The role of tech in strategic planning for increased access, population risk management

Tamara Havenhill-Jacobs, CIO of Bozeman (Mont.) Health, will focus on how technology can help expand access to care over the next year.

She discusses her plans for the health system, big opportunities and potential threats in the future.

Question: If 2020 is a successful year for you, what will it look like?

Tamara Havenhill-Jacobs: In my role with Bozeman Health, I have oversight for IT and analytics, which typically falls to the CIOs, but also we are seeing more CIOs focusing on innovation and digital technology. I also oversee our regional health technology and innovations efforts. There are a lot of different ways for me to consider the year successful. We have several significant projects in place that will be impact the community, including expansion and a focus on increasing access through our ambulatory care network.

There will also be a lot of emphasis on data analytics and our ability to drive quality outcomes to help us prepare for the future of population risk management. In 2020, we want to have healthy and thriving staff and providers that are finding more solutions and partnerships in the community to improve health and quality of life.

Q: How do you create a culture of innovation within your health system?

THJ: Not one person owns innovation. Every individual within our health system is helping drive innovation. The benefit that I bring to the table is both in our ability to have awareness and education of what is happening regionally and nationally. Bozeman has relationships within the tech industry and there are many opportunities to partner with local companies and organizations on digital initiatives.

It's important to have someone with the ability to curate the things that come in, especially with all of the digital initiatives and the way that it's really impacting and changing the healthcare landscape, it's important to identify the gems and be able to determine how and when you are going to invest your organizational time and effort.

Q: What types of companies and technologies are you focused on right now?

THJ: We are focused on elevating the person-centered experience and expanding access to healthcare in the community. That takes transformative thinking about how we do things, such as digital wayfinding so people can figure out how to get from home to the doctors office and where they can find a parking space. Those things are simple, make us poised for impact in the future.

Q: Where will you focus most of your time and energy next year?

THJ: We will always focus on cyber and cyber security, as well as making the most out of our partnerships on the technology side. We want to leverage our partnerships with vendors and understand what it means to be innovative in the healthcare space. We want to be in the best frame of mind to match our initiatives with what the community is looking for and how we are operationally and strategically orienting our goals.

I also oversee our retail health business from the clinical and operational perspectives. It is important to understand what the consumer experience is and how we can refine that. It is becoming clearer that the digital roadmap will be important in the future. Coming from the perspective of curation. Big opportunities aren't just coming to me; they are coming to nurses in labor and delivery or personal connections to someone who is doing something innovative that can disrupt the healthcare space.

Q: What do you consider the biggest potential threat to your organization?

THJ: We consistently believe that the biggest threat is the cost of healthcare itself. As we look at all the initiatives that we have, we are going to continue to build and focus our organization so that our core mission is improving community health and quality of life in everything that we are doing as we seek to provide value-based care so we can take on risk-based contracts. Our biggest competitor at all times is the cost of healthcare.

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