The Healthcare CIO Look Back / Look Forward series with Tressa Springmann the CIO for Lifebridge Health….
Bill Russell: 00:04 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 has 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, health.com/sponsor 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 Lyrics.com or drop me a note [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 sized 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 at one and a half times speed. So it’s gonna 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 first guest is Tressa Springmann, the CIO of LifeBridge. I was excited to have Tressa join us once again on the show, a returning guest and a friend of the show. Have a listen and I hope you enjoy.
Bill Russell: 02:10 Wow. So here we are from the uh, Chime Fallforum and congratulations, you were not nominated, you were inducted. Was that an induction? Was that what that was an induction as a chime fellow fellow, does that get you like free admission for life?
Tressa Springma: 02:28 I think that just gets you on a few more committees.
Bill Russell: 02:32 You’re uh, so they, they pay you back with opportunity as they say. It’s kind of crazy while the main session just let out. So there’s little, little loud. But what we’re doing is, is a bunch of interviews look back on your year, look forward with, with the active CIOs. And the first question really is how is the role of the CIO changed in this year?
Tressa Springma: 02:56 So I think a lot of it is organization dependent, cultural. There’s been a lot of activity and security technology and innovation and digitization. So in a lot of ecosystems people are um, trying to understand if the CIO is also the chief digital officer or relegating CTO to another role. Um, so I think there’s a little bit of schizophrenia and a lot of it I think has to do with the comfort and skills of the specific CIO.
Bill Russell: 03:33 I have like 15 followup questions. I’m going to stick to the script here. Okay. The role really is, is changing. It’s a leadership role. You’re part of the leadership team. You’re looking at the business, how it’s changing and applying technology to it. It’s been really fascinating. What are maybe three priorities that you’re, you know, you’re, that health it is going to support within your health system.
Tressa Springma: 03:56 Well, back to the prior question, you know, I really see my role on the executive leadership team as making sure that all of these balls are being caught. meaning that we have a digital strategy, even if it’s at the intersection of it and marketing and innovation, um, meaning that it security is being taken care of, even if it’s through indirect leadership with the role of the chief security officer. Um, for this year, we’ve continued to have a tremendous amount of growth. So merger and acquisition has really been, uh, become a core competency. Uh, we closed last Friday on another hospital, although most of the work that I’ve been involved in evaluating has been non-hospital work as we grow our care continuum. So I would say, um, really getting honest about our digital strategy, trying to identify a platform so we don’t find ourselves five years from now with a best of breed mobile strategy. Um, and then really, um, getting good at employee engagement as we onboard new acquisitions,
Tressa Springma: 05:07 Acquisition Baltimore. Yeah, yeah, yup. So initiative focused in on patient experience.
Bill Russell: 05:15 So what’s an initiative you’re working on that’s really focused in on patient?
Tressa Springma: 05:20 Patient experience has been a really tough goal for us. Bill, you know, we’ve got an inner city hospital. We’ve got, I mean, it’s just tough. It’s tough. Um, but tying back to this idea and hope of a single digital platform, um, LifeBridge has made a very strategic decision to partner with, um, a vendor that has both inpatient and outpatient engagement services and they recently acquired some of them with a fantastic footprint and digital mobile and they have had the corner on inpatient engagement for years. So, um, I joined their strategic product council. We’re very excited about that being kind of a single digital platform that can, um, allow a better, more informed digital experience for our customers, but also an on ramp to a lot of these other digital apps that are coming up.
Bill Russell: 06:17 What about, uh, internally clinician experience? Uh, any, any projects you’re working on in that area?
Tressa Springma: 06:23 Yeah, I, you know, I would say a lot of us are continuing with the EHR optimization path. A lot of excitement about ambient listening and about, um, artificial intelligence. And I don’t really mean the sexy stuff. I mean, just process automation, getting those really routine tasks off the backs of talented people. So there are available to do other work. Um, I do think, and, um, my team, my leadership team and I have been very involved in setting the pace on our telehealth strategy. I think really that’s gonna offer some unique care provision opportunities to clinicians. It’s also going to assist them in, um, really a better division of labor. You know, we have a call center, we have, um, ER tele triage. We can remote with, um, PAs and NPS in a way that really, um, helps share the load with those physicians, especially the physicians for whom we’re finding a shortage, like primary care.
Bill Russell: 07:28 You probably have a lot to choose from. But what, what’s the greatest it success for 2019?
Tressa Springma: 07:37 Well, I’m really proud of how many virtual visits we’re now having across the system and sticking to goal. But selfishly, I think I’d have to say, um, we began on the most wired journey really just to understand our baseline and in fact we’re going to be receiving an award. We aren’t at the top level, but I’m super excited about what the group’s achieved. And I think it’s really gonna give, um, my team the ability to focus and be proud of making very tangible progress with technology implementation for LifeBridge. So pretty proud about that.
Bill Russell: 08:15 And that’s a lot of work. I mean, that’s not just a, you don’t just phone that in, fill out a survey and away you go.
Tressa Springma: 08:20 No you don’t. And I did not have it. Bernie did most of it.
Bill Russell: 08:25 There you go. Yeah, we haven’t, we’ve, we’ve uh, following behind the camera at this point. Um, any, anything you’d look at a missed opportunity for 2019 you wish you had made more progress on?
Tressa Springma: 08:43 I think alignment with the medical staff is always hard. Um, we have a lot of community providers. There are a lot of different competing ideas and incentives. Um, it’s very hard to capture their precious time. So that I think combined with just the basics, um, of opportunities for business process automation, you know, I, I think it’s a, um, very untapped opportunity cause it’s not super sexy, but I think it’s really going to give us some capacity by, um, allowing us to save money and save time, become more effective and efficient and allow people to be more comfortable with process automation. So as we move into AI and the complexities of the ethics around more clinically related AI, um, we won’t be as scared of it.
Bill Russell: 09:39 You know, I, I think I’m going to hear more and more exactly what you said, which is, um, there’s so many opportunities. I mean, the technology is, is progressing so fast and healthcare is, business models are changing so fast and there’s so many areas that you could be pushing out in that. It’s like when you sit back and look at it, it’s like we’re making a lot of progress in the areas we’re focused. We could just double the it staff and we would, there would still be enough to enough work to do. Yeah.
Tressa Springma: 10:07 Well, a lot of it’s the capacity of the people we partner with. You know, they can only sustain so many programs too. And at the end of the day, if you want to deliver results that work for our user community, they’ve gotta be at the table. So they end up being, um, a pretty big constraint where their own capacity.
Bill Russell: 10:27 Uh, is there any area you’d like to see more innovation
Tressa Springma: 10:30 interoperability, we keep talking about it. Um, I think fire and API development is going to be super exciting. Uh, man, we just can’t seem to pull it off. So, um, I, I know my team and um, the tools that are out there, the, the regulations coming into their own, all the right elements are lined up. We just need some additional incentive structures to make it happen.
Bill Russell: 10:54 Interesting. Is there anything that you think would really move the needle on that?
Tressa Springma: 10:58 I need a fire engine. Bernie knows that for Christmas I want a fire engine. Um, I, I do think, you know, golly, there was a time when we couldn’t imagine anything by point to point interfaces and now everyone has an engine or two and those engines are delivering HL seven. Um, I hope the velocity of change will be a little quicker with API standards and fire. Um, and I think if we can help those vendors that are already good in this space, get better and support us on the new standards that, um, we’ll get the benefit of the change a lot more quickly.
Bill Russell: 11:33 And then the last question and you know, what health it roles, do you expect to hire more of in, in 2020 integration,
Tressa Springma: 11:45 integration and analytics, integrate data. Yeah. Yeah.
Bill Russell: 11:50 We’re, we’re sitting in a, in a sea of data. Do we need to make meaning in?
Tressa Springma: 11:54 Yeah, we are. We are. And, and you know, a lot of that’s around governance. We can’t expect the it professionals who are managing the data to be the ones who are business minded enough to surface, you know, the learnings from that data. You know, we really need subject matter experts to partner with in that space. Um, but it’s a huge untapped opportunity and obviously it’s super sensitive as well cause we’ve got to protect it. Um, while we fiddle around with seeing if we’re going to have an appetite for monetizing it to pay
Bill Russell: 12:25 for some of the work. Actually, Tressa, always a pleasure. Thank you very much.
Bill Russell: 12:32 I hope you enjoy the conversation. Remember to check back often as we’re 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 shirt with a peer, share it with a friend, share it with somebody who’s working right there next to you. Number two, sign up for insights and staff meeting. 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 and health it for more great content. You can check out our website at this week, health.com 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.