This Week Health

December 29, 2021: What were the biggest moments in healthcare IT in 2021? What do you think will be the biggest movement in 2022? Bill is joined the Advisors to This Week in Health IT, Sarah Richardson of Tivity Health and David Bensema, MD. We are still in the pandemic. Are we making progress? What was the impact of shutting down non-essential surgeries? What do Big Tech giants Amazon, Walmart and Best Buy have up their sleeve for healthcare? Is healthcare getting better at partnering? And what is the future of telehealth? 

Key Points:

00:00:00 - Introduction

00:09:30 - Big Tech realized that healthcare is very hard

00:15:30 - We are developing new muscles in healthcare. How to work with the state better. How to work with entities better. How to get better at partnering.

00:16:30 - I think we've come a full decade in a year and a half, in terms of public health IT capability

00:25:00 - Work to your strengths and make sure you collaborate, delegate and outsource as much as possible when you feel out of your depth

Transcript
eigh In On Biggest Moments of:,:

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

Bill Russell: [:to consume multiples of any [:o a bunch of end of the year [:es next year. We're going to [:s week health academy is new.[:re going to have guest hosts [:

And we have CIOs. We have CMIOs. We have clinical informatics. We have data scientists who I've tapped on the shoulder and asked them if they would essentially interview people within their networks about topics that are a little closer to what you're doing on a daily basis. And we're excited about airing those channels again. Four new channels.

o all four. Go ahead and hit [:

And you can subscribe that way. And we would love to have you be a part of the community again next year. Special thanks to our influence show sponsors Sirius Healthcare and Health Lyrics for choosing to invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health IT leaders. Now onto our show.

nother one of our end of the [:

David Bensema: Good to be here. Good to see you both.

Bill Russell: I guess the news of the year has to be Sarah Richardson took on a new role as CIO, is that one of the biggest news events of the year?

it did significantly change [:

So that's a, I'm always grateful to my husband for just kind of go along with the show most of the time.

Bill Russell: I was reviewing some of the clips from when I interviewed you earlier for another show we did before our end of the year show. And it was interesting, at the time you were right in the midst of meeting the entire team, the entire IT team, and you committed to having a one-on-one with everybody on your team. In a pandemic world that had to be very different than what you had done at previous organizations I would imagine.

Sarah Richardson: It was [:y single full-time colleague [:

And also contractors who are with us for long periods of time. And I commit to it at least once a year with everybody. So we'll start that cycle in about what 31 days or so.

Bill Russell: Are you starting to meet them in person now or are still remote?

Sarah Richardson: I would like to believe it's probably close to 85% of the team I have met in person because we still have two primary hubs.

states. We [:e to locations for different [:

Bill Russell: Your VP team number of times zones?

Sarah Richardson: Four. Like, me, but Arizona sometimes is different, but then I'm the one that gets the short end of the stick because I'm on Pacific time. They're mostly Eastern and Central so if I don't want to schedule them past 4:00pm, ideally, especially noon on Fridaysto give everybody a little wiggle room. My day starts at 6:00am.

Bill Russell: Absolutely. [:this year. again, I'm going [:

Does it feel like we're making progress with regard to the pandemic? In the beginning of this year, I was looking at some of the shows and we were talking about, we feel like by the end of this year, we'll be stepping out of the pandemic and now we have new variants and other things.

I'm curious, just give us a little of your thoughts on that.

much run up against the very [:

The convertible individuals we've converted. The hard liners are where they are. But the vaccines make a difference. The place where I see the progress is as we talk about Omicron we already are talking about how does the disease act in vaccinated individuals versus unvaccinated individuals who are already gathering data and disseminating that data?

at the markets don't do what [:

So we're not light years, but months ahead of where we were the last time we had to deal with the original, the Alpha and the Delta variants. We're light years almost ahead but we're months ahead in our ability to flip and create new products and have disease modifying regimens out there.

going to talk about, clearly[:interesting because that was [:

That was one of the lessons that people really felt like we learned. But the reality is there's enough stories as we go through this year of Amazon moving their Amazon care program forward. Signing the parent company for Peloton as a user of Amazon care. And then towards the end of the year, they signed another, big name as well.

k wall and they're stopping, [:

When you think about what big tech's doing, when you think about what these outsiders are doing, is that one of the stories for this year, do you think?

started dealing with them in:their call center and their [:

That's been kind of remarkable to me. Showing that in outside the traditional healthcare realm organization can actually have success. But I like how they've done it, because it's seems to have been a very thoughtful, pragmatic approach to it.

Bill Russell: It really is interesting best buy. We talked about it last year Best Buy the healthcare company.

Cause they've made all these [:th more and starting to move [:

Sarah Richardson: Oh, absolutely. So many you think about Best Buy getting into the mix. Any of the brands that you trust.

d have dominated that space. [:

You go to their websites. I teach this stuff for CHIME. We want to make healthcare the easy button. So if you're already remember you, I think bill it was you and Drex that had the podcast about Amazon have handled the vaccinations across the country because you trust certain things to come into your home and your houses.

at we look at from different [:together inside of a Walmart [:n still get a bag of Doritos [:

And if, if that alone happens at Dollar General, that, that could be a big movement. As I'm looking at this, you brought up the episode I did with Drex and we've talked about if Amazon had handled vaccine distribution, it would have gone much better. Because we were trying to coordinate states and new websites and new scheduling things and all this other stuff.

st pull it together and away [:CAR and other partnered with [:

I think. It feels to me like we develop some new muscles in healthcare, like how to work with the state better, how to work with entities better. I think for me that feels like it was one of the stories of this year that we got better at partnering than maybe we've been in the past. David do you think that's true?

neglected areas within every[:reating that interface, back [:as part of it, it the influx [:

Bill Russell: I'm going to hit a couple more stories real quick, and then I'm just going to, to take the reins off. You guys can talk about whatever you want. Kaufman hall came out mid year and talked about the impact of doing the shutdown of non-essential surgeries and what that did to the financials of health systems.

have a big you know bankroll [:

And about 30 days where they were without their EHR and had to go on diversion for much of that time. As I look at the rest of the year, we had some interesting things. The vaccine credential initiative came out as we came to the end of the year, and people wanted to know, is it safe to be coming back together?

people [:

Of those I think 4,200 or something to that effect people that they tested, there was only three positives. Two ended up being false positives and one actual positive from that event. And I didn't hear of anyone going away from that event. HIMSS came back together this year. The CHIME fall forum happened this year.

said that the attendance is [:rships occurring. It's not a [:[:forum was the talk about the [:

Bill Russell: As I think about that, Sarah, the question is who's going to build the experiences and I'm sure you've seen this study, this trusts survey that they do and the the nurses, I think are the most trusted.

ance company is like trusted [:

Is that the player that's going to build the experiences that we as a customer finally go yeah healthcare is starting to feel like it's moving into the 21st century.

rally United today says they [:replicated more effectively, [:one of the biggest players, [:

Bill Russell: David, do you wanna weigh in on this?

d with the insurance company [:

But I think, the one that's been most interesting to me, again, getting back to my Best Buy I guess, obsession at this point, is Best Buys ability to create this in-home relationship and social work relationship and call center support for emergencies and folks are really comfortable with that.

But the value I [:toring and all these the IOT [:CISO a whole lot calmer if I [:mary care. We really are not [:

Thought we could be good at home care. Well, it's nice to capture that loyalty, but we're not really great at that because you got to maintain that workforce in a geographic dispersion. And it's hard to maintain the control that at least acute care hospitals that I know of like to have. So we have to think about how do we collaborate?

t of our depth and so little [:Bill Russell: The complex [:

So they're becoming a different company. You have Providence and all those players launching Truveta. Providence, Ascension, there's an article about Ascension Ventures and the fact that they're pretty much a massive VC firm. They have invested in a lot of different companies and they're in a lot of different businesses serving healthcare.

of your revenues now coming [:And that's now an [:

I mean, it seems like everybody's trying to get into a different business than the, than the one they're in. Is that just the nature of where we're at today, that you have to diversify?

And I think health systems, [:[:have established a new norm, [:s ago, without the pandemic, [:

Sarah Richardson: I'd like to look at it as a space of more of the on demand activity. And I literally say that because. There are certain times when you want and need to go to the physician, like not get your annual physical on in theory, some of your preventative care, just doing a video visit.

times this year. So haven't [:with our pediatrician groups.[:

They wanted like five things that parents could just literally do a video visit form. One of them was pink eye. When you're a parent, if your kid has pink eye, you don't want to drag the whole brood in because everyone's going to get sick or kind of thing. You got three kids at home and one sick.

You don't want to go to the doctor, especially when you know what's wrong with them. So the convenience factor back to the, the human approach. If it's an on demand capability for that percentage of all of us that want to be able to do then absolutely. My father-in-law's 93. He hates telemedicine as he should at his age with all of this, all of the different things he has going on.

But when you [:that type of service from a [:hink it has the potential to [:

Because every time I do telehealth, I'm not going back to the same doc. It's kind of a different kind of deal. And maybe that's my age, right. So I'm only. I actually I'm 54 now, I got to think about that these days. I'm 54. So maybe I should have that recurring primary care, Doctor,Bensema is going to shake his head here in a minute and tell me I should have that ongoing relationship.

ory right now. We've sort of [:in the state of Kentucky, we [:lack of having to drag your [:a sustainable business model.[:

Bill Russell: It requires policy change. It requires funding. And so just for clarity, is that Medicaid and commercial, because I mean, clearly

David Bensema: I stayed in Kentucky at the parody laws for all payers.

Bill Russell: All payer. But not CMS?

David Bensema: They cannot do it through medicare. Yeah. So getting Medicare to sustain that would help.

cations. That's not going to [:

He doesn't want to come in out of his business or have to figure out what to do with his son. So telehealth is great thing for those groups. So the United healthcare is the Anthems, the Humana being on a parody with in office visits has been a huge boon in Kentucky.

let's turn our focus towards:we should be watching for in:

Sarah Richardson: I'm going to go with two brief items. The first one is paying attention to the future workforce. And literally, like we learned all these adaptations throughout the first phase is what I will say of the pandemic to wait to the endemic state.

e about is the mental health [:d's point, he may be able to [:. We have to build literally [:d in a data center and other [:How do we as technologists [:

Bill Russell: Wow, fantastic. I'm glad I'm not following that. David?

David Bensema: Actually, Sarah has set me up for one of my two, which is ambient technologies. Ambient listening technoligies. Because how are we going to get the nurse to be able to hold the hand? How're you going to get the position to maintain eye contact with the patient?

h the old data entry that we [:'ll have a prototype in five [:we are coming I hope out of [:e hackers with the nefarious [:

And I think we're back there again, just because of how rapidly we had to roll things out. And I think we've got to get back to where least, or within striking distance or vis visual distance of those nefarious actors. They're always going to be ahead of us in this race. If we think that we can get ahead of them, we're delusional.

think we have to think about [:'s going to become much more [:

Bill Russell: Well, the old adage is if you're the smartest person in the room, find a different room. So clearly I'm in the right room. With the other group, what I said was automation is going to be key.

rom a recruiter, get offered [:

And if you're not a good manager, not a good executive, you're struggling to keep and build that culture. As a result I think there's going to be a call for much more automation. We also have the nursing shortage, which is going to be close to 500,000 down. And it's not like in 10 years, they're like saying in two years we're going to be half a million nurses short.

ent one. And that is I think [:and saying, okay, how can we [:k we'll start to see that in [:

Sarah Richardson: I love it.

David Bensema: You're in mental health already. So you're, you're not far off,

le. And so if like anything, [:

Even just pain management in general. And what VR can do for people that have pain management. It's pretty incredible. You look at the research it's out there today.

Bill Russell: So another year is in the books. I want to thank you guys for being advisors and people from time to time will come up to me and say, it's amazing how far that you've gotten in this thing.

been there all along the way.[:It's conference level value [:

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