One-on-one interviews from the CHIME Fall Forum. First of three episodes from the event. Great insights on culture.
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Bill Russell: 00:07 Welcome to this week in health IT where we discussed the news information and emerging thought of leaders from across the healthcare industry. This is episode number 44. We have a special episode from the chime Fall Forum this is the first of a couple I’ve tracked down a handful of Cios gave them some questions ahead of time, three different categories and uh, sat down with them and just recorded a 10 minute conversation. I hope you enjoy these. The first three are actually former guests of the show. The first one is Tressa springmann from lifebridge. The second one is David muntz from starbridge advisors. And finally caught up with Sarah Richardson following the, a talk this morning. And, we discussed culture with each one of them. Hope you enjoy it.
Bill Russell: 00:59 Tressa Springmann Tressa t r e s s a, cio from life from lifebridge health. We’re going to go with the culture questions. So we’ll start with the first question. Technology is changing pretty rapidly. what are some of the ways that you address the strain of constant change on the organization?
T Springmann: 01:14 Thanks, Bill? Yeah, this is tough because we don’t want to obsolesce ourselves, but we’ve got to really be mindful of kind of this always on pressure that occurs when our team really just wants to get back to the normal is of 10 years ago when they could anticipate what the pipeline was going to look like, pure transparency of decision making. Um, one way to really address the strain is to acknowledge that it’s out there and that you want to remain relevant and in order to remain relevant, this is just something you’ve got to do. It’s the new normal, but allowing people to weigh in on where on that change paradigm they themselves want to sit and to understand again, by choice. I’ve got some organizational team members and some staff members who just get so excited about anything that’s coming down the pipe that is, you know, completely ill developed and I have others for whom it’s the scariest thing in the world. You know, they’re just not well positioned on that change curve. And, and I mean look, especially within our own organizations, I’m anal is the root word of analyst. And so we’re always imposing change on other people. Um, I think our organization really struggles most in getting comfortable with that change. So probably transparency, continual communication and giving people choices on where and how they opt into participation.
Bill Russell: 02:43 I love having you on the show because you give me quotes like that I can use and I guess that’s where governance comes into play as well. Right? So we’re gonna we’re gonna have them be involved in the decision so they can look at it and say, oh gosh, we can’t do that. That much change within the radiology department. It’s just gonna be overwhelming. We’re engaged in dialogue. So there’s, there, they know what’s coming down the pike. They’re willing to say, look, we can probably do this much change this year or maybe not as much.
T Springmann: 03:10 Yeah, I’d like to believe that’s true. I think at least in my organization,
Bill Russell: 03:15 they make you do it all.
T Springmann: 03:17 Yeah. And we have this, um, self reflection. We consider ourselves almost opportunistic, which is, um, really challenging many ways as a leader, I need to lead that change and innovation, but also protect the organization from too much change. When I think about, um, not necessarily recently, but, but when our clinical systems were really spinning out, I mean we were asking the largest part of our inpatient workforce nurses to change on a dime consistently and very comprehensively. Um, so yeah, I think it’s about balance and I think as a leader you got to determine when enough is enough because really good change is the only sustainable when it’s in little pieces and iterate enough, iterative enough to really stick.
Bill Russell: 04:06 Well, let’s talk about your it staff. So one of the things I experienced as a cio and I’m still seeing across the industry is the pace of change within it is so dramatic. I mean, you have, you have a move towards Dev ops. You have just a, just a ton of new technologies coming at them. Um, you know, what are, what are some things you’re doing for your it staff to help them to prepare for maybe a different job next year than they were doing last year?
T Springmann: 04:30 You know, I think that’s so important because as you probably can guess, I’m going to say 90 percent of my staff is supporting legacy applications and um, some of it is a little bit of development, but development really for 20 years was a, well after that I still have some like few mainframe based things in our basement, but you know, largely buy it off the shelf, implemented in a standard way. Um, I think nicely the industry’s pivoted the last five years and whether you’re using a standard Emr, maybe like a cerner epic and have the ability to get some of your more technical team capable on using CCL reporting and page development. You know, those vendor based development tools which are really just a derivative of html or Java coding. pretty exciting around fire on interoperability. In fact, this coming here and we’re on a July to June fiscal year, uh, one of my directors and he’s actually here with me at Chime, one of his, um, professional goals for the year is to partner with me on being very intentional about making sure that we are growing and offering additional education to be very specific in each one of our application areas. Um, so that we’ve got some senior folks who really are spending time doing native development or interoperability so that they’re positioned and not threatened by this whole digital revolution that as, you know, in a lot of organizations including mine, are really resurrecting themselves in very different parts of the organization and as the IT leader, if I’m not making sure I’m preparing my workforce for being part of that, I mean heck, that’s what got us into it and health care in the first place, right? Trying to make a difference through our creative development skills. But, you know, I, um, I think there are a lot of folks who need to see that this is here and let’s position our staff to be successful.
Bill Russell: 06:34 I’m going to ask a question which I think is sort of geography dependent, but you’re in Baltimore, so, you know, how do you go about finding and attracting the best talent and are there certain qualities you’re now looking for that you maybe weren’t looking for before?
T Springmann: 06:48 Yeah. Wow. So I think people have gotten pretty good about skills representation and um, I’m going to assume when you say you for a moment, I’m going to be really selfish and think about me in the cio role. By the time a candidate gets to me, I’m really looking for emotional intelligence and cultural fit. You know, I am assuming that my team has already vetted the technical acumen and capability of the candidate based on the role. And so, um, you know, my key desire when I interact with folks is to make sure the limited time I have with them, they understand who I am and the way I think. And the same for them because as we know, um, whether it’s a massively well known organization or a small one, you know, it’s about having a good relationship with your boss and/or I’m feeling inspired by your leadership that actually keeps you there and keeps you motivated. I just finished a book trying to remember the name of it. Um, something at work. Anyway, it’ll come to me. But very interestingly in it, there are three recommended questions that you field to folks on your team that you may be considering to join. And they have nothing to do with the context of the work. They’re just somewhat benign conversations to help you understand, is this person’s self aware of they compassionate? Are they courteous? Are they collaborative, are they effective communicators? And super important skills.
Bill Russell: 08:31 Yeah. And at the end of the day, we’re also looking for just decent people that you want to be a part of a team. And what we’re building teams. We went, we want some good people. So.
T Springmann: 08:43 And by the way, I think that’s an important point. Um, I know we’re going to hear from a Gal from Bloomberg tomorrow and she talks a lot about silicon valley and the paypal mafia, etc. And you know, there are a lot, there’s a lot of gender entrance there, but I think sadly a lot of innovation and the.com influence has really created a bit of a halo around heroism and, and yet I think many of us know that the way to have a really solid, sustainable way forward is with a diverse group of people. But once we wAnt to lock arms and work together, I mean no one’s going to sustain being in hero.
Bill Russell: 09:29 yeah. And that’s I just wrote an article and talk about that specific thing is we used to want heroes, you know, the person who’s going to come in at midnight, fix things and now what we really want is nasa where we go, hey our, this is our trajectory and we’re gonna work together as a group to get from here to there.
T Springmann: 09:44 That’s right. That’s nice. And not expect that any one of us is either better or well positioned, but that we’re going to get a lot farther together. Then we would on our own.
Bill Russell: 09:54 Is your competition government for talent or is your competition like other health systems?
T Springmann: 09:58 Yes. I mean the whole thing, the whole thing. So it depends on my regulatory analysts get snipped up by cms. That’s literally 10 miles from me. Uh, D.C. , you know, a lot of, a lot of us live equidistant between baltimore and dc. For sure
Bill Russell: 10:12 And I think we have this misconception that dc doesn’t pay well and it pays really well.
T Springmann: 10:17 Oh. Especially if you’re a dod contract.
Bill Russell: 10:21 So, um, how are you going to, what are some things you’re doing to keep your, your staff current? So this is the last question. Are there any, any. I mean you mentioned some of them, I mean, so you’re, you’re identifying some training and some, some things you’re doing. What are, what are some of those things?
T Springmann: 10:37 I think just like medicine, I’ve come to a point in my career where staff or employee engagement is really personalized and I used to think, oh, if we just put a treadmill in here, if we just had lunch and learn pizza fridays or if we just wore jeans and telecommuted I think what I’ve really come to learn, and sadly it’s much harder work, but I think it’s much more rewarding is as leaders, we need to get real and get a relationship with the folks that were asking to go above and beyond every day and understand what’s important to them and then respond to that to the extent that we can. So, um, you know, I don’t, I don’t think there’s any one super thing. I think it’s really encouraging my leaders that um, each one of them has to know their staff personally and to understand what’s important to them and what motivates them. Because I, you know, I think I read something that said in 2030, over 40 percent of the workforce is actually going to be over 50. So there’s one line of thinking that might suggest, let’s not spend all that time looking at who’s coming up, but let’s look at who’s going to be coming back. But the reality is some of us are going to have five generations and there isn’t any one thing.
Bill Russell: 11:53 How do you handle it? Everybody wants to have a relationship with the cio. So you have probably have a couple hundred people or so how do you, how do you do that? How do you spread you, you out? So everyone feels like they connect with you personally.
T Springmann: 12:06 I do that. I have open door sessions twice a month.
Bill Russell: 12:10 Manage by walking around, talking to people.
T Springmann: 12:12 I have times when they can. It’s called time with tressa. They can drop in and talk about whatever they want. Um, on our website for any associate at lifebridge, they can just send me a note. Sometimes I get help desk tickets, but sometimes I get really great recognition to share with my team. Um, I have had to work very, very hard to be approachable. I think that those of us would
Bill Russell: 12:35 you seem very approachable.
T Springmann: 12:36 oh, well. thank you.
Bill Russell: 12:38 Except when you were probably in mode, like you have a lot of work to do. That’s hard.
T Springmann: 12:41 So my undergraduate was in biochemistry, so I really am a kind of a wonky, love technology nerdy girl. Um, and so there’s a big part of me that were just assumed to be left alone to problem solve. But wow, the power of couple of hundred people problem solving, I’ve learned to get a much bigger kick out of, than solving things myself.
Bill Russell: 13:04 Yeah, absolutely. Well, hey, thank you very much for your tIme. I appreciate it. And enjoy the conference. Here we go. David Muntz Starbridge Advisors were guests on the show. Look forward to having a conversation. So we have four questions around culture. Uh, let’s start with the first one. So technology’s changing pretty rapidly. What are some of the ways that you think, uh, organizations, healthcare organizations can address that change to, to alleviate the strain that, that comes along with all that change for organizations?
David Muntz: 13:36 Sure. Well, and by the way, thank you very much for having me back. I appreciate it. The fact is that I happen to be a big fan of governance and I think that culture and governance are both related and the reason I say it is that the way you govern really determines how decisions get made it happens when you’re talking about. Corporate governance, it governance, the man management, project governance, a data information or knowledge governance and it really helps define how it is that ideas get communicated out to the organization and to the degree that you have disciplined governance, you probably are going to be more successful because people are going to be able to understand what the rules are going to be able to line up behind leadership. And so I do believe that governance is important and you know, they talk about culture eats strategy for breakfast. Um, but the truth is that with a good governance process, you can help to find the culture which helps drives strategies.
Bill Russell: 14:45 It’s interesting. I just sat in one of the breakout sessions here at the chime conference and we were talking governance and it’s amazing how much confusion there is around governance and how they become stale and they’re not tied into the either tied into the technology enough are tied into the business enough. So there’s an art to really putting this together and it’s probably having the right guidelines. Having the right people. I mean, are there any other things we should.
David Muntz: 15:12 Oh yeah, absolutely. and you know, people is obviously a huge part of it, but the other thing I’ve always done is part of governance processes is defined principles that help define how it is that you think and the reason that I write them down and distribute them is that it again provides insights that help as you bring new people on as even take ideas with them and you know, the fact is that our culture needs to be more than just oral tradition and I know people think that’s a little more bureaucratic, but I think of it as a way to record the legacy and to evolve. And I used to write the principles down and then give them to my vendors and say if you want to know how we function and how we think and how we’re going to respond to your requests, here’s exactly how we function and operate.
Bill Russell: 16:04 And it’s interesting because as a, as a cio, whereas a leader, an IT leader within the organization, this is, um, this is the basic blocking and tackling. Some of us are listening in this room, some of us aren’t, have arguments, like the organization doesn’t understand the impact they have when they select This technology, or select all these things on the technology platform. But that’s our job really, right? To educate people on, hey, if you’re gonna select 10 different pacs systems, I’ve got to have 10 times the amount of infrastructure people, processes.
David Muntz: 16:38 Yes. And By the way, I used to preach along with the governance that there are three c’s that need to be practiced and perfect. And that is communication, coordination and collaboration. And those are the characteristics that underlie the foundation for all good it and governance processes. And so, uh, you know, to the degree that you do those well, you will be successful.
Bill Russell: 17:02 absolutely. So second question or the pace of change is only impacting the business impacting it and uh, when I go into it organizations today and have conversations, it’s interesting how much of the it organization is still working on legacy. Yes. But they are looking at looking over and saying, hey, I see clouds changed this and voice changed this and AI changed this. Get on the horizon. How do you, how do you help the it organization to make the transition from potentially make the transition from legacy to what’s coming down the pike or just take her? Right.
David Muntz: 17:41 The challenge really is to stay current on what’s out there, what’s real. And obviously listening to your podcast, health lyrics podcasts would be important. Sue Shade talks a lot about the things that are happening in her podcast, readIng the information. I can tell you that the majority of my mail is information that’s coming to me about activities that are going on. And when people come and asked me how they should think about the future, it’s just do the old fashioned reading and even though it’s coming in digitally, it’s still the idea of considering all the options. And I think the other thing that is important is to try to play the role, especially if you’re in a leadership as a provocateur and ask why is it that we continue to do things the way that we use to. And then also why should we adopt ai simply because you see it appear in every article and you know, blockchain is a great example of a technology that people say has great promise and yet it doesn’t seem to be adopted.
David Muntz: 18:43 So the, you know, this, this kind of questioning behavior I think is really good. And I used to tell mY employees by the way, that I like to be treated with a certain amount of disrespect and people would look at me like I was crazy. It’s like, yes, whAt I want you to do is I want you to ask me why it is that I’m doing this. And the other is, why am I not doing something and together, if you have that kind of collaborative environment and you do treat people disrespectfully but civilly, then you will, you will affirm that what you’re doing is correct or realize that what you’re doing needs to evolve. And you know, it’s the ability to be flexible. That’s the key to being successful.
Bill Russell: 19:30 Well, we’ve gotten a little bit of a reputation of being, having a herd mentality. Yes. In healthcare, oh look, look what that health systems doing now we’re going to be doing that to a certain extent. At some point someone’s gonna be able to get away because they’re going to be doing things a little differently or be more aligned with the business strategy to their markets. So it will be interesting if we can help everyone to make these transitions because there, there’s some dynamic transitions that are written up. So let me ask you the next question. So, um, you know, talent becomes key. Oh yes. You know, where, where do you think we should be looking for today? But even more important, the question is, are we asking, are we looking for different qualities today than we were looking for maybe five years ago?
David Muntz: 20:19 The answer is yes, we are looking for different qualities and Let me tell you something that I’ve found to be very tried and true. And you know, people say, well, we need people from outside the industry to get fresh ideas in. And I used to balk at that idea and I still do a. And the reason is that there is a certain mindset associated with caregiving and if you don’t understand the caregiving processes, it’s difficult to formulate the right questions to ask to challenge the status quo as that provocateur I discussed. So what I used to do, and I love doing this, to all to the presidents of the organizations where I used to work, um, but I’ll call them all together and I say we’re getting ready to start project x and what I need is your very best people, uh, who have clinical backgrounds because
Bill Russell: 21:12 you would steal from your own organization.
David Muntz: 21:13 And I would say I’m going to take your best people. And the way I know I’ve gotten the right person is when you yell ouch, I know that I’ve successfully identified the right person. So what I want is again, those forward thinking provocateurs from the clinical space to come into the technology space and then I can teach them what they need to know about the enabling technologies and they will be able to teach me what I need to know in order to make sure I’m delivering the proper care processes.
Bill Russell: 21:46 And so I think that’s so spot on. I more and more conversations were realizing most problems are not technology problems anymore. No, not at all. It’s just people its communication it’s governance.
David Muntz: 22:00 Right. And then selective outsourcing, it’s why would you want to buy, you know, bring somebody in and with a special skill knowing that six months from now you’re going to need a new skill. So be selective about the people you bring into partner with. And the other is to look for shared success as opposed to a purchase only kind of responsibility to keep them interested, keep you evolving them evolving all at the same time.
Bill Russell: 22:28 Yeah, it’s interesting. I’ve talked to two vendors since I’ve been here, and both of them I said, hey, so what’s, what’s new in your product set? And both of them were, oh, we now do it as a service. Exactly. So no need to install the servers, do all that stuff, just, you know, we’ll, we’ll do it all from, from our, from your cloud. They’ll even set up in yours. I was like, that’s interesting because now you’re, you’re looking at some tasks that used to be done in your it organization that may not need to be done. So where do you need to have those people now? Well, those people need to be embedded in your rounding. They need to be talking to the clinicians, looking at analytics that can really move the needle. well said. I’m supposed to be asking the questions I can’t help myself,
David Muntz: 23:12 it’s a good thing.
Bill Russell: 23:14 Um, we may have tipped into this question a little bit before, but, uh, you know, keep keeping the, the, uh, keeping the organization current on changes that are going on. Yes. Is a continues to be a challenge for many organizations. It’s, it’s uneven. But there’s so many things out there now for people to stay current. There’s so much information. How do you, how do you call that information? I mean, you could, you could go to healthcare it news every day and another set of stories. You could listen to my podcasts, read susan and you should. Okay. And you should. But I mean, how do you determine the, the, the wheat from the chaff? How do you look at it and go, oh, well, you know, is it just the amount of chatter around something or is it a, is it actually those implementations that you’re looking at going, oh, this is interesting because now we’re looking at geisinger is doing this and cedars, is doing this.
David Muntz: 24:11 Sure. And by the way, I always think it’s look and see what the people who were you believe are further out or doing a. But I don’t think that’s the only thing. And just because somebody else did it doesn’t mean it’s better than just because everybody’s doing it doesn’t mean it’s better. Right? And so I think, uh, again, what you do, especially because you want your staff to be engaged in professional development is you set up the old proverbial water cooler and you say, what we’re going to do is we’re going to gather and we’re going to talk about x today and what I, you know, this is what I believe, would you share what you believe and what you think and it this kind of challenging conversations about things and you know, the idea is share ideas and share bad ideas along with good ones.
David Muntz: 24:56 Um, and, you know, I think part of it is to look at what it does for the, for, four groups. It’s the patients, the families, the providers, and the payers. And if there’s not something in there that touches every one of those, it’s less than optimal. Um, and so, you know, it’s why would I want to use this techNology? Why would I wAnt to abandon that technology? How iS thAt going to impact those four groups? And I think the other thing that’s important is to bring in people who are thirsty for professional development because they will challenge you to do things differently as a leader. And you know, I’ve welcomed those challenges because my people always made me better. the other thing I’ve found is the sooner that you can get some of your innovations into the hands of other people, you know, the sooner I could deliver a system to users, the users would find out ways to do things that I never imagined when I was out trying to promote the use of the product. So having discussions that involve the it professionals, the clinical professionals who’ve using the topic or using the technologies is always very useful.
Bill Russell: 26:13 Yeah, it’s, it’s so interesting. Those four categories again were patient, consumer population, family families. Absolutely. Yeah. So we’re all trying to figure out how to care for the communities that we serve. And you had a payers in there and would you, would you classify like system efficiency system performance under that as well? Oh absolutely. And then the other being obviously clinician experience as well. It’s interesting those four categories, I heard that from charlie Lougheed, uh, from explorers, he used to be with explorers, and I heard that same set of categories from a, from ed marks as well. So I mean those are the categories that we should be really looking at for evaluating everything is how does it impact the clinician, the patient, the families, right. Which is probably better than the population. Well, it’s more versatile. And then how’s it going to impact the system or the payers?
David Muntz: 27:08 Yeah. Can I, can I just have a little soap box? I’d like to step on and what I do is I try to tell people to stop putting the patient at the center of everything we do. The patient centricity is the wrong model that when you’re born you are, by the way, I used to be a biostatistician and on, those are very high correlation if your parents didn’t have children and probably won’t either. So think about that for a second. Sounds. So the idea is every person who comes into this world is part of a family. Okay? And for the first many, many years of their life, they’re incapable. And why would you want to put them at the center so you would put the family, not the patient at the center of your activities, and then at the end of life you become incapacitated and again you returned to the patient and family relationship where the family is much differently defined than it was before.
David Muntz: 28:01 And so why wouldn’t you through the entirety of your life? Be part of a family unit and the family can be friends, community, however you want to define it, and so what we should be is patient and family centric. And you have to include the providers to make sure you’re getting the right care. And if you don’t include the plate, the payers, there won’t be a mechanism in place to make sure that you can afford to do what you need. So I really strongly believe that you should never separate patient and family when you’re discussing project.
Bill Russell: 28:32 You should be talking to every digital company that’s out there because it’s a we do. We do get into patient centric mindset and really what you need to create as a sort of care circle, which includes those family members.
David Muntz: 28:46 ExacTly. And that’s the community at large. Okay. And inside that community patients, families, payers and providers,
Bill Russell: 28:55 providers. Yeah, absoluTely. Well, I feel like, uh, you know, with all those ribbons on your life, I feel like I’ve just been schooled and it’s, it’s wonderful. I appreciate you being taking the time.
David Muntz: 29:10 Always a pleasure.
Bill Russell: 29:15 Get you on. Sarah rIchardson. Previous guests with a, it still says davita medical group.
S Richardson: 29:22 It does say Davita medical group. We are still in the process of going through the acquisition with optumcare and all indicators point towards the end of the year, but ftc gets to decide. So when it happens it happens.
Bill Russell: 29:36 A friend Carol Chounard chartis group and is now with optum. I’m looking forward to seeing what he’s going to do. Their vp of experience or something. I don’t know. I’ll have to track him down. See what he’s doing
S Richardson: 29:46 I’m most excited about. There’s a lot of things that I’m excited about. What I love is I consider myself a super network or a super connector, so I have all of these people I need to go meet and figure out how we change the world together. So I’m pretty excited about what that’s gonna look like. I’m ready for the day one flows might be okay.
Bill Russell: 30:01 Optums, how big is it? How big is it? How big is it?
S Richardson: 30:05 Optimize it and from what I understand is something like 60,000 people and we’re going to be part of the optum care it vertical, which is the primary and specialty care groups. So we will have like think upon close. There’s like 3000 teammates in about 14 different care delivery organizations.
Bill Russell: 30:21 Alright. So four questions around culture. I will try not to do talking. What happens is we end up in a conversation. I’m really trying not to do that this time. All right, so first question. Technology is changing pretty rapidly. What are some of the ways you address the stream of the constant change on the organization itself?
S Richardson: 30:37 The biggest thing that an organization needs to be able to understand is that their strategy, their business strategy. The things that they want to do are going to set the roadmap for how it will compliment them and too often it is the one that’s driving some of the strategies, we need the business to focus on the three or four things they really want to be good at. Then you can bring technology and all the things that may be changing within that space at the same time, so we try to make sure that the business focuses on a few key deliverables. We bring the technology forward and then as the technologies adapting to those deliverables, we’re constantly educating and figuring out if we need to thoughtfully pivot or stay the course to accomplish something and then grow it and scale up from there.
Bill Russell: 31:12 Are you embedding people into the business? Are they more in those business conversations?
S Richardson: 31:16 Yeah, absolutely. we have a role. We keep changing the names to trying to figure out what resonates the most has been business relationship manager. It’s been director of technical solutions. We’re now thinking of calling it like director of portfolio end of the day it really doesn’t matter what you call the individual. We are specifically aligning key director and senior director roles with our business partners in different areas, whether it’s clinical, whether it’s finance, because the closer they are, they understand what’s happening and you may not always get the cio at the table when they’re having senior conversations. However, if you have your directors involved in all of those business line conversations then you’ve got this whole contingency of individuals who are hearing what’s happening in the org, that’s what we’d like to bring together, present to our executives.
Bill Russell: 31:55 I’m going To come back to that. We just walked out of the protopia presentation at chime in. It’s her talk Sparked a couple of things for me. But the next question is really the pace of change has been so dramatic in IT its self. How do you prepare your it staff? But one of the things we’ve been talking about is the, the, the role within health IT the roles are really changing from technology roles to people roles people and uh, understanding culture and communication. And these are all areas where if we have a, as they were talking about, you know, 75/25, 80/20 male to female ratio, this is areas where we can really make that transition and start adding a lot of, um, because you know, stem is under represented today, but that’s not, we’re hiring, we’re hiring. So what does It look like? I mean, what are we looking? What are we looking to do with that staff to help them make the most transitions?
S Richardson: 32:50 What I feel like people forget about or what they say is that people are focusing on the soft skills. It’s the soft skills that women are better as a soft skills that are important. These aren’t soft skills. This stuff is hard when you need to have a thoughtful conversation, you need to be articulate and you need to know what you’re talking about. You need to have the education, you need to have the background. Those are not soft skills. So leadership and communication and the ability to affect and drive change within an organization to be a role model and beacon for others to have a crucial conversation. But do so with respect, those are tough skills, those are the things that everybody needs to bring to the table and so whether you’re in stem or operations or wherever you come from, from an educational perspective, it’s having the ability to embed those capabilities into your organization, into your teammates and create an environment where they can practice those types of skills. And it’s not always going to be the bar at 10:00 at night. I’m always fascinated when it come to conferences, everyone’s, you know, at the bar and people are excited to go out and party. I’m like, you are never going to see me having too many drinks or staying out past 10:00 because that’s not where you’re going to create that momentum and create an example for others to follow.
Bill Russell: 33:54 Absolutely. The, uh, the thing that’s a guess what you’re saying is we should start calling hard skills and soft skills should be the things where we just sit behind the computer and create spreadsheets.
S Richardson: 34:08 Yeah. When you do not have to interact with other people. That is a soft skill,
Bill Russell: 34:15 which I guess gets to the next question. What qualities are we looking for in staff maybe that are a little different than five years ago and I, I guess we’re. We’re starting to talk about those things and where are you going to find those people?
S Richardson: 34:27 there’s an article that came out about two weeks ago in forbes and I quoted the author and I feel horrible that her name is not coming straight to my mind, but it really talks about hiring for teammates that have something unique about them in their daily lives or what they pursue outside of work, so asking questions about levels of curiosity, levels of hobby that. What did you do for fun? Is that dry? I’ve always asked those questions. You’ll find me consistently asking you what’s your superpower? Whether I talked to a candidate looking to join our team or I talked to a vendor. I said, what’s your superpower? What are you really good at it? I wrote a blog about it before Chime specifically, so you want individuals that have a level of curiosity, who have a level of engagement outside of work, where they’re looking to push the envelope, be entrepreneurial, be creative.
S Richardson: 35:08 Think about things in a different way every single day. I recently hired a candidate and literally when I asked what do you do outside of work, and she said, well, I, I climb, I hike, but what I’m really good at is baking. And I Said, what’s your favorite thing to bake? Now? I’m just being honest. If she had said chocolate chip cookies, I probably wouldn’t have been interested in hiring her. she said, I make lemon lavender pound cake and I do my own extraction on the lavender. I’m like, you’re amazing. Because I mean that’s a lot of flipping work. that’s the science behind the art of what she’s looking to deliver and she’s going to be in a, in a role that’s very much forward facing to the organization, so you have to look for people who are curious and want to do things differently and you don’t look from the typical places like I love that we hire from other industries. I came from hospitality and I’ll tell you that my hospitality background, serves me almost far better than my business background that I had at a certain interval in my life.
Bill Russell: 35:59 Last question here was how do you keep your staff current, but I think we’ve talked about that before. So in her talk on the protopia talk. I’m sorry, what was her name?
S Richardson: 36:10 Emily chang.
Bill Russell: 36:11 One of the things she talked about was how you eliminate bias from the organization and a couple of things. One of the things she said which I thought was interesting is standardizing the interview process, the same set of questions, the same criteria or are those some things that you think we’re going to start to see across health IT?
S Richardson: 36:28 Absolutely do. In fact, I just had this conversation with our people services department. I’m like, well, I’m at the hiring guys for it to be the same, like different. Maybe different Levels of the organization. We ask harder questions for different like or like senior director, vp, et cetera. For the most part, we should have a really deep, diverse way that we source talent and for the most part we’re just running around trying to fill positions, so it might be on indeed we might use a scouting group, et cetera, but I want us to get into some of those like where? Where’s the talent coming from, where the schools that you’re most likely to find some of the talent that we’re looking for. I love the idea that we can go and check into the hotel and the front desk agents. Totally amazing. We can be like, hey, do you want to join our team? Like we can look for people in our daily interactions. And train everybody on how to ask thoughtful questions and follow up questions because if you just create an interview guide and everyone’s reading from it, who wants to go work for the company that’s reading the questions off the interview guide, train your interviewers to be dynamic and the questions and the interface that they’re having with their candidates
Bill Russell: 37:24 and even calling some of the candidates that didn’t take the job or whatever and having conversations with them and they will tell yoU about your interview process and they’ll say, you put seven people, three of them were on their phones and you just get this picture and you’re like, oh gosh, we have got to. We’ve got to change that. I mean, people have to, if they’re coming into the interview and your team’s not engaging with them, well, what does that communicate about your organization? But eliminating bias. It’s interesting because I sit in that talk and I go, I didn’t, we all walk in and go, well, we’re not biased and then you listen to the talk and you go, oh no I’ve got some bias and it’s, it’s, it’s having those mechanisms have those systems and processes in place to check your bias all along the way. Having a, having a diverse group do the interview so that you, uh, so that you have more eyes on it. You have people checking other people. I mean, it’s really making systemic so that you don’t have to worry about what is going on, what is actually probably popping up. So hey, thank you very much for your time. I really appreciate it. Thank you.
Bill Russell: 38:33 So that’s all for now. I want to thank our guest, Tressa Springnamm, David Muntz, and Sarah Richardson for coming on the show and giving us a little rundown of some of the things that are going on. And I’m a please check back. There’s going to be a couple more interviews. I have a couple more interviews scheduled this afternoon. In fact, another one in five minutes. So I’m going to run over there and do that. And uh, don’t forget to follow the show @thisweekinHIT on twitter. Follow me @thepatientscio. You could check out the website thisweekinhealthit.com or the youtube channel. Actually a shortcut to the youtube channel. It’s just thisweekinhealthit.com/video. Please come back every friday for more news, information and commentary from the industry