that we were afforded the [00:19:00] resources, and the time that it takes, and also the prioritization that the governance that it takes to make that happen. I have a saying bill that anything can be done with time, money, and resources. Right. And we were afforded all three. And so with that said, we were able to get it done.

[00:19:23] Bill Russell: [00:19:23] That’s that’s what we’ve heard from CIO is across the board is, just all these barriers went down. [00:19:30] First of all, we used to have to talk to positions and convince them to do telehealth. And that barrier came down. The regulatory barrier came down the financial barrier. We were given a bunch of money, the focus barrier, right. We’re working on a hundred projects, then all of a sudden it was, Hey, get these three things done. And allocate all your resources to those three things. So yeah, we, we can do a lot of things if, if all those barriers fall down at once. 

[00:19:56] Myra Davis: [00:19:56] Yeah. And that’s a really good example of how governance, how, I [00:20:00] believe I, as a CIO, I aspire governance to work because we all know that there will always be more demand than there is supply. And even if you match the supply with the demand you’re that sort of gives an, indirect understanding that you can actually do more. So there’s more demand. So there’s never this catch-up mode. And so I think having a true governance where you are intentionally focused [00:20:30] on the initiatives that will aid the organization and progressing going forward, I think that’s the right balance in what, what played out in COVID is a textbook of great governance.

[00:20:42] Bill Russell: [00:20:42] All right. We’ll get back to our show in just a minute. I want to give you an update on the ClipNotes notes referral program. For those of you who don’t know what cliff notes is, what we have done is we create a summary of what goes on on each show and we get that into your inbox 24 hours after the show airs.

[00:20:58] So what you get a [00:21:00] brief summary of the show. You get bullet points as to what the high points were with timestamps, and then you get one to four video clips. So if you just want to see that the highlights, the key moments of the show, you can just click on those, watch those and stay current. we did that in response to some of the things you guys were telling us, made it easier for you to, share the content of the show with your peers, with your staff with others. And it’s a great way for you to stay current, especially when you’re busy and you can’t listen to every episode. So we [00:21:30] wanted to make sure that you have an easy way to stay up to date as to what’s going on in the show.

[00:21:35] As a result because you told us this is, has been such a great, service. We created a referral program because we want to get this in the hands of as many people as possible. And we can only do that through you. And, so what we did is we said, all right, Let’s let’s do a competition. Everyone likes competition.

[00:21:51] So we, we came up with some prizes and some ways for you, to, refer this out to your friends, to your staff, to [00:22:00] people within your organization. the prices are pretty straightforward. Everybody who does a single referral will be entered into a drawing to win a work from home kit from this week and health IT. If you get up to 10 referrals, you get a black mole skin notebook delivered to you. It has the this week in health IT logo embossed on it. I love the most skin notebooks. I use them all the time. And then finally, the person who gets the most referrals will be given the opportunity to come on the show, to do a Tuesday news day episode with me. That’s the episodes that I usually do with Drex [00:22:30] DeFord. and you’re going to get invited to come on and talk about the news with me. It’s really straightforward. A lot of fun. it’s really conversational. We’ll have a great time doing it. And I hope that you are excited about this. As excited as I am to have people, put your name in for a referral right now, if you go out onto our website, hit subscribe, there’s a new box in there. It says referred by. If they put in your email address, you’ll be a credit for each referral that they put in there. we already have people that are approaching the [00:23:00] most skin. notebook levels. So gotta keep pushing through. And we have, we’ve had just a ton of referrals to this point. So we really appreciate all that you guys are doing, and we hope that the content is helping you to stay current and helping you to do your jobs more effectively. So, with that in mind, let’s get back to the show. 

[00:23:20] Let’s talk about your leadership journey during COVID. So what challenges did you have and how have you adapted to [00:23:30] those during the pandemic? Obviously, we’ve worked from home. We have a bunch of different things, changed the number of, things being thrown at you amount of time. You’re given to do things your, your staff is under a significant amount of pressure. Not only professionally, but also personally, how did you address those things? 

[00:23:51] Myra Davis: [00:23:51] I’m very transparent with my team. I, I have a really good team, a great team. I’m very proud of [00:24:00] them. when it hit at the onset, I will say this team has done more during this time then, they may argue Myra, we didn’t more before that. Well, I think in record time, I’m so proud of the work that they have done that, and despite their own personal challenges with whether the kids are going back to school. When you think about when COVID hit, kids were immediately sent home, [00:24:30] post, spring break. I don’t think they went back. And so now you have families having to juggle and figure out how am I going to do this? Then there was the remote work component of it. I had to work with the organization to help them stand up a workforce to work remote. And Oh, by the way, I too must work for more remote.

[00:24:52] And oh, by the way, I have to figure out what to do with my kiddos who are now at home having to work remote. [00:25:00] I share all that bill because I had to step back. my, my kids are grown, are older, they’re in college, they’re away. But as I looked at that and looked at what my team was going through, it was important that I made sure they understood that. I recognize that. And how do we balance what they’re going through personally and how, what we must, what we needed to do professionally. I’m pleased to say, in addition to all the work we did ramping up for COVID and continued to see patients, we actually did [00:25:30] two major upgrades in that time. And in March, when COVID hit we were scheduled to do an Epic upgrade that we delayed to later in the summer.

[00:25:42] And we did it in June. And the team did it remotely, primarily working remotely. Recently last week we did a second upgrade and the next semi-annual upgrade. And once again, we did it primarily remotely during that window, [00:26:00] as healthcare is then challenged and threatened by cyber attacks. The team has worked tirelessly ensuring that the org that we, our environment is protected by continuing to stay on top of patching and any areas of, gaps that we have to close them to ensure that we’re protected. So, the team through its tireless efforts, they really are amazing, [00:26:30] in terms of the energy that they continue to give. And I think it speaks to the mission of Texas children’s, our mission is to take care of women and children and the sickest of the sick. And when you step back and think about this and we talk about it a lot, that’s a, that’s a mission anybody should want to be a part of. And I think it’s a Testament of our mission and their will and fortitude speaks volumes. And I forgot to [00:27:00] mention, Oh, by the way, we went through a hurricane season as well and so we’ve had our command structure stood up since COVID through hurricane season. And we, we’re just, we’re kind of used to it to some extent but I think it just speaks volumes to their commitment to the organization. 

[00:27:22] Bill Russell: [00:27:22] It’s interesting. I was talking to somebody from Ochsner and they said, The fact that, and, and, NYU and they [00:27:30] both made the, the case of, we go through emergencies pretty often. And so we’ve really bedded and built out those, capabilities and use since the same in a hurricane path, every other year or so, there’s a major hurricane that comes through. So you guys probably had pretty solid procedures in place. Although the pandemic was unlike anything I think we’ve experienced, but still having that [00:28:00] foundation is probably extremely helpful.. So you chose a predominantly male profession, also as a person of color, I would imagine you found yourself in a lot of rooms where you were the only person that looked like you. How were you able to push through those barriers to get to where you’re at?

[00:28:20] Myra Davis: [00:28:20] Yeah. It’s a lot of humor. The good news is the good thing is you’re an introvert [00:28:30] so you can, you can probably relate to this, have a lot of conversations with yourself and. 

[00:28:37] Bill Russell: [00:28:37] But the people around me don’t understand that when I’m talking to myself, they’re like you should not do that out loud anymore. I think is what people are telling me 

[00:28:45] Myra Davis: [00:28:45] That has definitely helped. and just, the support of my family, that sort of gives me the confidence and the courage that I need to sort of embrace [00:29:00] times when I’m going into a room and know that, that I’m it. And I think just, just the confidence to, and that instilled in me to say, this is not this doesn’t threaten me.

[00:29:14] I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to have great mentors who have been, males, white males who have been very transparent with me about being an african-American [00:29:30] female and some of the challenges and it had really, coached me through some of the things that I could potentially be up against.

[00:29:39] And, at the time when, you know, first. They became work friends, but then over time they became mentors because they shared wisdom and knowledge. it really opened up some really good dialogue for me to have with them about honesty, subtle biases, et cetera. [00:30:00] And that really helped. And Bill at the end of the day, I had the saying that it doesn’t really matter what room I’m in because we all put our pants on the same way, which is one leg at a time and so if I level set my audience, that way it really kind of forced me to say we’re really equal. We might not look alike but we’re human first. And so that really has, that may sound [00:30:30] simple, but that has played a significant role. And just given me, outside of everything else, I’ve said that, that confidence, that nudge to say, I, it doesn’t matter who you are.

[00:30:41] We need to have this dialogue and just pull along just in my projects, it was all males. I mean, everywhere I looked, it was predominantly males. And so I think. Just that trajectory, just sort of afforded me to become immune to it and just not even pay attention to it over time. 

[00:30:58] Bill Russell: [00:30:58] Yeah. You and I had a [00:31:00] conversation offline where we talked about diversity and you stress the importance of having deep people with a, with a different, view of the world, different lens of the world, so that, it helps you to apply better solutions for the community because the community is made up of very diverse people. Tell us a little bit about how that’s played out in your team and how you. how you’ve really made sure that you had that kind of diversity [00:31:30] of thought? 

[00:31:32] Myra Davis: [00:31:32] No it’s, I think it was several years ago, it became apparent through an exercise that I’d gone through with our, HR development group or development group where we, we perform this exercise called DISC profiles where we sort of look and understand the profiles of each individual. And it’s the D I S C. And what became [00:32:00] apparent is I had, there were many D’a, which is a demanding group. In my, on my team and many of them I had hired. And so when I was sitting in talking to my org development, person, she said, you gravitate towards D’s because they’re results driven.

[00:32:23] They don’t do they don’t process. They’re quick to analyze. They’re quick to solve. They’re quick. They’re [00:32:30] quick. They’re quick. But you have a tendency to scare off. C’s that are more conscientious. S’s who are a little bit, I think, I think the S the sensitive, or, and then an I is more influential and you scare that group off and you don’t have as many. And so we had a great dialogue and I said, I want to mix this up because I didn’t feel good by row. And when I reflected on people who had [00:33:00] left the organization or encounters I had with. Individuals who are not DS. It became crystal clear to me that I came across as intimidating or the comments that they would make are I needed to have the feeling that they needed, all the answers before they can talk to me, the feeling that they needed to go through a Q and a process with someone else before they can talk to me, they couldn’t just come and talk to me.

[00:33:26] And so I thought, wow, I could see that. [00:33:30] I actually could see that. And so. I thought about that bill. And I said, okay, we’re going to change this up. And the new hiring is to ensure that I create a very diverse group around the table that are not D’s. and so I’m pleased to say since that time, and now I have a very well-rounded group where I actually, and I’m actually pretty good at recognizing who’s D’s and was not D’s but more importantly, I have [00:34:00] become, I’ve sort of changed in my demeanor to make sure I’m coming across as open and wanting to welcome the dialogue from those that are not D’s.

[00:34:11] So to me, when now, when people talk to me about diversity and inclusion, I think to myself a lot, I’ve been doing that. I didn’t call it that I just said, everybody’s voice matters and. We need to look at it from the lens of everyone’s voice matters and [00:34:30] definition of everyone is that we must have a really diverse group around the table. And so it’s more than ethnicity, race, it’s around ensuring or gender. it’s more about the voice and the representation that that person will bring to the table and oh, by the way, gender and race is a part of it, but it’s also the voices of the gender and race that’s makes it much more rich in [00:35:00] diverse in nature.

[00:35:01] Bill Russell: [00:35:01] Yeah. I appreciate you sharing that story. I, when I became the CIO of one of the departments, they had all taken the disc and they put their results on their door. And I remember going into one of their offices and I said, Hey, what’s what’s the story with this? And we got up, we walked over and he goes, okay, let me tell you about my profile. But he said, here’s, here’s how I address problems. Here’s how I respond best. I mean, and he just walked it through and I’m like, wow, that’s really helpful. 

[00:35:29] Myra Davis: [00:35:29] Yeah. [00:35:30] And, and we, we actually used to have laminate cards, for the leaders so that they knew, and this helped them because then when they’re ready to go talk to someone, it gave them a chance to do some reflection. Oh, let me, let me make sure I understand the style. So we also did some things around how to negotiate. how to talk about the problem you’re trying to solve, how to influence. and so all of that sort of plays into the ability [00:36:00] to look at someone not, judge them immediately really think through, this is a style I’m going to encounter and here’s my style. So now how do we work together going forward? I think that I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback around it. I aspire to do it again because we have so many more leaders on the team now. And we haven’t done that exercise in a while. but it is, my to-do list because now in the [00:36:30] heightened conversations around diversity inclusivity, I think the voice plays a big role there.

[00:36:37] if you don’t understand where that person’s coming from in terms of their profile, their situation, and you’re still not hitting the mark. On creating inclusiveness and diversity in the work environment. 

[00:36:51] Bill Russell: [00:36:51] Gosh, I have so many other, so many things I want to talk to you about. We’ll have to have you back on the show next year sometime, but that, but the last I would be, [00:37:00] here’s the question I want to ask you, which is, we have to cover longevity. And the role of the CIO is a precarious role. As I had somebody say to me, we started our EHR implementation and I thought they jokingly said hey, you should get your resume together. I don’t think they were joking. They were that they were serious. They were like hey, this is really hard. It doesn’t end well for a lot of CIOs, make sure you’re prepared. But you’ve been there for what, 16, [00:37:30] 18 years. 

[00:37:30] Myra Davis: [00:37:30] 18 years

[00:37:31] Bill Russell: [00:37:31] Wow. What’s the secret. I mean, what do you attribute  your longevity to in the role that you’re currently in? 

[00:37:39] Myra Davis: [00:37:39] I think it speaks to my leadership statement, which is transparent and accountable partnerships. I spend a lot of time partnering with many of the executives and my colleagues in the organization. I spend a lot of time also speaking that the [00:38:00] role I play, the role I look for them to play. and when it comes to initiatives like electronic medical record, I remember, At the time my predecessor was here and he left and I was asked to lead the ISR organization and my immediate response wasn’t yes, it was, I will not leave the electronic medical record.

[00:38:24] That is not, I don’t have a user ID. I don’t use that system. I support that [00:38:30] system. I, there was a creation of partners, executive vice-president nurse, leader safety officer, and we created a team and he was, he led it. I was a very big supporter and leading what I needed to leave but I think clarity in terms of roles Bill I have found that to be the secret sauce. I am very clear. my [00:39:00] responsibilities are to ensure, and I think many CIO’s responsibilities are to ensure one first and foremost, we’re keeping our systems available, reliable and secure. Anybody on my team, you ask ARS, what does that mean? They’re going to tell you this is what it means. Okay. That’s first and foremost, second is partnerships. We will drive solutions and possibility by leverage technology, speaking to problems that we need to solve. That needs facilitative conversations. [00:39:30] We will even share with you. Some possibilities, but it’s up to you to understand how to use them. And more importantly, operating it using making sure your operating models are leveraging it for success.

[00:39:44] Recent conversations are, we want to do more online scheduling. Great. We’ll spin it up, but I, I can’t drive you to the water if you don’t know how to get there. Right. So lots of conversations around changing the operating model. [00:40:00] and I think. I worked for a really great organization that has allowed me to have these types of dialogues, welcomed them conversations and, and, it’s been great. I mean, I think I don’t, I know that me and my colleagues are having the same type of dialogue and I think, I, I would like to be able to say the days where I felt like there was a trend going on with CIO is just getting [00:40:30] left out to dry. When an EMR didn’t go, didn’t go. Well and I struggled with that because I thought well how can that be?

[00:40:39] That doesn’t make sense to me. That’s the only one individual. So, there’s, there clearly was a group around that individual that. Should have been supporting them and helping them create the success needed for those systems. So, I’ve just been very blessed not to be in that situation. 

[00:41:00] [00:41:00] Bill Russell: [00:41:00] I hear what you’re saying, but it’s sort of like when the, when the manager for a baseball team or the coach for a football team gets fired and you’re like, well, wait a minute. He didn’t say he didn’t want it at the end of the day. You’re the, the, you’re the one in the big chair. So I think that the two things you said there, which I loved was there’s a, there’s a core set of things that availability, reliability, and security rights is a core set of things that you just have to do if you don’t do them.

[00:41:29] Well, [00:41:30] you’re not going to be in the care. And then, but then there’s this aspect of. Of partnering and, humans helping humans and just, just coming alongside the team and saying, Hey, here’s my role? Here’s your role? Creating clarity, creating that, that great working relationship of being approachable that that people are looking for. And that’s how you get to be 18 years in the role. So that’s, I [00:42:00] think that’s a, that’s a great frame that up really well. Myra, thank you. Thank you for your time. I really appreciate it. And I look forward to catching up again next year. 

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