Brattleboro Retreat CIO David Casceillo on the holistic approach to healthcare + how he promotes innovation

David Casceillo, CIO at Brattleboro (Vt.) Retreat mental health clinic, discusses convictions in healthcare that need to be challenged, including the idea that physical and mental health should be separate, as well as what has surprised him most about the clinic's patient population.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: How do you promote innovation from within your organization?

David Casceillo: Part of our IT governance structure at the Brattleboro Retreat involves an IT steering committee, which includes representatives from departments and stakeholders across the organization. One of the purposes of this committee is to serve as a conduit for innovation. We also empower employees at every level of the organization to share new ideas and approaches that can better serve the organization and especially our patients.

Q: What is one thing you've learned about your patient population that has really surprised you?

DC: While attitudes are definitely shifting, I think many of us still have preconceived ideas about the kind of folks who suffer from mental illness and addiction. Since coming to the Brattleboro Retreat, I have truly learned that these disorders affect all types of individuals from all walks of life, regardless of social, economic, ethnic and other factors.

Q: What do you see as the most vulnerable part of a hospital's business?

DC: While I may be biased given my role as CIO, I would have to say that cybersecurity is always a top concern. It takes a great deal of focus to stay ahead of the ever-evolving techniques and strategies employed by bad actors from across the planet.

Q: What's one conviction in healthcare that needs to be challenged?

DC: I think we need to get past the outdated notion that physical health and mental health are two different things. We need to adopt a much more holistic approach in healthcare if we expect to do the very best that we can for people who are suffering.

To learn more about clinical and IT leadership, register for the Becker's Hospital Review 2nd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership Conference May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago. Click here to learn more and register.

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