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Welcome to this Week in Health It where we discuss the news, information and emerging thought with leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 27. Today we get a CEO's perspective on the digital transformation of healthcare. This podcast is brought to you by health lyrics. Are your strategies constrained by infrastructure or are you tied in a nod of applications?th systems to the cloud since:
Before I get to our guest, an update on our listener drive, we've exceeded 200 combined new subscribers, our outlet. Which means we've raised $2,000 for Hope Builders, which provides disadvantaged youth life skills and job training needed to achieve enduring personal and professional success. I've hired their graduates and their stories are really nothing short of, uh, of amazing.
They're very inspiring. We have, uh, six more weeks, uh, where our sponsor has agreed to give $1,000 for every additional a hundred subscribers. Join us by subscribing today and be a part of giving someone a second chance. Today's guest is the president and c e o of Providence, St. Joseph Health, a faith-based, a faith-based not-for-profit, health and social services system.
With 111,000 caregivers in 50 hospitals, 829 clinics, and uh, someone I consider to be a digital health visionary. Today, Dr. Rod Hockman joins us. Good morning, rod. Welcome to the show. You know, your, your bio is pretty awesome, but the show has a limited timeframe, so if you don't mind, I'd like to condense it a little bit.
Are, are you okay with that? Uh, so lead, so you've had leadership positions at, uh, Providence, Swedish, Sentara in Virginia Health Alliance of, uh, greater Cincinnati and Guthrie in Pennsylvania. Rod has served as a clinical fellow in internal medicine at Harvard Medical School and Dartmouth Medical School.
In addition, he's a fellow at the American College of Physicians and a fellow at the American College of Rheumatology. He received his bachelor degree in medical degrees from Boston University. Actually, my, my daughter is, uh, interested in BU and we're heading up there in the fall for a visit. Is there anything I should know about BU before I head up there?
Ab, absolutely. I was just there on campus. I was actually, The campus is growing like crazy and uh, the big sell is, you know, it Boston, you know, and been great. It's go for it way I can help. Yeah. Well, I, I, I am looking forward to, uh, anytime you get to visit Boston in the fall, it's, uh, it's, it's a, it's a wonderful experience.
So I'm looking forward to, we're gonna visit some, I, I don't know, you know, your youngest daughter going to Boston or she wants to look at schools in New York City and Philadelphia. I mean, these are big cities and I live on the other coast, so it's, anyway, vote hands down.
Well, let's see. So, uh, there's two other great sentences in your bio. So, um, I'm gonna touch on these. So, uh, under Rod's leadership, Providence St. Joseph Health is transforming healthcare for the future through digital innovation, genomics and scientific wellness, pop health, and outreach to the poor and vulnerable.
In addition, mental health is a top priority for Providence St. Joseph Health, which is contributing a hundred million dollars to establish an independent foundation. Focused on improving the mental health and wellness of communities. Uh, so let's break that down a little bit. So, digital innovation, genomics, scientific wellness, pop health, and outreach.
Give us a high level on some of the things that you have going on right now at, at Providence St. Joseph Health in, in those areas. Well, you know, we're, we're the belief that, you know, the health system of the future is gonna have to look different than it today. That, that we.
There are two areas that have been slow to get the digital revolution that's been higher ed and, uh, healthcare. And, uh, whether we like it or not, it's, it's here. And what we did, I think the smartest thing we did about four years ago, we hired Aaron Martin from Amazon to be our, uh, chief of digital, uh, informatics.
That, that, you know, to, to handle this for us. And as it was, as much a cultural change as it was a technological change for us. And you know, and Aaron has a great diagram, but to put technology people together with healthcare, people in the middle, you get magic because they both need each other, whether they recognize it or not.
And I think we recognize that four
realization. Digital is the way healthcare's gonna go. It's the only way we get the scale. So we've been working in a whole bunch of areas which we can explore, but we considered that to be job one for the transformation of our system. The second area was, you know, we felt the largest health crisis in the United States.
If you look at folks, About 40% of patients that we see have some concomitant primary or secondary mental health disorder. And that if we don't get on top of this and we're seeing this in the country, we look at the suicide rates. A lot of that's been out there. We look at opioid epidemic. It's really, if this was Ebola or something else, we, we'd say, gosh, we have an epidemic.
We gotta do something about it. So we felt as a health system, we put a stake into the ground. We've gotta put our money where our mouth is. Instead we're gonna create this new organization called Trust so that other people could join us so that this isn't just a Providence St. Joseph effort. This is really a national effort.
We've gotten folks from all around the country, including Patrick Kennedy, Maureen Ano, to be part of our advisory board, so people could see this as creating solutions for mental health. The third is, you know, we have the, the other revolution that we have is the genomic. You know, we have this intersection, biologic science and computational science, and what enables.
New innovations in healthcare that we couldn't even dream of when I started med school 40 years ago. But it's all about computational ability to be able to do it. Lee Hood is our Chief Scientific Officer. Lee is a Caltech PhD combined with a MD from Johns Hopkins. So Lee is this intersection between computational science and biologic science.
And has spent a good part of his career in sequencing the genome. But now his area of interest is what is it in the genome that are clues to why people stay well? So he's termed the, the term scientific wellness. So it's the approach that if he can look at the genomic characteristics of folks and figure out what, what they have they clue to making us all.
And Lee's lab is in Southlake Union, right where Amazon, he's really helped us transform our about how we look at not just healthcare, but health in general, and how do we apply science to health and wellness. Um, and then the last area is our institute, uh, for human care, which looks at how do latter stages.
We all would want as doctors, it people, how would we wanna pass through that? And, you know, our approach is that you don't necessarily just need a, a bill, but you have, uh, assisted suicide. We think there's another pathway and, uh, uh, IOx work in this area's. Incredible. And, uh,
The way it's . So those are just some of the areas that we think are, you know, critical for health systems to be engaged in. And, uh, we think that's where some of the future is. Yeah, that's, I mean, that's, that's an awful lot and it's, uh, really exciting. I know that, um, you know, the sisters and you were so excited about the, the mental health initiative.
Exciting to see. Uh, I mean, not only Providence, but we're.
Maybe take the, uh, take the mantle of this. This is really an epidemic that needs to be, uh, addressed head on. Um, so let's, let's jump into, you know, uh, for those of our listeners, we usually do, uh, in the news soundbites and, um, we do, uh, social media close. We're gonna lose a social media close. We only have 45 minutes with, with, so I'm gonna spend more time on sound bites, a little bit on in the news.
So, So, rod, here's what we usually do during this section. I, I toss out some questions, usually one to three minute answers. If you go longer than that, um, I'm not gonna stop you. It's more of a guideline than a rule. Uh, and from time to time, people throw questions back at me. I cannot guarantee answers, but, uh, it happens.
So, um, so here we go. Um, uh, first question. How does, uh, how does the competitive landscape really change in healthcare with the emergence of digital technology? Right. So I, I think what digital helps us do is get to scale. And I think the biggest problem that health systems have had is how do you get to scale and how do we, for us, we take care of 13 million people a year.
How, how do we make that 20 million? You cannot do that. Having people visit your office, coming in for, we've gotta use technology and, you know, the digital tools, digital versus hands on.
Digital being able to really improve our scale and be able to get us out to places where we haven't been before. Whether it's either through telehealth, it's through apps, uh, it's, it's through people having their own personal health record. So we think unless you have digital tools, you can't take care of people's health.
You can't get the scale. Yeah, it's, but it's also gonna bring in potentially, uh, some new competitors. So as we look at the new competitor, uh, and potentially partner landscape, uh, new things are emerging. So you have C V SS Aetna, uh, j p m, chase, uh, uh, Amazon, Optum, DaVita, and, and various other, uh, mergers, uh, coming, coming to bear.
So, um, Let's take this from two perspectives. What, what challenges are those leaders, uh, with those new models going to face, given how, how much of a physical plant is required for medicine at this point? And how are these, these models going to change the traditional health system, uh, like Providence, St.
Joe's? So there's words of caution all the way through. So if we use a Uber analogy, right? So Uber has been able to revolutionize ability without owning a car, playing a train or anything else, nor do they have any plans on doing that. So I think we in healthcare, who feel so secure in our big buildings, better watch out because, you know, it's, it's, it's a analogy.
It's all of. Bricks and mortar, I wouldn't feel comfortable just sitting back there. So I think for, for the folks in healthcare, we've gotta, we have to partner, we have to develop, but we have to have a digital solution to what we're doing. So it's, it's the equivalent of saying, I'm just gonna have my stores and sell my DVD, versus I'm not gonna go out in the digital space.
So I think that's a, that's a threat and an opportunity for healthcare. It's not elective when you go onto the digital side, you have to, and then for smaller organizations, depending on who you're, I think you've gotta find the partner that are out there. Yeah. So, um, you know, as we look at, well, actually, let's, let's change gears a little bit here.
So, um, let's, let's take a look at the role of the consumer, so the consumer in, in today's marketplace. Is very different than the consumer in previous, uh, years. And what we're seeing is a lot of health systems change their models. Um, I've had a c i o on the, on the show who was talking about how they're really taking apart the health system and now they have, um, literally they're taking the departments, they're breaking out the big campus and you're seeing them on street corners and, and all over the, the city, they're making 'em more accessible.
Um, How, how is the consumer really dictating, uh, your next moves and your next steps, uh, in terms of how you, uh, make it more convenient, more accessible, uh, really focus in on, on experience and outcomes? So when we look at our, our new strategic plan, which we call Health 2.0, we put the consumer right in the middle, and we, we say as a consumer, how do I want it?
I want the healthcare where I want it, when I want it, how I want it. Sometimes it's at home, sometimes it's on my iPhone, sometimes it's in the office, sometimes it's in the hospital. But that's our whole focus and I think that's one of the things that our Amazon folks have really helped us with that work for us is they are completely consumer driven and they're really teaching us how we have to do that.
So we've shifted our focus completely in that direction to put the patient, the consumer at the center of. That that is for all of our caregivers. As you said, you know, we take care of the court vulnerable. If you're a Medicaid mom in Washington state or if you're a Microsoft executive or if you're Executive California, we wanna make sure we tailor our experience to do so.
We're all in on the consumer side, we think everything has to be towards the individual, their personal. Personal attention. That's we, digital really helps us. So let's, um, precision medicine, you mentioned, uh, uh, Dr. Uh, Leroy, um, heard ward. Dr. Leroy Horde, uh, your Chief Science Officer. So precision medicine based on genomics holds great promise.
We know that, uh, this technology is really advancing pretty rapidly. Um, how does, how does your health system prepare for what really could be a radical change in the way care is delivered and received in the future? Well, I think that's why we hired Leon, because.
We're also not an academic health system, but Lee is the one that's helping us shape what are the practical considerations of genome sequencing. But you know, what's interesting about Lee's work? It's not just about the genome. You know, and I, I need to say that it's about the biome, it's about the laboratory data, the data.
But what, what, what's today's world? Let's us do is put this. And figure out for Bill Russell, okay, what's, what's what, what do you need to do next? And so we think we and his work, uh, at personalized Health really helps us put us in a position to know what we need to do. And sequencing continues to spiral into.
It's almost, it's gonna be, uh, available and, and ready for everyone. Uh uh, you gotta just figure out how to use it effectively. Both if you're ill, but also if you're well, and I think we put our, we put our chips on the work that food skating, help us navigate through that. Yeah. I don't, I don't know if you've done this yet, but I, I, I went down to, uh, human longevity down in, uh, San Diego, and I, I did the full battery, uh, genomic sequencing and, and, uh, the rest of the services that they offered.
It was fascinating to me, um, just how, uh, How much more precise they can be and how much they could say, you know, aa, if your, if your physician prescribes for you these medicines, you're gonna want to direct them in, in this direction instead of this direction. It's amazing that when you treat 'em as, treat people as like just people as opposed to Bill Russell, the individual, uh, the diagnosis could change and the, the, the, the path, the treatment path could, could change pretty, pretty, uh, dramatically.
What we're finding with the work with the genome is that many medications that we prescribe, they work for you, but not for me. And how do we know that right now? It's trial and error. Well, well I guess it's not working, you know, and what we're finding, are there secrets in the genomic pattern that will help reveal whether, which medicine works for you?
Obviously, the most obvious thing. How we've been overtreating women with breast cancer, and we kind of treated everyone the same, so everyone's got the same cocktail of chemotherapy. But what you really find is that there's subsets amongst that group of women that for this group, this treatment makes sense.
But for this group, it doesn't make sense. So what it's helping us do,
Treatment and what we should do according to who you're, and that work is just accelerating dramatically. My wife is in a program that, uh, came out of these group called Arab, similar to what you've experienced in San Diego, and she's on the phone with, I think she's on the phone with her coach today, going through all of her data, her genomic data, what.
Wow, that's a whole different world from where I was even 10 years ago, uh, in healthcare. I love the direction it's going. So, um, you know, one of the things we, we probably don't talk about enough on this, this show or in other context is just the cultural change that's required. So digital requires significant cultural change.
Um, we saw a slow uptake in telehealth because it's. It's a new behavior. And even though now we're starting to see a significant rise in telehealth, it's taken many years, uh, for that to happen. AI requires acceptance, uh, within the health system as well. Uh, and there's many other examples. Um, how does, how does a leader, uh, lead cultural change that is, that is required to really accelerate the acceptance of these new technologies?
Yeah, I, that's a great question because I think, I think we're starting to see an explosion. It's, it's moving a lot faster than it was in the past. Uh, you know, Tom Friedman in his book, talks a lot about this kind of explosion on the curve of how fast you have to be able to move. So what I've been impressed with is I, I've noticed that what, what took before, but if you don't pay attention to.
It can really get burned. And you know, you and I have both experienced that in our roles that if, if you're not thinking about how the doctors and nurses work, you just throw some technology at it or something else. It's sometimes why we just hit up against the wall. So kind of getting people to understand and adapting to change, and I think just as important.
It's this whole science of change management. How do you get large groups of people change their behaviors? And there's a lot of good work that's being done in that area. Then I hit, hit that tipping point. We hit that tipping point in telehealth for sure. I think we're starting to see some of that tipping point in genomics, starting to see that change.
Uh, the acceptance of telehealth being on the. Telepsychiatry. People want telepsychiatry visits more than they want face to face visits. They don't wanna sit in the office somewhere. So I, I think, but, but understanding what are the cultural issues and then, you know, it's the same way we deal with a lot of diverse populations.
There's also cultural sensitivities with different groups that we take that their approach may.
Versus someone who's in, in LA or so somewhere else. So it's being aware of that, and I think having some people on the team that
yeah, we almost need to be, uh, sociologists today to help people to, uh, really see and, and, uh, understand the change that's, that's, that people are going through as we introduce technology. Um, so, uh, beyond, beyond the politics, 'cause I don't want to end up in a a rabbit trail here. Um, how important is healthcare policy in the, in the delivery of, uh, triple or quadruple aim in cost, quality, patient and clinician experience, uh, for healthcare?
Well, you know, I, I'd say again, we're not going down what, what I think markets.
Just tell us what the rules are, but keep 'em the same, you know? And I think whether it's IT technology or privacy or all the issues that the IT folks are dealing with or the, the healthcare delivery folks are dealing with or the markets are dealing with, what we really crave this consistency 'cause then we're very adaptable.
But the problem is when the rules change constantly, we're not quite sure where we are. And I think that's, if you put it down, that's probably the greatest frustration we. You know, now we're gonna see a whole spate of change in privacy laws. You know, we saw that in California, and that's off a whole sequence of different ways that we need to think about from a healthcare informatics standpoint.
What do we do with that? Uh, you know, the rules are changing, whether it's on three 40 b drug pricing or something else. So I'd say the biggest challenge that we have with policy is inconsistency. And I wish sometimes policy makers. And what I feel, my comment on policy makers, policy makers sometimes stifle innovation.
Uh, one of the great things about the United States is that we're great innovators, but you gotta get out of our way a little bit. Okay, tell me what I need to get to, but don't tell me how to do it. And that's what makes us great. I think in this country we've got some incredibly bright people that,
but don't micromanage us with policy. I won't. Employers and people in Washington, but you know, kind of what we need are set what you want the goals to be, but let us innovate and, you know, the public private partnerships that we can do. And I think we're starting to see that between different companies or technology companies, healthcare organizations, working together, that's that's where we're gonna make real progress.
So consistency. We're looking for consistency in policy. Well, I think as long as we have a democracy, well, that's, we're we're, we're gonna have inconsist inconsistency for a while. But, you know, uh, uh, Dr. Uh, John Mka was on and we talked about this and it was, I. He, he said almost the exact same thing. He said, you know, we, we started meaningful use, started out in one direction, and then everyone took it as their policy lever and they started adding to it.
And specifically the, the thing he said is they started to tell everyone how. So this is how you have to do this and how you have to do this. And quite frankly, how you do it in Washington might be different than how you do it in Lubbock. Might be.
Becomes, becomes very hard for health systems to keep responding to that, at least, um, uh, and, and innovate and not drive cost through the, through the roof. I did, I did prior to this ask, uh, uh, one of your peers for a question. And, uh, he, he wanted me to ask you about artificial intelligence there. Um, there are so many different places that we can utilize ai.
How, how are you gonna determine what area you're gonna focus in on? So, I guess it's really true of any emerging technology, but how do you prioritize your technology investments? Right, right. So I think, you know, 'cause otherwise that's the biggest problem I think for healthcare systems that we can get lost.
So every day, bill, when you and I go to one of these conferences, there's 150 new companies that probably won't be here next year especially. How do you figure that out? So our approach to that has been to create the fund by which we evaluate emerging companies that we think have value to us. We like to be investors and users at the same time.
So I think that's a, that's a good way to kind of sort through that. And, you know, we've put people in charge of just looking through technology, uh, and sorting through it because, you know, one thing I know is a c we shouldn't trying to figure that out, get someone that actually.
Technologies that are out there. Then there's the whole area of data and how do we approach that and particularly how do we approach ai. Uh, I've had the opportunity to be with the folks at Microsoft and they talk a lot about ai, how to apply it, and then also what are the ethics that are.
I, I'm looking at a partner. It looks like, you know, we're learning a lot from the folks at Microsoft about how we do that. So I see that before we just dive in, sort it out with some good technology partners and look at it from a standpoint of what are our problems we're trying to solve, and then one, are the best solutions.
So we've taken a very uh, uh, I would say systematic approach to that, but recognizing that we're gonna probably need some help. Yeah, I, I, you're, um, so one of the things you did is you, you split out innovation from it. I mean, you haven't split innovation out. Innovation is across the entire organization.
Clinical is, it's, it's just innovation is innovation. But you do have a, a, a group, uh, led by Aaron Martin, and you have your IT that's separate. And we've seen a lot of these models and even some newer emerging models where you have a chief transformation officer is now. Sort of a thing that's out there.
Um, I guess the, the question is do, do you do that because of this thing? Because there's so many emerging technologies and so many partners to evaluate and so many, um, and, and you want to sort of introduce new ideas to the organization, and is this, is this really something that's a, uh, uh, any health system of any size?
Or is this because of your scale that you've split these things out? I think some both. I, I think it's just a great principle. I think what's happened in the past when we've tried to be digital and be innovation, it's got crushed out by the rest of the organization. We've seen other models in other industries where the core of business just crushes out the new ideas.
We've gotta separate it. You've gotta fund it and it needs the direct support of the c E O. I think those are key words. The c e o has to believe in it has to be funded and it can't be allowed to subservient to the tradition mainline core business, which for us is our hospitals, our clinics, and everything else that are out there.
So I think that's really important. I think every organization can do it. I. That's where you've gotta look at who's your partner, who, how else can you do this? Because you can't maybe hire someone like Aaron, but maybe you can get together with some other partners to do that. So I, I think it's not, you don't get off the hook just because you're smaller.
You just have to figure out a different way to do it. And some of that is through partnerships, coalitions, and elsewhere to be able to do it. We've had a lot of smaller places be our partners, uh, you know, both on technology on it. They can do it on their own, but hey, we can partner with Providence and Joseph.
So I think that's the model for the future. But I don't think any of you gets off the hook. On having to make sure that they have this innovation due to that part of their organization that's growing and able to . Yeah, I was, um, I was asked on a panel, uh, who, who I thought led the, uh, digital initiatives at a, at a health system.
And, uh, my answer was the c e o and no exceptions. I think the c e o has to be the leader. 'cause digital strategy is strategy today. There's, there's really no separating that. Um, all right, well, let's, let's move to the news. So perhaps this is old news to some, uh, the non merger with Ascension. Uh, the merger would've created something in, in, in the, the, the scope of 200 plus hospitals, 30 some odd states.
The scale's really breathtaking. Uh, in, in the end you said the timing wasn't right. Uh, I guess there's two questions. The first being, uh, the obvious one. Uh, tell us about the decision and then the second, uh, question being, uh, do you think we're gonna continue to see, uh, more mergers in healthcare, uh, traditional and non-traditional and, and just elaborate on that a little bit.
Sure. First, ofc.
You know, we went right down to the wire. Uh, I think what we both stepped back on was that we both had a lot of initiatives, both at Ascension and Providence that needed to be taken care of. And, you know, all of merger mergers were about timing. And we both felt that we needed to take a pause and kind of think about what both organizations are doing.
We had a lot on our plate, you know, our, our agenda. Tony had a similar agenda and we just felt timing wasn't just right, that it would almost be too much of a distraction for both of our organizations. So we both decided, you know, we liked everything we saw. We still think the fundamentals were a hundred percent correct about creating scale, but also the writing function, the way they're, but that the timing wasn't right.
Now we put. Uh, but I, I think we're gonna continue to see, we've seen advocate in Aurora come together, uh, in the us uh, C H I, dignity, , and Mercy and Cincinnati. I think we're gonna continue to see that because organizations need the scale, but they also need to, to lower their operating costs. And there are good mergers for the rice pleases and
done. Are gonna incredibly helpful as we go forward. So I think we're gonna continue to see this. Uh, I think the, uh, provider sector is gonna be under a lot of stress next year. I think we're gonna continue to see stress, um, reimbursement, and I think organizations are gonna come better. The second alternative though, to, um, fulls, which are, you know, sometimes regulatory nightmares.
We're now creating coalitions around certain things that we need to do, whether it's around data. And recently, you know, we're part of the initiative, generic drug manufacturer, uh, with Microsoft, uh, with, um, um, uh, Intermountain in, um, H c a, uh, SS, s m in St. Louis, Providence, Joseph Trinity have all come together and said, look, this.
I think we're gonna see more of that where organizations come together, collectively create a product, do something together. Fine. We've had GPAs for a long time, but we're gonna get really serious about that because that's the only way, and we have to lower our operating . I think you're gonna see both Bill, and then you'll see some nontraditional partnerships.
A lot of those that are out there in order to kind of put position yourselves in the market a. Yeah, absolutely. The, um, I'm gonna reference a healthcare leaders article. Um, you, you said, uh, we're deconstructing the traditional health system. We have built, uh, we have been built around large hospitals.
That's an old version of a successful health system, or soon will be our new plan makes us more digital, more ambulatory, and there's less emphasis on the hospital as the core. And, uh, this gets back to something we talked about earlier where. You have health systems that have really pushed out into the community.
They've deconstructed, uh, their, their buildings and really put, you know, labor and delivery and they put these, uh, really facilities all over the city. Um, but I don't, this isn't the end of deconstruction, is it? I mean, digital technologies, the consumer revolution, new paradigms for, uh, delivery of care, um, we're, we're gonna see much more deconstruction moving forward.
Um, how do you see that playing out? Well, I think the only way for us to compete, uh, in the market that we're in, how do you compete against a natural, uh, national ambulatory surgery company? Well, if every ambulatory surgery center you have is part of a hospital in a community somewhere, you're not gonna be competitive.
So what we've said is that we gotta bring all of those ambul.
Allows us to function more as a business space than an add on to an acute care facility. Now, the same way I'd say the acute care facilities need to tighten up how they work. They've gotta get streamlined, better, smarter, faster as well, but they need to concentrate on acute care in those facilities. The medical group needs to function as group.
That's a different delivery of care that has probably a digital arm to it, but it also has to be much more community before. So really taking apart those. And the other thing for Providence, St. Joseph is also becoming services company. We're taking a page out of what Optum did, right? Uh, you know, we gotta optimize Providence Joseph.
A company to other, to medical groups, to other hospitals. You we're, as you know, we're supplying, um, EMRs to other hospitals that we don't own. And, you know, we're doing that work. I think we're gonna have to figure out ways to produce revenue from things other than direct patient. Yep. That makes perfect sense.
So, uh, so we're coming to the end of our time, but I wanted to. Uh, cover one last topic, and that's data with you, and there's, there's a handful of ways I wanna talk about this. Um, you've talked about the power of data in healthcare, um, and how it can have a meaningful impact on, on outcomes and, and many other things.
Uh, we, uh, uh, we really have a ton of data within healthcare already. Uh, so let's talk about ownership of that data, scope of that data and privacy. So let's start with the first question, which is, um, Uh, who do you, who do you think owns the medical record or who should own the medical record and how will that change the way we view data and use data, uh, moving forward?
So I, I think ultimately, uh, individuals being control of their own data. I mean, I think that's almost a given. The question is who do they give proxy to and who do they trust? And, uh, unfortunately we've had some bad examples out in the social media. Uh, You know, I think in healthcare we've always considered the, you know, the sanctity of data and, you know, we're, we're regulated to do that, so we protect that, uh, incredibly well.
So what I hope is that I want individuals to, uh, control over their data, but I hope they will trust their health organization to be that trusted partner with them. To then figure out how that data gets used and where it gets used. And I would not be as afraid of to say, just trust me with some of the other organizations out there that are now trying to data on folks.
I just think that one of the advantages that we have in the sector where we are is that I think our trust. We have a relationship with them . So that's the way I would see that, uh, see that working. And then the question is, is how do we use that data for our patients benefit, but also kind of advance how we do care?
And in a way that, uh, you know, as, as you know, we're, we're a 5 0 1 and C three. We're a publicly company. Our interest is the health of our patients and communities. But we see ourselves being able to use that data. To advance that, not necessarily within a shareholder value. It's, it's, it's interesting. We may need to de develop some new skills and some new, uh, capabilities.
So, you know, the, the data question to me always delves into the scope of, uh, you know, the other data that's out there. 'cause we know that the clinical data and the claims data tell a certain side of the story, but social determinants tells us so much more. Um, And you know, as social, as, as healthcare providers are, should we be.
Uh, on behalf of our patients, on behalf of the community, starting to talk to them about providing us their, their Facebook data and their Google search data and their Amazon data. 'cause we know that when you combine those things, you can have more of an impact on their health outcome given that, you know, they give us proxy, they trust us.
We have clinical and data experts who are looking at it and putting together a whole picture of health. Do you think that's in the future, or do you think that's a little too out there at this point? No, I, I think it's critical. You know, we're talking a lot about social determinants of health. We recognize that the biggest determinants are education, housing, food, you know, those things have far more effect on your health than your genome.
So those are critical aspects of how we keep people healthy. I think it's gonna be essential. And you know, at Providence,
So we've been in housing, we're in education, you.
I think capturing those elements in a very secure way are gonna be essential in providing individual the best health for individuals. We're particularly seeing that as we look at taking care of our Medicaid patients, that the data that's more useful to us is really a lot of the social determinance data, more so than he.
So I think it's critical, bill. I see it. I see it coming. I hope that, uh, you know, uh, our patients will trust us to be that trusted source that they can share it with. And, uh, uh, so my answer to that is yes, and I think it'll happen sooner than we think, but it's gonna have to happen in a. I think people have been pretty rattled by some of the things they've read about recently, and I think that's unfortunate that I think it may get in the way of, of how we care for people.
And you know, we've experienced some of this around mental health data that one of the problems that we have in taking care of patients a lot of times are the black box around health information that when someone shows up in the emergency room, they're sometimes unable to. But I think people are always reticent about what data gets out there and not, and uh, you know, we see it strictly from the standpoint of being able to care for people's health and hope better.
That's great. Hey Rod, I just wanna, I want to thank you for coming on the show. Uh, I always enjoy our conversations. Um, what's it is you, uh, what's the best way for people to follow you? I always ask this question at the end of the show. Do. Do you have a blog that you, because, because your full-time job isn't enough, do you, , do you Yeah, you know, I, you know, I have some of the greatest people that, that, that work for me and, uh, they really, um, uh, are able to kind of get messaging after me.
But I think the best way is just Ron Hockman, r o d h o c h m a n, uh, md.org. And that has most of what I'm thinking about on a, on a regular basis out there. So it's, it's fun and I love hearing from folks and getting their ideas. I mean, I, I would say that the two-way exchange really helps. Uh, I find that from our caregivers and from everyone else, it's great to.
Folks comment, we're, we're willing to put ourselves out there and, but we're also willing to kind of hear if some people have a different take on it, what, what they're thinking. So that, that'd be great. I'd love to hear from folks. Absolutely. And, uh, so you can also, uh, you can follow me at the patient CIO on Twitter Health Eric's website.
Uh, you can follow the show at this week in h it and check out the website at this week in health it.com. Uh, catch the videos on the U YouTube channel this week, health it com video. Uh, please come back every Friday for more news information and commentary from industry influencers. That's all for now.
Thanks, rod. Really appreciate it.