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CHIME Kara Marx, A Look Back / Forward
Episode 15014th November 2019 • This Week Health: Conference • This Week Health
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 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 wanna thank our founding channel sponsors who make this content possible, health Lyrics and VMware if you wanna 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 ACIO, I was really overwhelmed at first, and one of the first things I did was to sign ACIO Coach . To walk with me through the journey. This was someone who had wisdom that can only gained through years of experience.

d them to take a look back at:

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 gonna 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 'em really quick, and some of you listen at one and a half time speed, so it's gonna go like that. Uh, we're gonna publish one a day, uh, with a few Newsday 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, not all of these conversations were with CIOs.

I was able to sit down with Kara Marks, who is, uh, a really a deputy CIO type, uh, role for Sharp Healthcare, uh, working with Ken Lewan down there. And, uh, we, we had a really good conversation and I convinced her to come on the air to talk about . Uh, two of the questions that I was asking the CIOs and that was around the experience, the, uh, clinician experience and the patient experience, which Sharp is doing some great work around.

And, uh, I just love the conversation and I hope you enjoy another session from the, uh, floor of the Chime Fall forum. And we're here with Kara Marks, uh, what's your title? Vice President IT Application Sharp Healthcare. So you make sure that things get done at Sharp, that's . Yep. That's what I do most of the time, all day long.

Cracking the whip . What, so give us an idea of what, what, what is that role? What, what do you oversee? Sure. Well, um, for those of, uh, your viewers who don't know, sharp Healthcare, we're seven hospitals in two large medical groups in San Diego, California. Um, we are using, uh, still several best of breed applications.

So Cerner is our core EMR, um, Athena GE Centricity Business for Revenue Cycle, . Sketch, we've got Allscripts touchworks in our ambulatory, so still pretty diversified with all of our applications. I would say we have near a thousand applications and a lot of those are under my responsibility for daily operations, deployment, maintenance.

Wow. So we're, we're not gonna go through the whole series questions 'cause um, uh. Because I didn't, I didn't warn you that we were gonna go through these series of questions. That's okay. I think it's fair. Um, but, you know, a couple things, since you're working on the applications, uh, we'll focus in on the, the two questions I think have a lot of relevance, which is what's one initiative you're doing if I go to the people of San Diego?

trategic plan called Consumer:

Uh, we went out, uh, in front of urgent cares and we asked, um, patients coming out, what would be the most meaningful to you as a consumer of Sharp? And a lot of demand for, um, self-scheduling, mobile technology, um, telemedicine, uh, anything related to consumer way finding, um, parking assistance, et cetera. So a whole consumer focus, and it really has jumped to the priority over other initiatives and not necessarily vendor driven.

So not, uh, we're not totally committed . To Cerner Tool set, or Athena Tool set, or Allscripts. Um, we're evaluating what would be the most ease of use with the, um, best stickiness and value. That's fantastic. You, you just stood out, well, not you personally Yeah. With the, with the clipboard, but, um, but you had people standing outside the urgent care centers Yep.

Saying, Hey, um, tell us about your experience, you know, what would've made it better. Yeah. And, uh, you know, I, I, I mean, I'm sure you guys, I, I've . Afraid of the surveys before you spend a lot of time coming up with the right questions. Yeah. You know, the reason we did that is, um, when you're doing traditional project prioritization, you use your internal governance committees, which are usually leaders in operational areas of the hospital to help you make the decisions, what's gonna mean the most to the organizations.

But when you're dealing with a patient, consumer population, the best person to ask is not the administrators, but the actual patients themselves. So we have a team, uh, . Digital marketing team, uh, reporting to our chief marketing officer. They've all been, uh, trained in product management, so different than project management, product management.

And, uh, they went out and we surveyed many people. And actually, uh, one thing we've, we've already. Started delivering. And our, um, our website is already offering a lot of consumer stuff. Bill pay, uh, find a doc. Um, we just went live with urgent care wait time and, uh, those were all driven prioritization from the customer.

You, you know, bill, you always have a list that's never done. So we let the consumers pick what was the most important. And online scheduling is our next on the list. Yeah, it was interesting when we were doing our portal at St. Joe's, we, we had like the . 10 things we had to have in it and the team's building it out and they're doing all these things.

And uh, finally I, when I came in, I'm like, Hey, have we talked to the consumers? Should we talk to the consumers? And the things that were like number eight and nine Yeah. Ended up being number one and two, the consumers lab. That same exact thing happened to us. We were very surprised because when we thought, what.

The consumer patient wanted was based on the lens of being healthcare employees and being influenced by, um, other objects like our operational statistics, um, our growth requirements, um, what our vendors are telling us, and sure enough, same exact experience, the patients and the consumers reshuffled our prioritization.

Yeah, I'm gonna get to that. But the other thing that happens is we say, well, we're patients as, as healthcare. And we say like, so we understand it. The problem is our . Biases is we understand healthcare. Correct. And so we, we view through that lens. Yeah. And you know, I think another helpful thing, which we had done a little bit in the past, but now we're trying to broaden throughout the, um, organization is the use of a persona.

So we looked at the population, uh, we serve, and the largest population who we thought would be the biggest user of our consumer products was a, um, you know, single mother of two, maybe divorced. Uh, you know, we gave her an . Anna and we wrote a little scenario about her, and then we challenge now all of our consumer projects against that persona to kind of keep us on track to hit the majority of the consumer we are trying to target.

That's fantastic. Well, one of the other consumers is the clinicians. Yeah. So what's one thing that you, uh, that the team and the organization is focused on that's gonna move the needle for, for their experience? Yeah. You know, when you talk about clinicians, um, we end up breaking 'em into two groups. So . We have our physician medical group, um, and then we have our inpatient clinicians, nursing, respiratory therapy, ancillary services, and we were hearing similar um, requests coming from the physicians.

The physicians were asking for communication tools like texting, secure text. And the nurses were asking for alerting and messaging and why do I have to carry around so many tools? And then our telecom was saying, we're getting ready to do a refresh on all the phones. So it was obvious that we should put together a plan to address that.

Um, we looked at the marketplace and we decided to partner with Cerner, our EHR partner for integration. And we're going with a clinical communication tool that will be deployed on a smartphone. And uh, we are live . With one facility so far, a Cerner Care Aware Connect product. And what's fantastic is the tools helping the nurse because she's getting voice.

She can do, um, image capture, barcoding at the bedside and communication with the physician. And the physician gets the same. Although the most important to the physician really is the, um, texting and they've really enjoyed that they're doing that BYOD and then the nurses are getting the smartphones. Wow.

That's, um, I don't, I don't wanna get too much into the technology, but I, I mean that's a, that's a huge benefit to them in terms of, um, I, I, every, every, now I don't know about you, but I walk through the HIMMS floor and I try to go from end to end, and I see all the things they're trying to put out.

They're like, well, your, your nurses will love this. You'll love this and like this. And I'm like, no. I think what the nurses would like is simplification. Correct. I, I couldn't agree more, you know, is both the medical staff and the nurse . Um, they see that technology is now part of operations. There's no going back.

It's a part of their life, but we have to get them to love the technology and to eliminate the clicks. And for so long, we've just been implementing, implementing that. It has become too many layers and the simplification from this mobile device that now you can do documentation and you can make a call and do all these tasks from one handheld is really powerful and they're thrilled about it.

If, if I can, can ask you if we only have like a minute left here, but . Um, uh, we did a survey of our users and listeners and they said, if you could ask the health IT executives what roles they're gonna be hiring. I just want to throw that question out there. Yeah. Because we have a lot of college students watching there, but they're saying, Hey, you know, where's health it hiring these days?

You know, um, I would say anyone who can come with certain competencies, I don't think that I would get caught up in a title anymore because the title . Love an analyst or, uh, an engineer or, uh, integration, uh, resource. It's really to me bringing competencies and selling your skillset around soft skills, being able to communicate and facilitate, being able to problem solve, being able to, um, facilitate dialogue.

Those are the differentiators. And then you can back yourself into several roles. That's been a common, the common theme is, you know, you would think we'd be talking about these really hard skills, and the common theme is . . We need more people who are artistic, who are creative, who are uh, good listeners, good facilitators.

Yeah. Negotiators it. Exactly. It's like we we're, we're finally marrying and I'm gonna play these things next to each other. People are gonna hear the same thing sometimes, but we're finally marrying the left brain in the right brain. Agree of, yeah. That's what we're looking for at Sharp, so, absolutely.

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