The role of IT In Providence St. Joseph’s growth strategy — key thoughts from CIO B.J. Moore

B.J. Moore is executive vice president and CIO of Providence St. Joseph Health, an innovative health system based in Renton, Wash.

Earlier this year, Providence St. Joseph Health partnered with Microsoft to create a high-tech hospital of the future in Seattle, first targeting the system’s EMR and communication functions to help providers share information more easily. The 51-hospital health system is also focused on connectivity and access to information systemwide, aiming to boost quality of care for its hospitals, 829 clinics and 119,000 caregivers.

Here, Mr. Moore discusses the technology his system is using today to become more connected and where he sees big opportunities in the future.

Question: What steps are you taking today to improve interoperability between locations within the health system? What type of resources does it take to integrate a newly acquired hospital or system into the Providence St. Joseph system from an IT perspective?

B.J. Moore: As we move out of our data centers and into the cloud, it will become easier to increase interoperability between our locations across our health system to ensure a common integration point regardless of location. We need to lead with business strategy and processes. What is our integration strategy? Do we move to a common EHR, ERP, domain, identity system, etc. Only then does IT have the mandate and systems’ strategy to achieve goals.

Q: What role does the IT department play in the health system's efforts to improve population health?

BM: IT is central and pivotal to a health system’s population health effort. Through a sound big data strategy, patient record, demographic, and other system strategies and the application of advanced technologies like machine learning/artificial intelligence, IT can be the foundation for population health strategy and infrastructure.

Q: How do you think your role will change in the next three years? What are you doing to prepare?

BM: IT’s role is changing from just being an infrastructure and application provider, to also being an innovator in areas like big data and machine learning and artificial intelligence. What we are doing to prepare for this evolution is to do the basics right and well, to free up IT resources and to provide the foundation as we build these more advanced tools and applications in the coming years.

Q: What do you see as the most dangerous trend in healthcare or health IT today and why?

BM: Risk aversion to change and slow to embrace new technologies like cloud, big data, and machine learning/artificial intelligence.

Join us for the Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy Conference, May 19-21, 2020 in Chicago. Topics include artificial intelligence, telehealth, data analytics, clinician burnout, population health, pharmaceutical care and more. Learn more and register here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, contact Maggie Dunne at

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