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Interview in Action @ CHIME '22 - Saad Chaudhry, CIO, Luminis Health
Episode 769th November 2022 • This Week Health: Community • This Week Health
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November 9: Today on the Community channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from CHIME’s Fall Forum. Saad Chaudhry, CIO at Luminis Health talks with Bill about what he believes is the most important measurement of success a CIO can use: time saved for patients. Why does he believe that time is the ultimate litmus test? How is he able to create an online search solution with no login requirements without the headache of not having a record in the system? Why does he believe custom development on top of an EHR is worth the development burden for a more frictionless experience for the patient?

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Today on This Week Health.

Ultimately that is the optimum currency for every living thing. It's the finite amount of time you have.

We need to have the first litmus test if it's worth it or not, based.

on time So if this means that we make our technology landscape a little bit more complex, I'm okay with that. As long as the primary test prevails, which is, are we giving back time to our users and our patients?

interview in action from the:

All right. Another interview in action. We're here with Saury with Luminous Health and this is the first time we're meeting. We are, yeah. But I'm looking forward to the conversation cuz uh, you have an interesting perspective on , the role of healthcare, what healthcare is actually delivering.

And I read the article I'd love for you to introduce it a little bit.

Sure, absolutely. So the article you're referring to is this manifesto that I wrote called a Manifesto. And it's more personal. Really. It started off more personal , than career focused. My father passed away at an earlier age over 12 years ago.

And I got obsessed with this idea of time and our nonchalant approach to it as humans existing in society. He was a physician, a practicing physician. So I was in that household

and you look pretty healthy. So , was he fairly healthy? I assume

he was fairly healthy. It was a heart attack and a series of unfortunate events after the heart attack was occurring.

And it, it just, it led to his demise and it was sudden it was shocking to the entire family. Yeah. But after that I became obsessed with this thing to the point where I was kind of wondering why are we wasting time on things that it would add any value? The folks that we serve the folks that we work for and the organizations we work for.

And it's kind of seeped into my life in the career side. So I'm currently at a medium sized health system based out of Maryland. I am the cio. I have the good fortune to work for a fantastic ceo. She believes in the actual transformation of the operations with technology, so the true digital transformation.

And so she allows me to ask questions. These millions of dollars we've been invested in just tech IT systems, have they actually given any time back to our patients? Because that is ultimately what we're doing. We're giving time back to patients, their existence.

You're a philosopher .

I try to be, I dabble and as an amateur

I dabble it.

Yeah, but you're a full time cio. And when I think about the CIO role, it's interesting cuz clinicians have been asking for years to give 'em time back. That's the exact words they use. That's like, give us time. Back in our day. They want a better quality of life. I want time with my family.

I want time. Yeah. That kind of stuff. So I mean, that aspect has to really resonate with them. When you start talking about time, they're like, Yes, you value my time. You understand? Now talk to me about how this technology, how this digital transformation buzzword is gonna change my life.

And that's exactly it, bro.

So the way I phrased it is, is actually to say while we in healthcare are in the business of. Right. So our job is to get somebody their existence, allowance however much that may be. So if you live to 80, that's 700,000 hours, right? It's that finite. You've counted hours. Clearly I've been obsessed about this, right?

And so, but we are also, on the other hand, stealing little portions of this time. You need to get an appointment. You're gonna be on the phone for half an hour, you're gonna. Two hours filling out forms again and again and again. Right. You need to find out if you need a procedure and is covered by insurance.

That's days worth of, hold on. Phone calls. So while we're trying to give you time back, we're also stealing time in the general scheme of things. And it's not just the patients, it's also the clinicians and users, like you said.

, is luminous a payer provider or just a provider?

It's just a provider.

It's in the state of Maryland, which is a unique state with the all payer. And so that allows us a little bit of the value based sort of, filter and approach in most of the things we do. So really it's just been that,

it, is the complexity of healthcare that drives, I'm just talking as a patient now, but it drives us nuts.

Yeah. Right. So it's I have to get on the phone and make sure I have a primary care provider before I go to see a specialist before I whatever. And then each one of those. Is unique and distinct in that it could be, a 30 minute wait could be a 45 minute wait. It could be that their systems are connected, they're not connected, in which case I'm filling out the same form over and over and over again.

Yeah. And that, I mean, that's the frustration that we hear on the patient side of it, but they don't, talk about time, but that is essentially what they're saying. You're wasting my time

ultimately. that's it Ultimately that is the optimum currency for every living thing. It's the finite amount of time you have.

So the way I've cut through all this noise, and, and this is just my perspective, right or wrong, I don't know is if we are going to be changing something, it has to be a complete spectrum change. Not just the system, not just the technology. It has to be operations as well, And we need to have the first litmus test if it's worth it or not, based.

on time So if this means that we make our technology landscape a little bit more complex, I'm okay with that. I'm okay with adding yet another system, yet another technology as long as the primary test prevails, which is, are we giving back time to our users and our patients? And case in point, we develop, we custom developed our online scheduling piece, even though we are an Epic customer and they have those things built out already in the ehr.

It wasn't exactly as streamlined as I would've wanted And so we built it out ourselves. So today, if you were to Google Luminis Health, 3 clicks, 15 seconds, you'll be at open slots. Primary care up to eight specialties. And we don't even know who you are yet. You don't even have to be logged in yet. So my goal with everything has been cut out, the time waste in every aspect, and we're doing that internally as well.

So we're doing this big, big reform of our entire EHR landscape. From the user's perspective, from the physician's perspective, from the nurses'. 📍

📍 Everybody's talking about hospital at home, health at home. Market Watch article states that in-home hospitalizations saves five to $7,000 per episode and with the economy where it's at, and the pressures that are on health systems, this is an important topic. On December 1st, join us for a webinar with a panel. They're gonna be able to share how they stood up a successful program and work through the complex requirements for helping patients recover in a comfortable and familiar setting. You can register on a website this week, Go to the upper right hand corner. We have current webinars and upcoming webinars. You can register right there and you could also, in that registration, put any questions you. And we will try to address those questions during the webinar. We love doing that and love having you be a part of the conversation. So I look forward to seeing you there.

📍 📍 So before you start a project, we would normally look at an ROI for the project and have that conversation. How do you incorporate time into that? We're gonna give you so many minutes, hours, whatever, back essentially.

So we haven't quite quantified it in just that, in just the time piece.

friction that you're looking at as well?

Well, friction, absolutely. And every. Talking about that now, the frictionless experience from a patient engagement perspective. But I can tell you that if you actually look at the time side of it, that's the easiest thing to convert into roi because you already know how much each minute and hour cost of operations in any given point of your health system, whether it's a clinic, whether it's a clinician working, or whether it's a person at the front desk.

And so when you're saying I'm saving X amount of time internally and externally, ironically, that's the easiest. It converted to dollars.

I'm gonna go back to your. Google search, Three clicks, 15 minutes, not even in the system yet. 15 seconds. 15 seconds. And I'm, I'm going, back to why we didn't do that.

Now I've been a cio, it's coming up on, what, seven years now or something. But back when we were trying to do it if they didn't have a record in the system, it created all sorts of problems for us. Like we didn't have basic information about 'em and those kinds of things. We actually tried to fool the system by creating a record while they were doing all that stuff.

How do you get around that or get through that?

So there's two ways. One of the things we did was the logging in with your MyChart. We took it out of MyChart. We're still using Epic as a source of truth and the data in the back, but we're doing some fancy things up front where if you log in with your MyChart login and password, you're actually not logging into MyChart.

They're actually logging into our website. We never take you into the MyChart portal unless you click on a specific thing that says, Take me to. So we personalize your experience through that. If you're logged in that search that I talked about, the three clicks is actually better because we know, hey, you're looking for primary care and you've seen this primary care physician before.

So as soon as you search, we put that at the top. We float that to the top saying, Bill's gonna wanna see this person again. But if we don't know who you are, we actually have you fill out your information without logging in, and then we match it in the background.

So you describe Luminous as a medium sized health system.

It is. It's a 10,000 staff members. 1.5 billion three hospital, a hundred ambulatory facilities.

The reason I bring that up is cuz what you just described is you're utilizing Epic APIs, essentially. Yes. So you broke, that out. Mm-hmm. . And you have some development going on?

We do.

Okay. It's interesting to me cuz the larger systems are doing this.

They're breaking it down to create a new digital experience, if you will. As you go in, the smaller systems tend to be. Because they look at it and go, Oh man, the cost of development and different staff potentially than you have now. How did you get through that?

So it's the same thing, the filter, what are we willing to put money and resources into?

And I happen to argue that it's better for us to make that frictionless experience up front where you're saving, giving back time to the patient and that should be our priority. So having said that, when we do this as custom development, we know full well that there's a burden. And everybody says that that's why people usually don't do custom development on top of EHRs, but it allows us to actually have a little bit more freedom on where we can inject users.

So if today, for example, is flu season, right? If you googled Luminous health flu shots, the first link in Google will inject you right into scheduling your flu shot. No other search. You will click on it, , it'll put you midstream in. What is our usual workflow for online scheduling and say, Here you go.

Just click this button and you can schedule.

So you guys, the other thing you're describing here is you guys are SEO ninjas as well.

We're trying to be, but that's part of the game, especially if you're in a region. So being in Maryland,

but look, you're saving them time are so, they're at, we all know they're gonna go to Google first and they're gonna do that.

You don't want luminous, flu shot, whatever to be like number 12 on second page. You want it to be up there at there

and you want it to be meaningful. Yeah. You don't wanna just click on it. It's a definition of what a flu shot is. You want it to be actionable as soon as you click on it, and you can do that with the way we've built this out from a custom perspective.

Not having said that. We're long time Epic customers coming up th 13 years now. Oh yeah. We know that these kind of things change with time and evolve, and one day Epic is going to be there from a custom perspective where they can allow these things to happen externally and we reevaluate our footprint at that point.


That's an interesting project. Is there another project that sort of illustrates this, giving back of time?

So I, I mentioned to the internal side of giving back time to our own. So we are actually having been on the EHR for a very, very long time, our workflows have caught barnacles.

We're an apple, It's a sailing analogies, right? So we have all these barnacles growing on our workflows. They're crusty. So what we're trying to do is actually reevaluate the entire EHR footprint. That means looking at workflows almost like a reimplementation. We're doing it under the umbrella of the Epic refuel, which is a tried and tested method that Epic does promote from their perspective.

But we're doing it at a more widespread level, and what we're doing is we. We stick to Foundation Build, which is the default build that Epic gives. Yeah. And the percentage that the foundation doesn't cover, we stick to best practices only. We do not stick to personal preference. And we do that because we want to simplify the most minimum amount of burden we can put on the user.

That's the approach we want to take.

Wow. So you're gonna get back to foundation. Yeah. That's a project in and of


, it's gonna take over a year, year. .

The thing I really like about this is the way you've integrated the operations and it is just fascinating to me that a lot of times when we're doing these technology projects, we don't want do the cultural change.

We don't wanna do, Oh yeah. Those are very difficult conversations.

That's a

tougher part of this. I think the technology piece is actually the minute newest. It's, it's easy. So, you may not be surprised to hear this bill, but my cosson. For this entire Epic project is my ceo.


that's that's interesting.

Yeah, cuz I'm on record of saying the head of digital at your organization needs to be the ceo. Absolutely. And people are like, Well, they don't have time for that. I'm like, They have to because all of business is digital now and healthcare is becoming digital. So, , you know that. So thank you for your time.

This was a true pleasure.

Really, really appreciate it.

Yeah, happy to.

It was fun.

Another great interview. I wanna thank everybody who spent time with us at the conferences. I love hearing from people on the front lines and it is Phenomen. That they have taken the time to share their wisdom and experience with the community, which is greatly appreciated. We also want to thank our channel sponsors one more time, who invest in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders. They are Olive, Rubrik, trx, Mitigate, and F5. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.




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