How Flagler Hospital's physician IT crew helps promote groupness & new technology: Q&A with CIO Bill Rieger

Bill Rieger, CIO at Flagler Hospital in St. Augustine, Fla., shares insights on the health system's process to best define digital patient engagement to meet the needs of the consumer as well as his best advice for motivating teams.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.

Question: Can you share your best advice for motivating your teams?

Bill Rieger: The best way to motivate any team is to connect them to purpose. We are all looking for meaning and purpose in life. If we can find a way to connect every staff member to purpose and mission and keep them connected, we are half way there. The other half is to find every member's individual mission, or purpose, and find some small way to connect the organization to the individual's mission and purpose. This idea is called co-mission, and it is the most effective way I have found to motivate a team.

Q: How does your organization gain physician buy-in when it is implementing a new technology or solution?

BR: We have worked hard over the last several years to create a culture of inclusion, or groupness as our CFO likes to call it. Nothing is decided without groupness. We connect an initiative to purpose and mission, and as a group, including all stakeholders like the medical staff, we make an investment decision. Predominantly, for physicians, this is accomplished through our physician IT crew, which is led by our CMIO. The PIT crew is a medical staff sanctioned group given authority through bylaws to act as a decision-making body on behalf of the medical staff for technology related initiatives.

Q: What is the No. 1 thing you wish you knew before taking a leadership post at your organization?

BR: The power of good governance. I learned that while working here. I hit the ground running when I started here and topically understood governance, but not at a foundation level, and it caused me and the organization some pain.

Q: In the past 12 months, how have you adapted to new patient experience expectations in the age of consumerism?

BR: We have recently, meaning in the last few weeks, completed our evaluation of digital patient engagement vendors and made a final selection. We will be rolling this platform out and will go live when we open a new facility in July 2019. We went through a lengthy process to define digital patient engagement for our organization as best as we could, realizing it is a little fluid and needs to remain flexible as demands of the consumer change.

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