January 5: Today on TownHall Linda Yang, CIO, talks with Heidi Waldschmidt, Sr. Director - IT Program Management of Tivity Health about data modernization. What does the environment look like for Tivity Health as they move into the cloud? How has working remotely impacted Tivity Health and how does Heidi work to stay connected with her team and work? What is her perspective on innovation in the current healthcare landscape?
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Today on This Week Health.
If you're not able to trust the data, then your self-service analytics program won't be successful, and that's where data governance comes in , your organization are going to be equipped with the right information about your data and your internal knowledge within your organization is going to grow immensely
Welcome to this week, health Community Town Hall is our show hosted by leaders on the front lines with interviews of people making things happen in healthcare with technology. My name is Bill Russell. I'm creator of this Week Health, A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. For five years now, we've been making podcasts that amplify great thinking to propel Healthcare forward. We wanna thank our show partners for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders now onto today's.
Welcome to this week Health. I am Linda Yang and on today's Town Hall podcast I have Heidi Waltz Smith, and Heidi is currently the senior director of IT Program Management Activity Health. Welcome, Heidi. Please introduce yourself.
Hi, Linda. Thanks for having me. I'm Heidi Walsh Mint. I joined Tivity Health in January of this year and have responsibilities for our data governance and data modernization programs.
And UMT helps and organization our products seek to promote. Healthy, happy longer lives. And our, our flagship brand, silver Sneakers has a 30 year brand and history in promoting community fitness programs specifically for senior citizens.
That's great. That is a very strong brand. And so you mentioned you have oversight on the data modernization.
Can you give us a little bit more detail on what you and your team do specifically at Activity Health as it relates to data modernization?
Sure. So really simply put, data modernization is a way in which we think. Moving our data from legacy environments, siloed environments and activities, case SQL servers into a more modern, structure, in our case, a, a cloud data warehouse.
And, doing so brings an incredible amount. Efficiency to our organization and the ability to then use that data for, insights.
Right. That is certainly important and I know that within the healthcare environment or within the health space, I don't believe there is a lack of data, right?
There is an enormous amount of data. The challenge that many organization experience at this point is really how to. Gain insight from that data and how to use that data in a way that makes most sense and can be used in a way that helps either predict or infer a future state or solution.
Mm-hmm. And so I'm glad to hear that activity help is certainly moving along in that evolution and it's certainly an evolution. Different phases and iteration to get to a point where organizations can really make impactful decisions on data. What does that environment look like for Tivity health as you moved into that cloud environment?
For us, one of our top priorities was to make sure our data was governed. And for me that was a combination of really people, process and technology. Some of our leaders would tell you, we've attempted data governance programs, at Tivity in the past multiple times, and they've failed. And I think what changed for us this year is that we invested in tooling to support our efforts.
So we're now seeking to discover more about our data. Actually catalog and document the. data Track lineage associated with the data and really understand it, ensuring that critical data elements are defined and that they're fit for purpose in our organization. And once we have that established, then we're able to create a plan for transitioning the data into our cloud data.
Right. Those are great processes that you've put in place to support the data governance structure. That sounds great. And I know that you have a team, right, an IT team who's working behind the scenes to implement these processes. So as a leader, how do you stay connected with your work and as well as helping your team stay connected in their.
I think regular check-ins with my team are incredibly powerful. I seek to not only meet with my team members regularly, but foster a friendship and create a culture where we're not only increasing our FaceTime, but we are able to talk about really d. Challenges we're facing and what we can do together to unblock those challenges oftentimes challenge the status quo.
Think about how might we challenge ourselves to innovate and do things differently so that we can move forward and, and reduce some of the complexity in our environment. Team members wanna grow. They wanna be successful. So I like to think about how can I create opportunities for a member of my team to grow professionally in the work that they're doing, and making sure that they stay connected to that work while in the process.
Right. Well, how is the remote first arrangement activity working for you and, how is that impacting how your team kind of functions and the dynamics with your team?
Activity prescribed early on to work from where your most productive culture and. Creates a lot of opportunities for our organization to not only have different access to a talent pool, which has really created some high performing dynamics amongst our teams in the talent now that we're able to reach being able to work remotely.
But we're also able to use technologies such as Zoom and teams to stay on video, making sure we stay connected and, we get to use the creative parts of our, minds to engage in social activities or happy hours or other ways in which we can stay connect. 📍 .th, priorities for:
So are there any challenges that you're facing with this kind of arrangement, and can you share some of those on how you overcame some of the challenges?
I think for us it's been to be very transparent around our schedules. We share visibility into our, calendar so that we can create a culture where, The timings of our agile session and ceremonies within our technology organization can be scheduled around those important family events That our team members have. So school will pick up and, and drop off as an example. And we've just used that transparency in our calendars to organize a lot of our, ceremonies at a time when all of the team members can be available.
That's great. Yes, certainly I value transparency as well in not only transparency of schedules, but when teams are working on a project I value the transparency of progressions of that project and transparency as to the deadlines and the major milestones, right?
Mm-hmm. , so that everyone can certainly be on the same page and help each other. Those, dates. Well, Heidi, what is your perspective on innovation in this current healthcare technology landscape?
So, we talked a little bit about it. Healthcare is by itself complex and healthcare data even more complex.
I think the evolution in the data space is we have to continue to think about self-service Analytics and how can a team like mine provide a service to the organization in which a user out there, really, in any area of the company, at their fingertips have access to data, find information they need to support their work and move away from the idea.
of Logging a ticket or making a request to have a new dashboard or a new kt built in a tool that's going to provide immense speed to value for partners out there in the organization.
Certainly, and, with the self-service analytics pieces, data governance, does play a huge factor into that.
Because when people are able to kind of create their own metrics and reporting and visualize the, information we want it to Use the same basis of calculations as much as possible. Right. And so, it's great that your team is implementing those data governance processes to support the self-service piece of that.
Well, very good. I agree with that. Self-service is it's part of the evolution of the data democracy, right? And because there's so much data anybody can access those and use it in a way that makes the most sense. For either their department or their area of expertise and where they see the most value.
But having some structure around that to understand where that data's coming from and what it means is critical to, have the right information at the right time.
Right. If you're not able to trust the data, then your self-service analytics program won't be successful, and that's where data governance comes in and, brings some rigor and documentation to that process and is honestly a way in which more individuals in your organization are going to be equipped with the right information about your data and your internal knowledge within your organization is going to grow immensely if you have a governance program.
Exactly. All right, Heidi. It comes to an end, but is there anything you'd like to add at this point or highlight?
No, and thank you for having me, Linda. I've enjoyed our conversation.
All right. You're very welcome. It's my pleasure. You have a great day, Heidi.
Thank you. You too.
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