CHIME Gina Ragans, A Look Back / Forward


Gina Ragans

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The Healthcare CIO Look Back / Look Forward series with Gina Ragans, Chief Information Officer (CIO) at HCA North Florida Division IT&S


Bill Russell: 00:00 Welcome to this week in health it events where we amplify great ideas with interviews from the floor. My name is bill Russell healthcare CIO coach and creator of this week in health it a set of podcasts and videos dedicated to developing the next generation of health leaders. We want to thank our founding channel sponsors who make this content possible, health lyrics and VMware. If you want to be a part of our mission to develop health leaders, go to this week for more information. This episode is sponsored by health lyrics. When I became a CIO, I was really overwhelmed at first and one of the first things I did was to sign a CIO coach to walk with me through the journey. This was someone who had wisdom that can only be gained through years of experience. It was invaluable to my success in the role and I now coach CIOs through health lyrics.

Bill Russell: 00:55 If you want to learn more, visit health or drop me a note at [email protected] over the next three weeks. We have a huge treat for you. I’m really excited about it. Uh, I just got back from the chime fall forum in Scottsdale, which was a great event and we caught up with 12 active CIOs from various size health systems and asked them to take a look back at 2019 and I look forward at 2020. Uh, you’re going to hear, um, what they’re excited to have accomplished last year and what they’re looking forward to accomplish next year. I asked each of them the same eight questions and I think you’re going to be fascinated to hear the similarities and the differences based on where they’re at. Geography and other things. Each of these interviews is about 10 minutes long so you can listen to them really quick. And some of you listen that one and a half times speed. So it’s going to go like that. Uh, we’re going to publish one a day, uh, with a few news day episodes sprinkled in through the end of November. So check back every day for the next episode and don’t forget to look back to see if you missed any. Our next conversation is with Gina Ragans, Gina is the chief information officer for HCA in the North Florida division. Gives you an idea of how big they are. Uh, we had a really good conversation. I hope you enjoy.

Bill Russell: 02:10 So Gina Reagan’s joining us at, uh, chime 19, uh, fall forum. I guess I don’t need to announce that since there’s a big thing behind me. I don’t like you doing it. You’re with HCA in Tallahassee. Correct. Great. Thanks for coming on. I really appreciate it. Work. We’re going to take a, what we’ve been doing is taking a look back and a look forward. So look back at 2019. Look forward to 20, 20 and I have these eight questions I’m asking CIOs and I appreciate you coming in. First one is, um, just in the last year, how has the role of the CIO changed? Maybe not over the last five years, just just last year if things changed,

Gina Ragans: 02:48 I would say for me, you know, the big buzz word right now is digital and how do you infuse technology and

Gina Ragans: 03:00 data into healthcare and make it smarter and we improve the care of our patients through technology and through data. And so for me that, that is really something that we’re focused on. How do we do that through innovation? How do we do that through data analytics, artificial intelligence, different tools like that? So I would say that’s, that’s the focus has shifted a little bit over the last year really looking at how can we make a difference in healthcare leveraging those technologies.

Bill Russell: 03:32 Yeah. So if you, as you’re looking forward to 2020, what are some of your health systems priorities that you’re supporting without that feet?

Gina Ragans: 03:40 Well, cybersecurity is always a big word. Um, you know, improving the environment for our caregivers. Um, how do we create efficiencies? How do we leverage mobile technology, uh, to improve the way we deliver care? Um, that’s a big focus for us. How do we eliminate or minimize alarms, uh, is a big focus for us. Um, so I would say those, those are probably the big highlights.

Bill Russell: 04:16 So you’re not going to be bored next year, is what you’re saying?

Gina Ragans: 04:16 No my, my list of portfolio is, is very large.

Bill Russell: 04:21 Yeah. It sounds like you have a lot of things going on. Um, so let’s, let’s focus those down. What’s, what’s one thing that you think is going to move the needle from a patient experience standpoint?

Gina Ragans: 04:32 One of the things that we’re actually focusing on is how do we bring technology actually into the patient room? So we’re looking at, um, integrating clinical data, communication, handoffs actually on a television in the room or either on a mobile device. Um, and that will create context both for the patients, the family, um, as well as the caregiver to really talk about what is going on with the patient. Um, so that’s something that we’re actually looking at. Uh, we also are looking at, uh, Alexa type devices, um, and w and what, and how would we leverage that in healthcare? What would patients and families want to, um, utilize an Alexa type device for? Uh, so that’s something that we actually are looking for, looking at, um, doing as a pilot. Um, and it really is learning, you know, what, what would they be looking for? How would they want to use it?

Bill Russell: 05:38 That voice and Ambient listening is a common topic at this point. Uh, what’s one initiative that you think is going to materially improve the clinician experience within your system?

Gina Ragans: 05:51 Well, we’re hearing a lot about how do we integrate technology, um, through wearables, mobile devices, you know, how do we, how do we integrate care into the home setting? You know, what of that data’s relevant? What would we want to bring into the electronic health record? Um, so I think that’s something that can provide, uh, efficiency both for our nursing nurses as well as our physicians. Um, and create that connection. So that would be one. The other is how do you connect all of these data sources and make them relevant to be able to change the way we deliver care. So those are really, I would say the top two.

Bill Russell: 06:32 So as you look back on 2019, what’s the, what’s the thing you’re most proud of your team in health it in terms of what they accomplish in 2019.

Gina Ragans: 06:42 Just the various innovations and, um, that we’ve been able to partner with the business on and look at how we can change the way care is delivered. Um, you know, they’re a very creative group of, uh, professionals and, and they want to make a difference. So, you know, I would say that that’s what I’m most proud of is what we’ve been able to accomplish.

Bill Russell: 07:06 Yeah. It’s, uh, it’s amazing all these interviews I’m doing. It makes you proud to be a part of this community of health. It cause there’s a lot of really smart, creative, uh, just people with, with, who’ve gotten into this with a passion to making life better for the clinicians and for the community that they live in. It’s fantastic. Um, is there any, I’ve been asking this question of, you know, what’s a missed opportunity for 2019 but I’m not getting the answer I want, so I’m going to change the questions, but more like, what do you wish you had more time to focus on in 2019 that you just didn’t have enough time to do?

Gina Ragans: 07:42 I would say spending the facilities, understanding the why, really making the connections. Um, I think we miss that opportunity to really, uh, be elbow to elbow with the clinicians, both the nurses, the physicians, really understanding where their pain points. Um, you know, rather than the day to day operational, a PC’s broken or a phone’s not working or, or something like that. But really understanding where are the big rocks that we can make a difference through technology. Um, so for me, that’s, that’s a big opportunity for 2020 is how do I get myself and my team more engaged boots on the ground in the facility. So, so we make sure that we’re focusing on the right things.

Bill Russell: 08:35 How would you, so this isn’t a question on the card, so, um, how do you gather the voice of the, uh, of the clinician, uh, clinical community? What’s the, what’s the best way that you found to, to hear what their concerns are and what’s working for them and what’s not working for them?

Gina Ragans: 08:52 In my organization, we actually have a plethora different venues for that. Um, we have, uh, clinical governance. We have, um, employee engagement surveys that we are doing, uh, two to three times a year. Uh, we do rounding, uh, daily rounding. Um, so I mean there’s a bunch of different mechanisms that we use for that. I think the challenge is how do you assimilate all of those together and create actionable, uh, results or, or you know, plans or tactics. Um, so I mean, I think that’s, we have good forums. It’s just being able to convert that into actionable information.

Bill Russell: 09:40 Is there a specific area you’d like to see more innovation, if there’s like one area that you’d like to see the industry really move forward? What’s the area you’d like to see more innovation?

Gina Ragans: 09:51 Well, I actually had an opportunity to attend a focus group here at chime. Um, and I talked a lot about artificial intelligence and natural language processing and how do we really mine data. Um, I also attended one that talked about genomics and how genomics will really change the way we deliver care going forward. Um, so I really would like to get more information about that. Um, and then the other is, you know, how do you connect all the dots? So for me, my, my dad is, um, I’m his caregiver and all of the different clinicians and physicians and specialists, uh, and how do you make sure that they all have the right information to be able to treat him appropriately and aren’t creating redundant tests? And, um, so, so integration, connecting the dots, um, and then, you know, genomics and how will that really change how we deliver care. And then the last is really the artificial intelligence, predictive analytics. I mean, how do we leverage that for, uh, again to the betterment of our patients?

Bill Russell: 11:08 And, uh, you know, this is our user community has asked us to ask CIOS this. Um, and I think it’s a relevant question, which is what health it roles do you expect to be hiring in 2020?

Gina Ragans: 11:23 For me it’s, one’s really tied to what we’ve been talking about is um, you know, data science, people that understand how to mine data, how to make it meaningful, um, and how to visually display it in such a way that it’s meaningful. Um, so we really are looking at, um, more development, data science, uh, type roles. So I think those will be the ones that we focus on and going into 2020.

Bill Russell: 11:56 It’s been interesting. Uh, data mining, data science, data visualization has been probably the most common answer. Uh, the healthcare is a wash with data and we need to, we’re trying to find ways to make it, uh, more valuable to the caregiver.

Gina Ragans: 12:14 Well, we really have kind of gone from data poor to data rich. Now what do we do with it? How do we make it actionable to change the way we deliver healthcare? So it’s an exciting time. It is.

Bill Russell: 12:26 Thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it. Thank you.

Bill Russell: 12:29 I hope you enjoy the conversation. Remember to check back often as we are going to drop an episode a day for most of November of 2019 following that, 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 impacts health it if you want to support the fastest growing podcast and the health it space. Here’s a few ways that you can do that. The first, share it with a peer, share it with a friend, share it with somebody who’s working right there and next to you. Number two, sign up for insights and staff meetings. These are services designed to help you in your career. Number three, interact with our social media content on Twitter and LinkedIn. Number four, post or repost our content. And number five, always send me feedback. [email protected] your insights continue to shape the channel. This show is a production of this week in health it from work. Great content. You can check out our website at this week, or our YouTube channel. Special thanks to our sponsors, VM-ware and health lyrics for choosing to invest in developing the next generation of health leaders. Thanks for listening. That’s all for now.