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Interview in Action @ HLTH '22 - Hass Saad, MD, CEO at Detroit Medical Informatics
Episode 932nd December 2022 • This Week Health: Community • This Week Health
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December 2: Today on the Community channel, it’s an Interview in Action live from HLTH with Hass Saad, MD, CEO at Detroit Medical Informatics. Bill and Hass discuss Hass’s journey from med school to entrepreneur and his shift of focus from patient care to clinical informatics. How does DMI Advisory provide a physician's viewpoint on EHR improvement for companies looking to develop products in the healthcare field?

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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:

onference in Las Vegas Health:

So I actually completed medical school, did a year of training, and prior to that year of training, I had started in the EHR space.

So I actually walked away from training after my first. To start my company because it was sort of like an hour never sort of situation.

So you're one of those people who went through med school and then went the entrepreneurial route? Yeah. To what did you, what did you see that was so compelling for you?

So it was a few things. One, I've had really great opportunity to work amongst some really great clinicians that were really passionate about what they were doing, and I noticed that,

and they really loved the technology that was being put in front of them. Absolutely,

absolutely. Well, no. So nice, nice trick.

So they didn't like this technology, and that's kind of what got me into the EHR space is my understanding of the ehr, my ease of using the ehr. But I would look to my mentor and he would, prescribe a lethal dose for medication on an accident, right? So I immediately started to recognize, hey, there's something wrong here.

These people are brilliant people. They're the ones that kind of pay the way for us, but all of a sudden you put a computer screen in front of their face and now they're, dropping the ball. So, I kind of grew up in this sort of digital age, and while it. Training. I worked under a really great mentor in cardiology, and I realized that my passion wasn't necessarily patient care as much as it was sort of this clinical informatics that was growing and how I can really improve healthcare as a whole really outside of the bedside versus, amongst patients.

The first survey I ever did of or physician. So I go in s cio. To decide, I'm gonna do a system-wide open-ended survey of, clinicians, find out what they think of our technology and that kinda stuff. My favorite quote from that survey, open-ended a lot of things just right in whatever you want.

ir, but my favorite quote was:

That kinda stuff. Quite clumby. So you have this passion, where does it take you?

So, eventually what happened was, I, recognized early on when I started in this industry that there was a lot of tech support to provide technical assistance to physicians who spoke the language of medicine, right?

So it wasn't necessarily the language of tech. So, Huge language barrier in the world between healthcare and technology was significant. Um, So. I eventually launched DMI Advisory, which is a group of physicians, like-minded physicians who come together to support other physicians, better adopt technology.

And at the time we started with EHRs, really around the epic space, Cerner space. So we bring in actual physicians who are actual end users of these platforms that we're supporting to provide peer to peer support to other. Who are newly adopting or now optimizing their current platform.

It's interesting cuz the arch collaborative notes customization as one of those things and training, obviously customization being one of those things.

Every one of us has an iPhone and it's highly customized to Oh yeah. Who we are. But I, again, I go back to these stories after we were doing our EHR implementation, get about six months to year out and some physicians are still really. Oh yeah, absolutely. So we send the smart person to go elbow with them and they come back and they say, I said, how did it go?

They haven't customized anything. Yeah. And they hate life. And we would essentially sit there and help them to, I mean, it would take that level and generally after we customize it, their satisfaction went way.

Absolutely. It's really, nowadays it, it's not as much implementing an ehr, it's more so optimizing an ehr.

What's really interesting is you're not doing much more than re-educating, building a better foundation, and really ultimately molding the EHR to fit the physician versus molding a physician to fit their ehr. Right? And that's what all physicians are looking for. They want their autonomy. They want to feel like.

They're still in the driver's seat. And it's not just physicians, it's providers, non-providers. So that's what we spend the most amount of our time doing is really opening up the hood of Epic, Cerner, other platforms, molding it around the doctor, molding it around the provider to ultimately make 'em more efficient.

So what's I. I was gonna say what's next, but it, I'm not sure I know of a health system that's not optimizing their ehr. Yeah. To this day.

So that, that's what's interesting. So this is what's next where we are right now. I think health is showing us that consumerism is here, from my understanding at least.

Right. I think that there's a lot of B to C now, that there's a lot of opportunities and really brilliant people and entrepreneurs that are trying to bring healthcare directly to the. But like anything else, if it doesn't ultimately get delivered to the physician, if the physician is not presented the data in a way that is easy for them to understand, easy for them to navigate and really seamless into their workflow, it's going to be a dead end.

So I think that's where, we see the company sort of transitioning is ultimately to be the bridge between healthcare and technology. Same way we started, that was our mission, and that will continue to be our mission. If you've noticed like a lot of these companies out here, Really bringing up new ideas, really brilliant ideas, but ultimately there is a provider component to it.

And unless you're really working on the provider component, doesn't matter how great the consumer side is, if we're gonna have the same exact issue that we had with the EHRs.

So will this team that you've developed, will they start doing consulting to these firms that we're seeing around the floor to say, Hey, From a product development side?

From an integration side,

yeah, absolutely.

So that's the hope, right? Is that we identify, several companies here at health that have a provider facing solution that companies are consumer facing solution. So, and that's where we, would like to sort of take our physician team, even our non-physician team, we've sort of started expanding our network to subject matter.

Right. Because what's interesting is, the EHR when it, you know, was rolled out, it was a mandated platform, right? There were some mandates to, ensure that hospitals were adopting this or adopting the next best. They, none of these applications that we are seeing here at health or even in the marketplace are man, so, so it doesn't matter how great your platform is, how well you can sell it to a CIO or a health executive at the end of the.

When it gets down to the provider, if they're not utilizing it properly, it doesn't adjust well into their current workflow, into their current lifestyle, it's not gonna really take off. So I think there's always going to be a need to translate technology to physicians in the language that they understand and to really, hold the sort of baton of physicians and ensure that, their workflow is not compromised.

The way that they practice medicine is not compromised. So I think that's, where we see DMI sort of moving towards. Obviously EHRs are still a huge component of everyday workflow, so we still focus on that. You know, More and more digital health companies rising is where we can really serve and support.

📍 📍 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.

📍 📍

If I meet some venture guy here, which is not hard. I mean, we just grab, yeah, we throw stuff. Anyone in the next three people that walk by one of 'em. So if they come to me and say, Hey, Start this thing. I had this idea for some sort of clinical application that's gonna connect the consumer, cuz all this is about reaching outside the four walls of that hospital.

That's what we're seeing a lot of here. And the clinician, instead of going out and trying to hire a doctor, I could come to you guys and say, look, from a product development standpoint, this is what we're thinking. And you guys can sit there. let me talk to you about the clinician perspective on this.

Yes, exactly. So not only let me tell you the clinician perspective, but this is where your technology meets the physician's workflow, right? And this is where you may or may not interrupt the, regular workflow of seeing a patient and how you can best implement your workflow into a physician's workflow.

So it's really efficient because that's, at this point, physicians understand that technology's here and here to stay, right. We're not gonna get rid of an ehr. Those days are, that argument's long gone. But you know, there is an opportunity to improve patient care and it's proven time and time again, technology has improved patient care.

But, the best thing that we could do is to provide these newer companies. An opportunity to get a real life glimpse into what's a physician's workflow. And beyond that, since we've worked with so many, what is the average behavior of a physician based on their specialty? What is their psychology?

How do you get them to change that behavior? Because the one thing they don't want to do is change, right? Like physicians don't want to change anything that they do, but they're willing to adjust and they're willing to provide better care to their patient. It's just kind of on the technology companies to make that happen.

I mean, cuz you know, it, it's amazing to me. When I have conversations with people, this is how it was, it was taught to me. One is they have to stay up on their field, which is a lot of reading, a lot of, continuing education and that kinda stuff to stay up in their field, and be best in class there.

Then they have to stay up on their just normal workload. Yeah. And somebody said to me, Hey, go to a conference. Have 10 minute conversations with all these people and then document each one. And by the way, when you document it I want the next person who reads it to know exactly what you talked about, what the next steps are, what you, you know, what you told them they should do.

So that was one another aspect of,

and be home at 5:00 PM to have dinner with family

and have a family, a life and everyth else. So it will, optimizing the EHR still be the bread and butter of what DMI does. And then the,

I think that the EHR is, from my perspective, I feel that the EHR is sort of the central nervous system of any healthcare organization, right?

Right. So no matter what sort of technology you're bringing in, it's either going to work directly or indirectly with the ehr. So I think DMI being so strong on the EHR space, Directly supporting EHRs or, indirectly supporting that EHR by, integrating additional technology. I think that's where we sort of see it going.

But you know, as of right now, the majority of what we do still to this day is ehr. But we're seeing more and more non EHR sort of platforms, is why we're being called in.

So, last question, is it challenging for you to find people to hire.

You know,

That's a really interesting question. So, pre pandemic was obviously challenging, especially when you're looking at cardiologists, surgeons, anesthesiologists, post pandemic really displays a lot of physicians, especially a lot of specialty physicians.

So, on the physician side, there are a lot more physicians nowadays that are looking for alternative careers, are looking for alternative paths, but want to remain in healthcare, want to feel like they're improving care, whether it's directly or indirectly. Right now there's, in a way, there's an abundance of physicians on our end, right?

Our Rolodex right now is the highest that's ever been since we started seven years. And it is in part due to the pandemic and due to so many physicians being burnt out, but also what they realize when they work with us is you really are improving patient care. You really are improving healthcare because you're improving the lives of your colleagues and you're allowing them to do better at what they want to do.

So it's a very rewarding experience for them

and a little bit better home life.

Yeah. Uh, Well they do travel, so we do, I mean, now, now that, we can travel again, which is great. They do travel and they do fly out, but yeah, it is ultimately better.

Fantastic. Thank you for your time.

It was a pleasure.

Really appreciate it. Thank you so much. That.

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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