Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy: 3 Questions with Neil Gomes, Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Technology Innovation and Consumer Experience for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

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Neil Gomes, MBA, MEd, CSM, CSPO, serves as Chief Digital Officer and Senior Vice President of Technology Innovation and Consumer Experience for Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. 

On May 3rd, Neil will serve on the panel "Saying No - How to Smartly Allocate Technology Spend" at Becker's Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy conference. As part of an ongoing series, Becker's is talking to healthcare leaders who plan to speak at the conference, which will take place May 2-4, 2019 in Chicago.

To learn more about the conference and Neil's session, click here.

Question: What one strategic initiative will demand the most of your time and energy in 2019?

Neil Gomes: This would be the application of human-centered design to optimizing processes and reducing friction in consumer experiences. I think there is a lot of opportunity for applying human-centered design principles in healthcare and the upside is also tremendous, from creating simpler and more intuitive experiences for our patients to making work less complex and more rewarding for our staff. We expect our designers on our Digital Innovation and Consumer Experience (DICE) Group at Jefferson Health to be especially busy this year ethnographically analyzing administrative and clinical processes for our staff and patients and suggesting and implementing new processes and (sometimes) digital solutions to reduce friction and latency and enhance the service experience.

Q: Healthcare takes a lot of heat for not innovating quickly. What's your take on this?

NG: I think this statement is well founded. Healthcare is an understandably cautious industry due to our responsibility to our patients. However, this must not serve as an excuse for not innovating at all. We owe it to our patients and staff to change and be more willing to adapt to the availability of new technology and new standards of consumer service. We have to solve fundamental problems such as wait times, price transparency, appointment availability, operating room optimization, digital delivery of care, improving patient engagement, etc. In every challenge is an opportunity for us to improve and we need to take ownership of this as healthcare service providers and build the capabilities to change. This means studying how similar problems have been solved by pioneers in other industries and investing in people and technologies that will enable us to solve these problems in healthcare.

Q: Can you share some praise with us about people you work with? What does greatness look like to you when it comes to your team?

NG: The great thing about working in healthcare and education (we are an Academic Medical Center), is that you meet and work with people who have dedicated their careers to caring for and improving the lives of others. When people we hire realize this, they see the value of working in our industries and derive a lot of meaning and fulfillment out of their careers. Most importantly, they are inspired by the work of our colleagues and push themselves to create the same kind of impact. Our team of designers, software developers, and learning specialists that form our DICE Group devise new processes via human-centered design and research and by building digital technology solutions and digital learning solutions that improve the service experience. For us, greatness is being able to devise and deliver a solution in concert with our organization that enhances the patient, student, or staff members’ experience, delivers value to our organization, and moves our industry forward.


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