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Interview in Action @ CHIME '22 - Brian Lancaster, CIO & SVP, Children's Mercy Kansas City
Episode 8116th November 2022 • This Week Health: Community • This Week Health
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November 16: Today on the Community channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from CHIME’s Fall Forum. Brian Lancaster, CIO and SVP at Children’s Mercy Kansas City talks with Bill about his current focus: his first 90 days with Children’s Mercy. They discuss strategies and techniques for embarking on a listening tour and meeting with team members one on one. What technological and vendor differences did Brian notice as he transitioned to his new position and how did he benefit from noticing similarities with his previous organization? What’s next in Brian’s 90 day plan?

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

interview in action from the:

It's tough to get it right.

Um, It's, but it's great to see you've made the move from Nebraska Medicine down to Children's Mercy in Kansas City.

So I, I think what I'd like to hear from you is, how's it going? I mean, you're in your first


Yeah, it's going great. But I would say it's, you know, you read those blog posts of here's the 90 day plan for the new cio. It's really not a plan from my perspective. It's really a framework.

I've written a 90 day plan.

Yeah, you might have written one sometimes, , but I think it's, it really should be a framework because you first need to really get to know the organization, right? So I'm coming from the adult market and now it's pediatrics and there are nuances and you really need to understand those before you start to maybe like start to just assume things and start to implement things.

May not , meet the marks. I think really more about a framework.

Well, let's compare our 90 day plans. So, when I came in, we had a listening tour, right? And so the listening tour for me was I went to the senior leadership. I'm like, Who are the people I need to know? Like, who are the people in the leadership team?

Now we're also talking about a 16 hospital idn. So this, my listening tour went on for about three months. Yeah. Uh, I was meeting with people, but I also asked the team who are our. Who are the people that I need to talk to who are gonna be our champions? So for me, it started with the listening tour.

What, what?

Yeah, so listening tour , same with me. , I would say it would just the same way who are our champions, but maybe who are some of our critics? Who are some of the people who are influential that we need to get engaged with? And then also who's a listening to her with my staff. Cuz there had been some instability of the CIO leadership position for a.

So it's , what are their perspective? How do I amplify their voice? And, you know, I always like the saying of, if you get four people in a room, that equates to one genius. So we have a lot of geniuses in the organization. So how do I connect my staff with kind of a senior leadership team?

And I think by kind of getting that connection point, really that's where the magic happens, if that makes sense.

What does your time look like? Cuz I, I did the same thing with my staff. ? What does the time look like? What the first time you're meeting with a staff member, do you try to get one-on-one with as many of 'em as you can?

Yeah, so obviously with my direct leadership team, , that's the key, the cadence and established. Then it's kind skip level meetings, and then really just making yourself available for, if anyone has ideas, and in a virtual world, it's both maybe a little bit more challenging as well as there's some great opportunities.

So I can pop into what we call huddles. We do a huddle system, tier one huddles, like the local team huddle.

So you just pop into a team speech and you're there.

Yeah, , just pop in and just kinda listen , and see how I can help. , and sometimes, you don't wanna stop the collaboration cuz you know, , I'm the big suit or , the title.

So how do you make it comfortable? So we, we usually like to do an ice breaker, kind of change the energy in the room to like, let's talk about some local sports. Make a joke, and you know, what about this sort of thing? And just get the ideas. And then from those initial interactions, always trying to say, If you have an idea, come reach out to me.

, and we can start to engage in that form as well. So , it's both at the team level then also at the individual level.

So you get to know the team, you get to know your champions and your critics, and obviously the executive team, you have to understand where they're going , and those kinds of things.

First 90 days though the person I talked to that shocked me was Sarah. , she had scheduled all these meetings in the first like three weeks and she did like in three weeks she did one on one meetings with everyone in her department, a smaller organization, but everyone in her department and all the key players within the organization.

And she finished that very quickly so that she could hear all the different things that were going on. And then she had a handful of things that she did. And this just something I learned where it was just essentially, hey, Tell me about your role. Tell me about your goals. Tell me about what you're trying to do, and then it was, Tell me what your understanding is of what we're trying to do as an organization is

Yeah. And what she was able to identify very quickly is she needed to put a vision in place because as an organization they had all gone in sort of their own direction.

Yeah, so that's, that's interesting. I think I'm still on my listening to cuz so I think it also is not just about listening, it's like creating a relationship and Absolutely.

You can't just have a 30 minute, 60 minute meeting with anyone and have a relationship. Right. You know, Relationship really comes down to, it takes time. Yeah. How do you build confidence and earn trust? Yeah. And I think, I guarantee every time I have a discussion with someone, we get on a topic of, , what's one wish you have?

For it. What, what would you want the CIO to do? Is a question I usually ask and there's always a follow up. So what I try to do is kind of build confidence by doing that follow up. And I think that follow up kind of starts to get to the more median, maybe the more lawfully goals in terms of what is our vision, what's our direction, and things like that.

So, so I really think it is, how do you start to do the listening tour? How do you turn those into relationships? And then I think , there's a component of quick wins. , and there's, always gonna be something that someone needs or, you know,

the,, team might have been trying a project and they can't get it over the line.

So how do you just create some focus for that too?

Talk about the transition on the, so different technology stack, different set of vendors. What does that transition look like?

So there's actually a lot of similarity between the vendors with one big exception. We're a Cerner shop at Charles Mercy.

We're Epic at Nebraska Medicine. So a lot of the core infrastructure, like VMware and Salesforce, ServiceNow, the same place, very, very similar. But it was kind of interesting just to see like different approaches, like, Oh, that's interesting you did it this way. We tried this.

And especially when you find someone bring forward like a sticky project, like a project that they might have tried to do this a couple different times. , one example would be we've been working on tap and go for a little bit and it there. From my perspective, both a bad timing in terms of, it was right before Covid and then, you know,

they implemented clinic and everyone goes home.

So then there wasn't really that follow up in addressing the issues as quickly as possible, as well as maybe some different approaches , that I could bring forward for my, previous organization that kind of helped push it forward. And at the end of the day, it's just how do you allow for, staff members to speak up and say, Hey, we really should do it this way.

Oh, that's a great. Well, lemme get you some support

and drive that forward.

It's what's funny to me is tap and go was my quick win. Yeah. Because the team had already baked it all and they just couldn't get it off the ground. And so I come in as cio, I'm like, Right, what do we have that can really help the clinicians as quickly as possible?

Cuz we had a huge disconnect with the clinicians. And sure enough it was tap and go and we rolled it out across the. And it was a significant game changer for us going from two minute logins to, first login sub 60 seconds and then tap and go. It was, at least for that, I think we had a four hour window where we let people,

Yeah. So very similar approach. One of the things that was missing was that clinician feedback, and part of it is cuz we were hurried trying to hit a date. So it's like, okay, let's, pick the first locations and make sure it works very well before you move on to the next.

And that then gets this viral excitement like, Oh wow, this, one floored nurse unit has it. We don't. So you get this like pin up man, and people get excited about it , and I think that kind of builds confidence kind of over the course as well.

📍 📍 All right. We'll get back to our show in just a minute. We have a webinar coming up on December 7th, and I'm looking forward to that webinar. It is on how to modernize the data platform within healthcare, the modern data platform within healthcare. And I'm really looking forward to the conversation. We just recorded five pre episodes for that. And so they're gonna air on Tuesday and Thursdays leading up to the episode. And we have great conversation about the different aspects, different use cases around the modern data platform and how agility becomes so key and data quality and all those things. So great conversation. Looking forward to that. Wednesday, December 7th at one o'clock. Love to have you join us. We're gonna have health system leaders from Memorial Care and others. CDW is going to have some of their experts on this show as well. So check that out. You can go to our website, top right hand corner. You'll see the upcoming webinars. Love to have you be a part of it. If you have a question coming into it, one of the things we do is we collect the questions in the signup form because we want to make sure that we incorporate that into the discussion. So hope to see you there. Now, back to the show.

📍 📍

So what's next we're in the 90 day.

We're in the 90 days. One of the things I learned, and this is really listening to the. You know, Everyone's at Children's Mercy was such a connection to purpose. They love to be there , to help change the lives of children in the region. And it's a, very uh, emotional and engaging place because of that.

But they didn't all know how the work they were doing connected to that kind of, that loftier purpose. So we, we constructed kind of what we're calling an aim. Basically, as we care by providing transformational, secure, and operational systems. And by connect. Kinda what work they do from a systems perspective or an application development standpoint.

They can understand, yeah, they are caring for children through good quality IT services. So what's next is basically turning that into kind a strategic plan for next year and really gonna kinda launch a process by which of getting senior leadership engagement of course, but also to allow kind of staff , to share their ideas and how do we get those ideas to kinda really fit with one of the key five objectives that I'm working towards.

So, Nebraska medicine's pretty big. The Children's Hospital probably is a little smaller scale. Do you find it to be more nimble and more


one of the things I loved about Nebraska Medicine was how nimble it was and how transformational it was. And at the same time, I see that at Children's Mercy as well.

So I think it it can be for sure. I think it's just how do we create clarity on what our goals. And how do we really engage the full department the full information technology department? Cause we haven't always done that. There's been silos in pockets and really just how do you get that focus?

So focus, clarity, and alignment is always key. I think by doing that we'll get that nimbleness for sure.

Fantastic. First 90 days, we'll have to catch up in you

keep me on my plan.


Right, right. Bill,

Always great stuff.

Appreciate it.

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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