Talk less, do more — 13 healthcare leaders apply this philosophy to health IT

In the wake of HIMSS cancellation, members of the Becker's editorial team touched base with technology and advisory firm leaders in March and April via phone or email. Each leader was asked to answer three questions. Here, respondents share their response to question No. 3: Talk less, do more. Apply this to health IT. What's that look like?

Read the two other articles in this series:

Health IT buzzwords redefined — 11 healthcare leaders weigh in

2020 health IT pivots: 9 healthcare leaders discuss their team's new strategies

Mike Baird. President of Customer Solutions at Amwell: We've never seen anything like COVID-19 before. We talk all the time about how telehealth is a tool to democratize healthcare. That's happening amid this pandemic as providers and patients are increasingly relying on telehealth. Over the past month, we've taken action. We've talked to the CDC to see how quickly we can implement guidelines across our platform, helping clients spin out new instances of telehealth for dedicated practices to address COVID-19. We had a customer that wanted to offer telehealth for COVID-19 but didn't have a process in place for the telehealth visits, and we were able to set that up quickly for them. That's what action looks like.

Jim Bohnsack. Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer at TransUnion Healthcare: We hype up and talk about the technology builds for the technology's sake. We need to solve a business problem and then the results will speak for themselves in terms of cost reduction and quality improvement. Social determinants of health are a great example to illustrate this concept. The health systems that are doing a better job on social determinants are taking a consultative approach to the key business issues and then designing around them instead of just talking about the visualization of the data. They have to figure out how to put the data into practice and let the business drive the initiative and then optimize IT around it.

Jason Case. Managing Director of Health Informatics and Monitoring at Medtronic: For us, this is about partnerships. We are partnering with providers to make sure we're delivering real clinical value to them. We want to make sure that we collaborate with a health system so we can put together the best and most seamlessly integrated solution for to ease the clinical burden of a particular condition. This about purpose and practicality and creating a win, win, win scenario — we win, the provider wins and most importantly the patient wins.

Eric Chetwynd. General Manager of Healthcare Solutions at Everbridge: The ability to envision progress is key to implementing real change. Generating a complete picture of a hospital's operations requires carefully planning around each hospital's goals and breaking them into bite-sized pieces to develop a path to get there. It's important to do the right thing for the long-term and piece by piece hospitals will see incremental progress.

Sanjeeva Fernando. Senior Vice President of AI and Analytics of Optum: There is a lot we should be thinking about and learning from other industries, whether that's financial services or social media. There is a world of high performance, and high-quality platform development happening in many other industries, and I think there is a real opportunity to do the same with health IT.

John Frownfelter, MD. CMIO for Jvion: It's really important that we start to apply new technology more broadly and learn directly from its use rather than just continue to overdesign solutions and delay putting them into practice. In the past, the industry has been more interested in designing solutions to perfection than putting them to use. We've got to collectively get out of this conceptual phase when it comes to health IT. It's time to get going.

Steffan Haithcox. Chief Marketing Officer with PerfectServe: What we've intentionally done, from a client perspective, is look at things that integrate and relate and improve clinical communication and collaboration. Our strategy can be seen really clearly through our recent acquisitions: We acquired a company called Lightning Bolt for provider scheduling, which both improves access for patients and directly impacts physician burnout and balance by optimizing their schedules; and we added patient and family communication with our CareWire acquisition.

Kristen Jacobsen. Vice President of Marketing and Product Management for RevSpring: When we talk to providers about their readiness to shift patients into a more digital experience, providers absolutely believe patients are not only ready, they're asking for it. Delivering on those expectations is a matter of rethinking our process. The technology exists, but we need to actively retool our processes and get out of journey silos to maximize those options.

Dan Michelson. CEO of Strata Decision Technology: There is way too much hype in health IT and I think it hurts everyone, both customers and companies. A great company should be built on reputation and defined by its' ability to solve problems and deliver meaningful value to customers. At Strata we don't even advertise — our growth engine is simply our reputation. The fact that we have been ranked No. 1 in KLAS for six years in a row and have been one of the best growth stories in health IT over the last decade is a good indication that this strategy can really work.

Rick Pleczko. CEO of Symplr: We should start by listening. Our customers are going through incredibly significant change. We focus on the operation and compliance aspects of a hospital, and to be frank, five or 10 years ago, there wasn't a lot of technology advancement in that area. The financial pressure on hospitals to perform better now has led to a need to revitalize their systems, so we have to listen more to them, then do more.

Joe Polaris. Senior Vice President of Product and Technology at R1 RCM: Let bureaucracy be a disadvantage for your competitors. Make bold plans, rally the team and move fast. Sharply question whether any specific detail of implementation or bureaucratic requirement truly stands up to actually achieving results.

Nagi Prabhu. Chief Product Officer of Solutionreach: Today, healthcare is very reactive. For example, patients are too often the ones who initiate conversations about follow up care. We need to create a more proactive environment where providers directly reach out to patients either through automation or interpersonal communication as appropriate. We need to reverse the flow of care from patients reaching out to providers to providers reaching out to patients.

Ashwini Zenooz, MD. CMO and General Manager, Healthcare and Life Sciences of Salesforce: It's time for the industry stop asking patients for the same basic information over and over. Leveraging a technology platform that captures critical data into a single source of truth enables teams to collaborate in real-time and be proactive in engaging patients and members, ultimately delivering better outcomes and experiences.

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