The Key to Architecting a High Speed, Highly Effective Modern Data Platform in Healthcare
Episode 56223rd November 2022 • This Week Health: Conference • This Week Health
00:00:00 00:13:00

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Thanks for joining us. My name is Bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system and creator of this week Health, A set of channels dedicated to keeping health IT staff current and engaged. Welcome to our briefing campaign on modernizing the healthcare data platform with CDW Healthcare's leaders in this space, Lee Pierce and Rex Washburn.

Today is episode two the key to architecting a high speed, highly effective modern data platform in healthcare. This podcast series is going to culminate with an excellent webinar panel discussion with experts talking about how to modernize your healthcare data platform, the right fit for every unique health system. That's gonna be on Wednesday, December 7th. Check out this week, and click on the link to go ahead and register. We wanna thank our sponsors, Sirius, cdw, and Denodo for making this content possible now 📍 onto the show.

Looking forward to this conversation, I'm gonna go back to as a recap, we keep using this term modern healthcare data platform. Let's go back and talk about this. So what is the modern healthcare data platform?

It's a unified platform. We're bringing all of our data together, but the key elements are, it's cloudy by nature. Whether that's cloud native or multi-cloud or hybrid cloud clouds playing in there. Agility is key. So the leveraging of buy versus build and also having leveraging the SaaS offerings that are out there in the clouds and by other third party vendors.

And then also thinking about modularity instead of more traditionally, we always looked at things as a monolith. We would find a vendor that would do everything for us, and then we'd be locked in and sometimes stifle our innovation So now having that ability to be flexible and leveraging the power of the cloud and Vendors that have embraced the cloud are key elements of that platform.

Yeah, You mentioned the cloud there a couple times. When we talk about cloud-based architecture, one of the things about a cloud architecture is that modularity is addressing things through APIs. It's the automation, it's bringing in multiple data sources. And it really does give us that, that degree of flexibility and gets us back to that, that time where we used to say Hey, just bring the best of breed, but you're talking about an architecture where we can actually use best of breed tools and resources and bring that to bear at, at the right time to address the right situation.

And also swap out the tools when. No longer service. Right. So right now the vendors are all innovating so rapidly, it's near impossible to keep track of it and the growth of the ecosystem. So if one vendor just doesn't fit, whether that's the total FTE's required to maintain it, or features, functions, you wanna move, clouds, whatnot, you need to be able to you need architect to keep that in mind so that you can swap out as necessary without having a huge exit tax. And I'm sure we've all dealt with that leaving, going from on-prem to a cloud, that attacks can be high and you only wanna pay it once.

I, I love that concept. Exit tax. Rex, you don't look like you have enough gray hair, but I'm gonna ask you to, to, to go back cause you have a lot of experience in, in other industries helping. With modernizing their data platform talk about some of the, some of the things that have to happen in order or that you've seen happen in other industries in order to make this a reality.

I think the first hurdle is always embracing the cloud. Just a couple years ago that was still a discussion. Now it's disappearing more and more because we're all embracing third party products out there that are just sort of almost business dna, right? From CRMs and things like that. Once you move to that, it's really a, people change,

really thinking about I no longer with some of the platforms out there. The high performance processing platforms across all three clouds and some third party vendors, basically. I don't need an army of DBAs to maintain them. And with many of these platforms, two or three people can manage and secure the platform quite easily. Some of the other things that have to happen, Taking the step forward to change the way we think about how we bring data together.

Embracing things like data fabric, virtualization realizing that we're not doing the traditional ETL of row by row, trying to knit it all together perfectly. Our goal is get the data in the cloud put it together in a way that we can that we need to deliver a data product towards a specific outcome.

And then iterate from there. We don't have to have the perfect Kimball in minesque data ecosystem built out to be able to start driving value through the quadruple aim. I think one thing that I always look at when I look at healthcare is also leveraging some of the ways we look at how data is consumed.

My favorite is looking at like, grocery stores. In the retail industry. We build data platforms to fuel that mobile experience. So when you walk into a store, I'm greeted, I get feedback. I'm able to provide feedback to the store. my movement through the store might be noted and custom ads or custom direction pointed out on my mobile device. Or a nice monitor that displays my name saying, Hey, here's the latest sale. You like this. Those are all things we can bring to bear inside of healthcare. And I think Lee and I've talked quite a bit about how to leverage that as part of modern healthcare patient room, next kind of situations.

Lee I know you have some ideas around this as well. How we can improve, bring that experience to the patient and the clinician?

Yeah, absolutely. The application of all of the principles and best practices around a modern data platform are so critical today to be applied to healthcare. We have to get better at leveraging the data that is available and be thinking about even other data sets that are not being leveraged today to be able to truly improve care, lower costs, and make it better for the patient and clinicians. Just one example of that, I was just this morning with the executive medical director at the University of Utah and he was expressing the frustration in, in the lack of innovation around the presentation of data, which of course has to be backed by a modern data platform that is available for feeding all of this data.

But he was expressing frustration In the current experience that clinicians have, physicians like himself, he's an anesthesiologist, and the interfaces that they have in interacting with even live streaming data, Is frustrating to the clinicians and there is so much more that we can do to present in a meaningful visual way.

Data and information for the clinician that truly makes their job better, makes their job easier, which of course, results in than better care and hopefully also lower costs. That's just an example of one application. What a use case that a modern data platform should enable and make easier than it ever has been to be able to integrate data and be able to analyze it, apply whatever advanced analytics is necessary, but ultimately it comes down to what experience is that enabling better for the clinician and the patient to truly make their lives better and make their lives easier.

That's that last mile I think that we need to figure out. And learning from other industries, applying these practices of modern data platform more critical than ever that we get this right.

So how do we get from here to there? And Lee, I'm throwing this question at. With, with the amount of time you have spent in healthcare, there's someone listening to this right now who says what Bill described with thousands of data sources, reaching in and having to massage the data, do all that, the things that we normally do, those practices that in other industries maybe aren't as prevalent because they've moved to a, a modern architecture.

they're saying I resonate more with that than what leasing Lee. How do they get from the Meyer that they are in to a modern platform?

Yeah. The the discussions that we typically have to, to move from where they're at, to where they need to be. It typically starts with understanding the current state, and it's surprising as you look at healthcare organizations across the country, there's the top five or 10% of organizations and their ability to be able to leverage data in a meaningful way. They've been doing it for a long time. It doesn't mean that they still can't apply some of these same principles, but understanding where they're at.

Many that are just struggling, even with the basic descriptive analytics and reporting that's needed. We look first at what they are doing well in leveraging what the, the EHR vendors and other software vendors that they have are providing for them. Leverage that as fully as you can. As you move up in maturity though, we then have a discussion and typically a white boarding session if we're in person or, or just being able to have a vision of what's possible and how the principles of a modern data architecture can be applied. That discussion usually leads to all of the things that, that Rex mentioned in terms of leveraging cloud and modularity and agility that can be added on top of. The good work that all health systems have done. And in implementing basic software systems, the EHR and others, it's all about augmenting.

And so painting the vision for what's possible having a discussion with either a health system that's been down this path and has taken appropriate steps or your vendor partners like ourselves that, that are passionate about these topics and being able to just understand how the application of a modern data architecture and platform can, can make a difference in their organization.

That's, that's really the first step because it lays the path for what's possible. And then we can talk about the steps to be taken to get there.

Awesome. All right. I wanna thank you guys for this discussion. We have three more of these coming up and I'm looking forward to continuing the conversation. Thank you, Bill. Thank you. Appreciate it.

What a great discussion I wanna thank our sponsors for today Sirius CDW and Denodo for investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health Don't forget that this whole series ends with a great webinar on Wednesday, December 7th, Lee Pearson, Rex Washburn will be joining us along with Jared Nunez, Executive Director Informatics and Analytics at Memorial Care. We're gonna take this discussion one step further by including you and your questions. So go ahead and register at this week, The link is in the top right hand corner and don't forget to drop your questions in the form so we can make sure to 📍 cover. In the webinar. Looking forward to that discussion. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.