Digital transformation of the employee experience in healthcare

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Digitally transforming employee experience

In the wake of the pandemic, healthcare system Providence led the way in digital transformation. A large part of that change involved giving their frontline caregivers the right digital experience, and ensuring they were able to get the information they needed when they needed it. Find out how they did it—and what challenges they encountered along the way—during this insightful Q&A with their CIO and CCO.

Video Transcript

Nicole:

Thank you both for being here with us, we are in for a very exciting session on how IT and comms leaders work together to digitally transform the employee experience and lead one of the largest healthcare providers through a transformation that ultimately benefited millions of people. So, Melissa, will you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Providence?

Melissa Tizon:

Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s great to be here. I’m Melissa Tizon and I lead internal and external communications for Providence. That runs the gamut from public relations, to events, to communication support for our government priorities as well as executive communications. But I think everything that I do, all aspects of my job, the most important thing is supporting the 120,000 healthcare workers who we have on the front lines. So to tell you a little bit about Providence, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that we are one of the oldest and largest organizations founded by women.

So the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph founded our organization more than 165 years ago. And now, we’re a $25 billion company, we operate in the Western United States, we’re in seven States, we have 51 hospitals, more than a thousand clinics and as I said, about 120,000 healthcare professionals who we call caregivers. And then just really quickly, I think what’s so inspiring about the women who founded our organization is that they came to the Western frontier before there were even roads, before there was anything. So they traveled out here, they saw a need and they just started building schools, hospitals and orphanages.

So they established healthcare and social services as we know it in the Western US and that required a lot of innovation. So we feel like we have a very innovative and pioneering spirit. And you’ll hear a little bit more about that from BJ, but that’s something that we’ve just really tried to keep going. And we’ve been working towards this digital transformation for some time now. And then one other thing I wanted to mention is that this year has just been incredibly significant for our caregivers. It’s been incredibly intense and Providence was the first healthcare system in the United States to admit a COVID-19 patient.

So it actually happened before it hit the rest of the country here in… We’re based in Seattle. And we had our first COVID-19 patient in January 2019. And as soon as we discovered that patient, it was just like all systems go. And we actually did get a couple months head start of the rest of the country on being prepared for this. Every aspect of the response was so critical, the IT aspect, the clinical aspect but then also communications played a really important role. Looking forward to this conversation because I think we have a lot to share.

BJ Moore:

Absolutely.

Nicole:

Yes, definitely. Innovation and grit. My gosh, I can’t even imagine what all those women had to go through. So BJ, you have an interesting background. Can you please introduce yourself and a little bit your journey to Providence?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So my name’s BJ Moore, I’m the chief information officer here at Providence and I also own a real estate and facilities. Before I joined Providence I was at Microsoft for 27 years so I have a strong, diverse tech background. But two years ago I joined Providence and really felt like the mission and giving back to our communities and being part of the digital transformation of healthcare was so critical. So I joined two years ago and who knew it would be such a ride? I think the first year was pretty normal and then the second year was COVID. Definitely trial by fire but love it here, love the mission, love the impact we have on our community. So excited to be here.

Nicole:

And definitely… And how could you possibly leave this out of your introduction?

BJ Moore:

Pretty simple. A speed suit is not the most flattering piece of ski wear so I tend to keep this photo in the archives. A little embarrassed that you guys are showing it. But yeah, I used to be a ski racer, I used to race at a national level and as a pitcher, I think from 2006.

Nicole:

Nice. So we might-

BJ Moore:

[inaudible].

Nicole:

Yes. Okay. Of course, no pictures of me skiing. And we will circle back to maybe what being a ski racer has to do with leading a successful transformation. Melissa, do you have any other gem to share with us about passion?

Melissa Tizon:

Well, I guess if I have to pick one thing, my passion is yoga and it’s not competitive skiing, it’s maybe the opposite of that but it’s just a great practice to have.

Nicole:

Definitely. And I think we can… At the end of the session, spoiler alert or not a spoiler alert, and we’ll talk about how being a Yogi and a ski racer has helped lead this transformation. But first BJ, you had a personal transformation, obviously from big tech to healthcare. How did you think about making that jump?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. When I joined Providence two years ago, came with a strong tech background. Other than being a patient, I wasn’t an expert in healthcare. So I really spent the first three months visiting our regions, visiting the 51 hospitals that Melissa mentioned, visiting our clinics, meeting with caregivers, administrators, patients, figured out what worked and what didn’t work. So you can imagine when you’re the new chief information officer and you visit a hospital, they really don’t want to talk to you about anything that actually works, they want to talk to you about all the issues that we were having and there was definitely a lot of opportunities identified. But those first three months were fantastic and really felt that the culture of the organization felt very welcome. I’m not going to pretend after three months I was a healthcare expert, but definitely had insight into where IT could help in that digital transformation and areas for improvement and where my team could have an immediate impact. So it was a good three months and that really kicked off our journey on that transformation.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then how did you hop in and say, what is this impact we could have? And how did you start to organize that work that you needed to do?

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, it was overwhelming. I mean, as Melissa mentioned we are a $25 billion health system, one of the largest in the US and so when I did that tour, the list of issues was huge. And the key for me was, how do I boil it down to something simple? And that is how we came up with our three strategic pillars and that’s simplify, modernize and innovate. Simplify as you know, we’ve got 4,000 applications in our ecosystem, how do we simplify that down to the vital few for our caregivers and patients? Modernize, you know I found that we were 15 to 20 years behind other industries and that wasn’t a Providence thing. I think just healthcare in general was 15 to 20 years behind.

So how do we modernize the way we do IT, modernize the tools and capabilities that we use for our caregivers and patients. And then innovate, there’s so many great innovative tools coming out, machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data. How do we build upon that foundation and do those innovative things? So I have a laundry list of to-do lists that’s a thousand long, but basically we put that list into those three buckets, simplify, modernize and innovate. And that’s how we tackle things.

Nicole:

Yeah. I love those buckets. And my gosh, 4,000 applications? You might win the award for…

BJ Moore:

For context. You know Microsoft’s the trillion dollar company. Microsoft has about a thousand applications to run their worldwide business. So yeah, it’s a crazy number of applications.

Nicole:

Wow. And then, as you’re thinking about boiling down to that caregiver experience as a critical part of the transformation, how did you really think about that piece of [inaudible].

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, just going back to the 4,000 apps, you can’t have a great caregiver experience. I can only imagine trying to be a caregiver, remember my login, remember how to use the app, what app I use for what. And so that’s where that simplify really comes in. How do you boil it down to the core tools for that particular caregiver? If you’re a caregiver and finance your core set of tools and needs, and experiences are different than if you’re a frontline nurse or if you’re a doctor delivering care. And so it’s not just reducing those number of apps but actually having that tailored bespoke kind of experience.

We’re two years in, it’s probably a three to five-year journey and so if caregivers are listening in, I’m sure they’re saying, “BJ, you need to make more progress.” Patients probably saying, we need to make more progress. But that’s how we’re systematically doing it, getting it down to the vital few experiences. And then we can optimize those experiences for great patient or caregiver experiences versus 4,000. You can’t optimize 4,000 of anything, it’s just impossible.

Nicole:

Yeah, exactly. And Melissa, how are you thinking about… From a communication standpoint, kind of where you were on this transformation both internally and externally?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, just to kind of provide some perspective about healthcare. One thing that our CEO has said a lot is that healthcare is the last bastion to get itself into the digital age besides higher education. So we’ve actually kind of been on… I mean, if you think about it, healthcare has been really way behind as BJ was saying. So we’ve been on this journey for maybe six to seven years actually trying to become more digitally enabled. And Providence is based in Seattle, which it’s so happens that other very innovative companies are based in Seattle, such as Amazon and Microsoft. And so our CEO over the years just found people like BJ and other folks from these companies to just help us with this transformation.

So it couldn’t have come at a better time. One of the other challenges that we face as being 51 hospitals in seven States, each of the regions and those States operate very, very independently and previously just really wanted to do their own thing. But I think if ever anything proved it, it’s January 21st, when we got that first COVID-19 patient, it was like, “No, we can’t do our own thing anymore, we have to be in this all together, all 51 of us, we need to be able to apply the same protocols, we need to be able to share PPE, we just need to work together.” And so I think that was such a wake up call. So all that work that we had been doing leading up to this digital transformation, set us up really well to be able to handle and respond to the crisis at hand.

So from a communication standpoint, I think that was just one of the most important things, is that we needed to be able to consistently share information with people. Everybody needed to have the same level set of information especially because there was so much misinformation, especially throughout this pandemic. So much misinformation, it was just really critical for us to make sure that our caregivers were hearing it from us and that all of our leaders we’re consistent across the board.

BJ Moore:

Melissa, I just want to add on to something you said. I mean, obviously there’s a collaboration between our own health system. But coming from tech, being an outsider, the other thing I loved to see is how we partnered with other health systems.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah.

BJ Moore:

So there was a period of time where the West Coast, our trends were starting to go down, but unfortunately on the East coast, in New York, their COVID cases were going up and we actually were able to remotely monitor patients in New York, help them with their own surge. So it was fantastic to see us not only serve our local communities and partner within our own hospital system, but to see us actually reach out to the other side of the country and partner with New York in their time of need, it was just absolutely incredible to see. And when you come from tech, the thought of partnering with others is not common and it was great to see in healthcare and doing what’s right for our communities and patients [inaudible] was job on.

Nicole:

Yeah. And I think that your core pillars that simplify, modernize, innovate just talks to how you could come together across all of those.

BJ Moore:

Yeah.

Nicole:

So I think that’s just really wonderful. And then Melissa, on the kind of simplify and modernize, and you talked about the 51 areas just operating pretty separately and bringing together something in a source of truth. How did you go about that?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah, I think we started off with eight different email systems and we had… So we have a communications team of about 100 people across our seven States and we had been getting more and more aligned up to this point, all of them were operating off of different email systems. I think just to produce a newsletter, they were having to publish onto three or four different platforms and it was just incredibly time consuming. And I think for our communications team, we’ve really been working on our caregiver satisfaction and engagement scores just for our communication members. And they’re just experiencing a ton of burnout, they work so hard and here they are trying to publish all these newsletters in all these different platforms. So I think that was one of the great things about going to SocialChorus.

And I just got this update… I don’t know if you’ve heard this Nicole, but I just got this update yesterday that it previously took our communication team members, the newsletter editors, 10 hours just to send out a newsletter. And now we’ve got it down to 45 minutes. So just kind of addressing that burn out issue for our own communications team, this is like one of the key things that’s helping us do that. But then also just to be able to get a single simplified platform out to our caregivers across, a consistent way of getting information out to our dispersed workforce has been incredible. So it’s just something that I think is really going to… We still have a lot more work to do, but I think it’s really going to put us over the edge and help us to be so much more effective in terms of communication.

BJ Moore:

I just want to add to the plug there on the great work that Melissa and the PR team did and what we were able to do as SocialChorus. I mean, as Melissa mentioned, we’re a 170-year-old organization, that’s a 170-year-old organization that never worked remote. We had very much a culture, coming to work every single day, most people had desktops even the thought of working remote didn’t even exist, you couldn’t do it, right? Flash forward to March of last year with the moratoriums, all those people had to stay home. So communication went from being important to lifesaving, right? It was the lifeblood of keeping the organization together now that everybody was working remote. So I really appreciated the partnership with Melissa and her team and having those communication channels with our now remote workforce, which would have been disastrous if we didn’t have that in place.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s amazing. I hear a lot that… We’ve always known that communication is that life blood, is that backbone, but I think we needed COVID unfortunately to really elevate it to be a true CEO problem and a senior leader problem of we have to be able to reach our entire workforce with that source of truth information exactly like you said, Melissa. So yeah, we’re just so grateful with our partnership and that we could be there to support your caregivers. BJ, can you talk a little bit about just Microsoft? Obviously, you’ve come from Microsoft, there’s a big partnership there, how you’ve worked with them in a digital transformation and then a little bit about, this working together with SocialChorus and Microsoft as part of your employee stack.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So as Melissa mentioned, we had a very fractured communication email environments, we also had our collaboration environments, we had Webex and Teams and Link and Skype and Zoom. I think if you produced a collaboration tool or platform, we had it. And so we were already partnering with Microsoft before the pandemic to standardize on Microsoft 365, move everybody to Teams, we were going to do that by December 2020. Obviously, when we sent everybody home, our plans went from December 2020 to how do we get everybody on board by April, which was a massive acceleration to get 120,000 caregivers on those standard platforms. As far as the partnership between Microsoft and SocialChorus and what we’re doing, it’s that, now we’ve got a good foundation of standard email and standard collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. How do we then use these multiple channels of communications?

Right? It can’t just be an email, it can’t just be a website on SharePoint, it can’t just be texts, it can’t be just one or two channels, it’s got to be multiple channels. And then having the insight into what channels are working or not working and who we need to follow up with and who’s getting the engagement or not getting the engagement it gives us insight that we didn’t have before. Before it was, you sent out the newsletter and you assume maybe 10 or 15% of the folks read it and that was it. And now through the partnership, we’ve got greater insight and those multi-channels to get those messages out.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then Melissa, I know you have such a great partnership with BJ and IT. Were there other… Or who else did you partnership as you are thinking about serving your caregivers and helping those communicators with their work as well?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I think the biggest partnership really has been within the communications team itself. So just getting all of our local communication teams aligned to be able to transition to this new platform. Many of whom did it in the middle of the pandemic. So they had a lot going on, so just getting them on board and getting them to understand why this was going to make their lives better and help us to be more effective at communication. So there just some engagement and alignment that we had to do to get folks on board with it.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s what… Oh, go ahead, BJ.

BJ Moore:

Sorry to keep jumping in here. Sorry, just Melissa keeps bringing up these excellent points. One of my fears coming here was the reason healthcare was 15 or 20 years, I thought people would be really changed or risk adverse or not willing to adopt new technologies. My experience has actually been the opposite, our caregivers, our executive leadership is actually quick to adopt things quicker than tech. And so I’m sure Melissa it was challenging to get folks on board but it would have even been more challenging to be in a tech company, you would think a tech company would be agile and open to change. My experience is that Providence is actually more open to change and so that’s been a nice surprise for me.

Nicole:

Goes back to those founders with their innovative and then that grit.

BJ Moore:

Scrappy women. Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole:

Exactly, exactly.

BJ Moore:

The grit.

Nicole:

The grit, the grit. So I want to switch and talk a little bit about data because I know that that’s kind of top of mind for everybody and BJ, you alluded to a little bit for on the innovation side. Can you just talk [inaudible] things of kind of what else you’re doing with big data? I imagine just from the caregiver side, yes. But then what you’re able to do to drive that patient experience.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So I love how you put it there. So big data as a piece of technology fits in that modernized section. But what we can do with big data is really what’s going to drive innovation, right? Machine learning and artificial intelligence doesn’t work if you don’t have big data sets. And so an example I can give you that really before COVID, when I would say big data and machine learning, the execs would just hear it as buzzwords. When we were a couple months into COVID, we were using machine learning and our big data models to do predictive analytics around the COVID surges. And by May, June timeframe, we had about 85% accuracy to say, “Okay, within this community, we think COVID is going to go up and by how much. And this community, we think COVID may be under control and going down.”

And that really allowed us to manage our resources, our PPE, our ventilators, allowed us to serve our local communities more effective by investing or de-investing, it allowed us… That’s why we were able to help New York out with confidence because our predictive models said, “Hey, things on the West Coast temporarily are semi under control. So we have some capacity to help New York.” And so we took these buzzwords that machine learning and big data that just sound like alphabet soup and really highlighted what we could do for our communities, what we could do for our patients, how we could really improve care. And so I think we now have… No pun intended the religion around what we can do with these innovative technologies.

And so what are the predictive analytics around future outbreaks? It could be the flu, what can we do around health bots, where we can start monitoring… With patient consent, the health changes of an individual, right? A doctor can’t follow me or Melissa around, but a health bot can. And so we really see big data and artificial intelligence really changing the way we deliver healthcare, really changing that patient experience and even better predicting before somebody gets sick and having preventative medicine that we can put in place to prevent more acute illnesses, I think really transform healthcare.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. Can I add to that, Nicole? So one of the really cool things… Thanks to what BJ did, is we were able to… As soon as the pandemic hit, we were able to have the 7:30 AM meeting with… It was like 200 to 300 clinical leaders across the seven States. So everybody would get on Teams and we would do this meeting so that we could all be on the same page for the day. And in early March… As I said, Seattle was the epicenter and because of the predictive analytics, we could see what was happening in Seattle, but we could also see what was happening in all of our other cities and States. And there was one morning in March where it was like, we could see that Portland looked just like Seattle the week before, Seattle got inundated.

There was just this aha moment where we were just like, “Oh my gosh, this thing is real, this thing is on fire.” And we could see it coming to our next city. So it was just really incredible to have the data to see that but then also just to have the means to be able to communicate with one another real time to be able to respond quickly. I mean, and there were other things too, our analytics showed us that we were days away from running out of PPE at some points. I mean, it was pretty intense. Things are better now though. That’s good.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. I used get goosebumps in those meetings. Right? Because you realize how close we were to the edge and those running out of ICU beds, running out of ventilators, running out at PPE. And as people got more confidence in these predictive tools, we could say, “Okay, we think we’re going to consume 90% but we think we’re still okay.” Versus a year. If the pandemic would have happened January 2019, instead of 2020, we would have been completely blind to kind of those trends and what was coming. So having that crystal ball and then tuning that crystal ball to get more and more accurate every week and every month was just… Proved to be invaluable.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, when we realized that we were just days away from running out a PPE, having that information allowed us to make different choices. So one of those is that we literally had our administrative workers, caregivers making PPE.

BJ Moore:

I was one of them. Yeah.

Melissa Tizon:

We made our own PPE. We took our conference rooms and made assembly lines and just manufactured ourselves. And then literally drove them to the hospitals later that day and then like the community got on board and a furniture factory said, “Hey, we’ll help you.” And they converted their furniture factory into a mask making factory, Nordstrom got on board and they got their tailors to make masks for us and Alaska Airlines was flying our stuff all over the country. And it was just incredible but we were like, “We wouldn’t have had the data previously to be able to see that and to make those decisions”

Nicole:

Well, that’s incredible. Just-

BJ Moore:

Glad you brought that up. A year later, you forget how desperate we were. Right? I mean, it was panic. To have enough mask to serve our communities and our caregivers.

Nicole:

And then to take the action. I just remember, I’m in Seattle as well. And just in the community, the sites of here’s how to make masks and really involved the entire community. So as an individual, if you’re saying, how can I help and how can I contribute? And I think that that’s so interesting about using predictive analytics, having that crystal ball, but then saying, “Well, what are we going to do about it?” And when we think about the opportunity to have those predictive analytics, even about our caregivers and top performers or people who are being burned out and then what can we do proactively? What’s the communication that we can give them or the support that we can give them to get ahead of either a retention issue or a performance issue. So I think that the way that we’re thinking about predictive analytics using our platform can have some of those benefits as well.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. And just tying that into now the remote work, right? You don’t run into people everyday and can see their mental health is getting better or worse, right? Having these analytic tools to see, “Okay, BJ’s, engagement’s changing, he normally is on email, [inaudible] opening up our newsletters immediately and now he’s not. What’s going on? Why is his engagement decreasing?” It could be mental health issues, it could be burnout, it could be I’m on spring break, or it should be this week but I missed the memo, it could be a number of things and having that insight not only at a population level for all of our caregivers but an individual and seeing that change of behavior is again, insight we didn’t have a year or two years ago that we can have in partnership with you.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely.

Melissa Tizon:

It helped our clinicians make really great clinical decisions too because they were able to share information with one another quickly with the first patient who came to us back in January 2019, that infectious disease doctor who treated him had previous experience with Ebola and remdesivir is one of the drugs that was treated for Ebola. And he used it to treat COVID-19 and we’ve just been able to really share information and data across our clinicians. So we’ve had some of the largest clinical trials on remdesivir which has really shown to be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I mean, it is amazing to think about… Again, the power of those communications, connecting people at just the right time and then again, layering in what we can do with data. It’s truly incredible. Okay. So now, what you both have been able to do at Providence, I think has just been really amazing both for your caregivers as well as the patient community in general. Be you think that… Or what as being a ski racer has helped lead this transformation? Are there any maybe traits or skills that helped you there?

BJ Moore:

Sure. Well, one thing I found is as a organization and this is probably all health systems, rightfully. So you’re risk adverse, right? It’s patient outcomes and patient safety becomes paramount and that’s a great culture to have, but it becomes a culture that gets applied to everything. And so tying it to ski racing, ski racing’s similar. In that picture, you see me in my speed suits, basically swimsuit material, you’re going 80 miles an hour down an icy slope, you don’t want to fall so you got to be risk adverse to survive. But if you’re risk adverse and make it to the bottom safely, it means you’re not a very good ski racer, right? You’re going to come in last place. And so you got to sometimes take it safe. And sometimes you need to take some risks and taking those risks are maybe the difference between first place and last place.

And same thing here at Providence. Things like patient safety, we can’t take risks, right? Patient safety is paramount. But there’s so many areas, a lot of the areas we talked about this predictive modeling and looking at these new technologies, we can take risks, we can fail fast. And so I think what I take away of ski racing and the digital transformation to healthcare. When you take risks, one of those risks appropriate, one [inaudible] they give you agility and help you to move fast and get innovation and then when you absolutely not take risks and make us more of a bi-modal culture, or sometimes we take risks and sometimes we don’t versus a culture maybe IT had when I joined, which is risk adverse for everything. “Don’t touch anything as long as nothing breaks, we’re fine.” But if you don’t touch anything, then you don’t have the innovative breakthroughs either. So that would be the connection I see between ski racing and our digital transformation. Definitely not speed suits, I wouldn’t recommend wearing that [crosstalk].

Nicole:

Not speed suits. That’s not the new PPE.

BJ Moore:

No, I did wear it at one Halloween party. I wore that speed suit. And based on the reaction, I will never wear that speed suit in public again. So definitely…

Nicole:

See, there is not risk taking.

BJ Moore:

Not even Halloween friendly.

Nicole:

Right. Risk-taking at its finest. So we’ll list that with your yoga guru status. Is there anything that you think your yoga practice helped in this transformation, especially in the past year?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. There’s that saying that you’re only one yoga class away from a good mood. Yoga is just so rejuvenating and I think it’s probably the ultimate self-care and these are just such stressful times. I think it’s important for everybody to make sure that they’re recharging themselves and renewing themselves because we all need to step up and we can’t do that if we’re completely depleted. So I just think that just continuously taking care of yourself so that we can be here for our communities and the people who need us is just really critical. And also, it just gives you a lot more clarity to be able to find the solutions and the compassion to work with others in these stressful times. So that’s my take on yoga

BJ Moore:

Thought you’re going to say, “Yoga, you’re only one class away from pulling a hamstring.” So I haven’t done yoga myself, obviously. So I may have to try it, Melissa. That was a good plug.

Nicole:

So you have to do it more. So you’re not one class away from pulling a hamstring. That’s the point.

BJ Moore:

Exactly.

Nicole:

Okay. We’re almost up on time, but I love for both of you to give… If you can give our audience kind of one key thing that they can prioritize to really catapult them to that next phase of their transformation, wherever they happen to be. BJ, why don’t you go first?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. You have to prioritize time for innovation, drive innovative culture, right? If you’re waiting for your everything to be perfect, get all your ducks in a row and then we can start to innovate that’s never going to happen. Right? We work in complex environments, complex industries and so carving out that time for innovation, carving out a culture where people can have that personal space to do innovation, having that fail fast, it’s okay to experiment fail fast, try something new that would be my advice. Because if you’re waiting for perfection, back to my three strategic pillars, if you’re waiting to simplify and modernize before you innovate, you’ll never get to innovate. So carve out the time and make innovation a priority.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely. What about you, Melissa?

Melissa Tizon:

Prioritizing engagements of your key stakeholders across your organization because it takes everybody getting on board. And so that means it’s not about consensus striving necessarily, but just making sure that you understand your stakeholders and where they’re coming from and what their needs are. And so that they feel heard and that they’re a part of it. I don’t see how you can really do a transformation without the key people being engaged in it.

BJ Moore:

Great point.

Nicole:

Right. So innovate and engage the key stakeholders. And I think at Providence, what I’ve just loved about working with you all is that all of the work that you’re doing for those 120,000 caregivers and it extends out into the communities that you serve. So thank you both for being here, just an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. And again, just thank you for all the work that you continue to do to keep our communities safe and healthy.

BJ Moore:

Thanks Nicole. Appreciate the opportunity to share our story.

Melissa Tizon:

Thank you.

 

Expand Transcript

Video Transcript

Nicole:

Thank you both for being here with us, we are in for a very exciting session on how IT and comms leaders work together to digitally transform the employee experience and lead one of the largest healthcare providers through a transformation that ultimately benefited millions of people. So, Melissa, will you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Providence?

Melissa Tizon:

Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s great to be here. I’m Melissa Tizon and I lead internal and external communications for Providence. That runs the gamut from public relations, to events, to communication support for our government priorities as well as executive communications. But I think everything that I do, all aspects of my job, the most important thing is supporting the 120,000 healthcare workers who we have on the front lines. So to tell you a little bit about Providence, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that we are one of the oldest and largest organizations founded by women.

So the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph founded our organization more than 165 years ago. And now, we’re a $25 billion company, we operate in the Western United States, we’re in seven States, we have 51 hospitals, more than a thousand clinics and as I said, about 120,000 healthcare professionals who we call caregivers. And then just really quickly, I think what’s so inspiring about the women who founded our organization is that they came to the Western frontier before there were even roads, before there was anything. So they traveled out here, they saw a need and they just started building schools, hospitals and orphanages.

So they established healthcare and social services as we know it in the Western US and that required a lot of innovation. So we feel like we have a very innovative and pioneering spirit. And you’ll hear a little bit more about that from BJ, but that’s something that we’ve just really tried to keep going. And we’ve been working towards this digital transformation for some time now. And then one other thing I wanted to mention is that this year has just been incredibly significant for our caregivers. It’s been incredibly intense and Providence was the first healthcare system in the United States to admit a COVID-19 patient.

So it actually happened before it hit the rest of the country here in… We’re based in Seattle. And we had our first COVID-19 patient in January 2019. And as soon as we discovered that patient, it was just like all systems go. And we actually did get a couple months head start of the rest of the country on being prepared for this. Every aspect of the response was so critical, the IT aspect, the clinical aspect but then also communications played a really important role. Looking forward to this conversation because I think we have a lot to share.

BJ Moore:

Absolutely.

Nicole:

Yes, definitely. Innovation and grit. My gosh, I can’t even imagine what all those women had to go through. So BJ, you have an interesting background. Can you please introduce yourself and a little bit your journey to Providence?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So my name’s BJ Moore, I’m the chief information officer here at Providence and I also own a real estate and facilities. Before I joined Providence I was at Microsoft for 27 years so I have a strong, diverse tech background. But two years ago I joined Providence and really felt like the mission and giving back to our communities and being part of the digital transformation of healthcare was so critical. So I joined two years ago and who knew it would be such a ride? I think the first year was pretty normal and then the second year was COVID. Definitely trial by fire but love it here, love the mission, love the impact we have on our community. So excited to be here.

Nicole:

And definitely… And how could you possibly leave this out of your introduction?

BJ Moore:

Pretty simple. A speed suit is not the most flattering piece of ski wear so I tend to keep this photo in the archives. A little embarrassed that you guys are showing it. But yeah, I used to be a ski racer, I used to race at a national level and as a pitcher, I think from 2006.

Nicole:

Nice. So we might-

BJ Moore:

[inaudible].

Nicole:

Yes. Okay. Of course, no pictures of me skiing. And we will circle back to maybe what being a ski racer has to do with leading a successful transformation. Melissa, do you have any other gem to share with us about passion?

Melissa Tizon:

Well, I guess if I have to pick one thing, my passion is yoga and it’s not competitive skiing, it’s maybe the opposite of that but it’s just a great practice to have.

Nicole:

Definitely. And I think we can… At the end of the session, spoiler alert or not a spoiler alert, and we’ll talk about how being a Yogi and a ski racer has helped lead this transformation. But first BJ, you had a personal transformation, obviously from big tech to healthcare. How did you think about making that jump?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. When I joined Providence two years ago, came with a strong tech background. Other than being a patient, I wasn’t an expert in healthcare. So I really spent the first three months visiting our regions, visiting the 51 hospitals that Melissa mentioned, visiting our clinics, meeting with caregivers, administrators, patients, figured out what worked and what didn’t work. So you can imagine when you’re the new chief information officer and you visit a hospital, they really don’t want to talk to you about anything that actually works, they want to talk to you about all the issues that we were having and there was definitely a lot of opportunities identified. But those first three months were fantastic and really felt that the culture of the organization felt very welcome. I’m not going to pretend after three months I was a healthcare expert, but definitely had insight into where IT could help in that digital transformation and areas for improvement and where my team could have an immediate impact. So it was a good three months and that really kicked off our journey on that transformation.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then how did you hop in and say, what is this impact we could have? And how did you start to organize that work that you needed to do?

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, it was overwhelming. I mean, as Melissa mentioned we are a $25 billion health system, one of the largest in the US and so when I did that tour, the list of issues was huge. And the key for me was, how do I boil it down to something simple? And that is how we came up with our three strategic pillars and that’s simplify, modernize and innovate. Simplify as you know, we’ve got 4,000 applications in our ecosystem, how do we simplify that down to the vital few for our caregivers and patients? Modernize, you know I found that we were 15 to 20 years behind other industries and that wasn’t a Providence thing. I think just healthcare in general was 15 to 20 years behind.

So how do we modernize the way we do IT, modernize the tools and capabilities that we use for our caregivers and patients. And then innovate, there’s so many great innovative tools coming out, machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data. How do we build upon that foundation and do those innovative things? So I have a laundry list of to-do lists that’s a thousand long, but basically we put that list into those three buckets, simplify, modernize and innovate. And that’s how we tackle things.

Nicole:

Yeah. I love those buckets. And my gosh, 4,000 applications? You might win the award for…

BJ Moore:

For context. You know Microsoft’s the trillion dollar company. Microsoft has about a thousand applications to run their worldwide business. So yeah, it’s a crazy number of applications.

Nicole:

Wow. And then, as you’re thinking about boiling down to that caregiver experience as a critical part of the transformation, how did you really think about that piece of [inaudible].

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, just going back to the 4,000 apps, you can’t have a great caregiver experience. I can only imagine trying to be a caregiver, remember my login, remember how to use the app, what app I use for what. And so that’s where that simplify really comes in. How do you boil it down to the core tools for that particular caregiver? If you’re a caregiver and finance your core set of tools and needs, and experiences are different than if you’re a frontline nurse or if you’re a doctor delivering care. And so it’s not just reducing those number of apps but actually having that tailored bespoke kind of experience.

We’re two years in, it’s probably a three to five-year journey and so if caregivers are listening in, I’m sure they’re saying, “BJ, you need to make more progress.” Patients probably saying, we need to make more progress. But that’s how we’re systematically doing it, getting it down to the vital few experiences. And then we can optimize those experiences for great patient or caregiver experiences versus 4,000. You can’t optimize 4,000 of anything, it’s just impossible.

Nicole:

Yeah, exactly. And Melissa, how are you thinking about… From a communication standpoint, kind of where you were on this transformation both internally and externally?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, just to kind of provide some perspective about healthcare. One thing that our CEO has said a lot is that healthcare is the last bastion to get itself into the digital age besides higher education. So we’ve actually kind of been on… I mean, if you think about it, healthcare has been really way behind as BJ was saying. So we’ve been on this journey for maybe six to seven years actually trying to become more digitally enabled. And Providence is based in Seattle, which it’s so happens that other very innovative companies are based in Seattle, such as Amazon and Microsoft. And so our CEO over the years just found people like BJ and other folks from these companies to just help us with this transformation.

So it couldn’t have come at a better time. One of the other challenges that we face as being 51 hospitals in seven States, each of the regions and those States operate very, very independently and previously just really wanted to do their own thing. But I think if ever anything proved it, it’s January 21st, when we got that first COVID-19 patient, it was like, “No, we can’t do our own thing anymore, we have to be in this all together, all 51 of us, we need to be able to apply the same protocols, we need to be able to share PPE, we just need to work together.” And so I think that was such a wake up call. So all that work that we had been doing leading up to this digital transformation, set us up really well to be able to handle and respond to the crisis at hand.

So from a communication standpoint, I think that was just one of the most important things, is that we needed to be able to consistently share information with people. Everybody needed to have the same level set of information especially because there was so much misinformation, especially throughout this pandemic. So much misinformation, it was just really critical for us to make sure that our caregivers were hearing it from us and that all of our leaders we’re consistent across the board.

BJ Moore:

Melissa, I just want to add on to something you said. I mean, obviously there’s a collaboration between our own health system. But coming from tech, being an outsider, the other thing I loved to see is how we partnered with other health systems.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah.

BJ Moore:

So there was a period of time where the West Coast, our trends were starting to go down, but unfortunately on the East coast, in New York, their COVID cases were going up and we actually were able to remotely monitor patients in New York, help them with their own surge. So it was fantastic to see us not only serve our local communities and partner within our own hospital system, but to see us actually reach out to the other side of the country and partner with New York in their time of need, it was just absolutely incredible to see. And when you come from tech, the thought of partnering with others is not common and it was great to see in healthcare and doing what’s right for our communities and patients [inaudible] was job on.

Nicole:

Yeah. And I think that your core pillars that simplify, modernize, innovate just talks to how you could come together across all of those.

BJ Moore:

Yeah.

Nicole:

So I think that’s just really wonderful. And then Melissa, on the kind of simplify and modernize, and you talked about the 51 areas just operating pretty separately and bringing together something in a source of truth. How did you go about that?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah, I think we started off with eight different email systems and we had… So we have a communications team of about 100 people across our seven States and we had been getting more and more aligned up to this point, all of them were operating off of different email systems. I think just to produce a newsletter, they were having to publish onto three or four different platforms and it was just incredibly time consuming. And I think for our communications team, we’ve really been working on our caregiver satisfaction and engagement scores just for our communication members. And they’re just experiencing a ton of burnout, they work so hard and here they are trying to publish all these newsletters in all these different platforms. So I think that was one of the great things about going to SocialChorus.

And I just got this update… I don’t know if you’ve heard this Nicole, but I just got this update yesterday that it previously took our communication team members, the newsletter editors, 10 hours just to send out a newsletter. And now we’ve got it down to 45 minutes. So just kind of addressing that burn out issue for our own communications team, this is like one of the key things that’s helping us do that. But then also just to be able to get a single simplified platform out to our caregivers across, a consistent way of getting information out to our dispersed workforce has been incredible. So it’s just something that I think is really going to… We still have a lot more work to do, but I think it’s really going to put us over the edge and help us to be so much more effective in terms of communication.

BJ Moore:

I just want to add to the plug there on the great work that Melissa and the PR team did and what we were able to do as SocialChorus. I mean, as Melissa mentioned, we’re a 170-year-old organization, that’s a 170-year-old organization that never worked remote. We had very much a culture, coming to work every single day, most people had desktops even the thought of working remote didn’t even exist, you couldn’t do it, right? Flash forward to March of last year with the moratoriums, all those people had to stay home. So communication went from being important to lifesaving, right? It was the lifeblood of keeping the organization together now that everybody was working remote. So I really appreciated the partnership with Melissa and her team and having those communication channels with our now remote workforce, which would have been disastrous if we didn’t have that in place.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s amazing. I hear a lot that… We’ve always known that communication is that life blood, is that backbone, but I think we needed COVID unfortunately to really elevate it to be a true CEO problem and a senior leader problem of we have to be able to reach our entire workforce with that source of truth information exactly like you said, Melissa. So yeah, we’re just so grateful with our partnership and that we could be there to support your caregivers. BJ, can you talk a little bit about just Microsoft? Obviously, you’ve come from Microsoft, there’s a big partnership there, how you’ve worked with them in a digital transformation and then a little bit about, this working together with SocialChorus and Microsoft as part of your employee stack.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So as Melissa mentioned, we had a very fractured communication email environments, we also had our collaboration environments, we had Webex and Teams and Link and Skype and Zoom. I think if you produced a collaboration tool or platform, we had it. And so we were already partnering with Microsoft before the pandemic to standardize on Microsoft 365, move everybody to Teams, we were going to do that by December 2020. Obviously, when we sent everybody home, our plans went from December 2020 to how do we get everybody on board by April, which was a massive acceleration to get 120,000 caregivers on those standard platforms. As far as the partnership between Microsoft and SocialChorus and what we’re doing, it’s that, now we’ve got a good foundation of standard email and standard collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. How do we then use these multiple channels of communications?

Right? It can’t just be an email, it can’t just be a website on SharePoint, it can’t just be texts, it can’t be just one or two channels, it’s got to be multiple channels. And then having the insight into what channels are working or not working and who we need to follow up with and who’s getting the engagement or not getting the engagement it gives us insight that we didn’t have before. Before it was, you sent out the newsletter and you assume maybe 10 or 15% of the folks read it and that was it. And now through the partnership, we’ve got greater insight and those multi-channels to get those messages out.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then Melissa, I know you have such a great partnership with BJ and IT. Were there other… Or who else did you partnership as you are thinking about serving your caregivers and helping those communicators with their work as well?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I think the biggest partnership really has been within the communications team itself. So just getting all of our local communication teams aligned to be able to transition to this new platform. Many of whom did it in the middle of the pandemic. So they had a lot going on, so just getting them on board and getting them to understand why this was going to make their lives better and help us to be more effective at communication. So there just some engagement and alignment that we had to do to get folks on board with it.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s what… Oh, go ahead, BJ.

BJ Moore:

Sorry to keep jumping in here. Sorry, just Melissa keeps bringing up these excellent points. One of my fears coming here was the reason healthcare was 15 or 20 years, I thought people would be really changed or risk adverse or not willing to adopt new technologies. My experience has actually been the opposite, our caregivers, our executive leadership is actually quick to adopt things quicker than tech. And so I’m sure Melissa it was challenging to get folks on board but it would have even been more challenging to be in a tech company, you would think a tech company would be agile and open to change. My experience is that Providence is actually more open to change and so that’s been a nice surprise for me.

Nicole:

Goes back to those founders with their innovative and then that grit.

BJ Moore:

Scrappy women. Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole:

Exactly, exactly.

BJ Moore:

The grit.

Nicole:

The grit, the grit. So I want to switch and talk a little bit about data because I know that that’s kind of top of mind for everybody and BJ, you alluded to a little bit for on the innovation side. Can you just talk [inaudible] things of kind of what else you’re doing with big data? I imagine just from the caregiver side, yes. But then what you’re able to do to drive that patient experience.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So I love how you put it there. So big data as a piece of technology fits in that modernized section. But what we can do with big data is really what’s going to drive innovation, right? Machine learning and artificial intelligence doesn’t work if you don’t have big data sets. And so an example I can give you that really before COVID, when I would say big data and machine learning, the execs would just hear it as buzzwords. When we were a couple months into COVID, we were using machine learning and our big data models to do predictive analytics around the COVID surges. And by May, June timeframe, we had about 85% accuracy to say, “Okay, within this community, we think COVID is going to go up and by how much. And this community, we think COVID may be under control and going down.”

And that really allowed us to manage our resources, our PPE, our ventilators, allowed us to serve our local communities more effective by investing or de-investing, it allowed us… That’s why we were able to help New York out with confidence because our predictive models said, “Hey, things on the West Coast temporarily are semi under control. So we have some capacity to help New York.” And so we took these buzzwords that machine learning and big data that just sound like alphabet soup and really highlighted what we could do for our communities, what we could do for our patients, how we could really improve care. And so I think we now have… No pun intended the religion around what we can do with these innovative technologies.

And so what are the predictive analytics around future outbreaks? It could be the flu, what can we do around health bots, where we can start monitoring… With patient consent, the health changes of an individual, right? A doctor can’t follow me or Melissa around, but a health bot can. And so we really see big data and artificial intelligence really changing the way we deliver healthcare, really changing that patient experience and even better predicting before somebody gets sick and having preventative medicine that we can put in place to prevent more acute illnesses, I think really transform healthcare.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. Can I add to that, Nicole? So one of the really cool things… Thanks to what BJ did, is we were able to… As soon as the pandemic hit, we were able to have the 7:30 AM meeting with… It was like 200 to 300 clinical leaders across the seven States. So everybody would get on Teams and we would do this meeting so that we could all be on the same page for the day. And in early March… As I said, Seattle was the epicenter and because of the predictive analytics, we could see what was happening in Seattle, but we could also see what was happening in all of our other cities and States. And there was one morning in March where it was like, we could see that Portland looked just like Seattle the week before, Seattle got inundated.

There was just this aha moment where we were just like, “Oh my gosh, this thing is real, this thing is on fire.” And we could see it coming to our next city. So it was just really incredible to have the data to see that but then also just to have the means to be able to communicate with one another real time to be able to respond quickly. I mean, and there were other things too, our analytics showed us that we were days away from running out of PPE at some points. I mean, it was pretty intense. Things are better now though. That’s good.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. I used get goosebumps in those meetings. Right? Because you realize how close we were to the edge and those running out of ICU beds, running out of ventilators, running out at PPE. And as people got more confidence in these predictive tools, we could say, “Okay, we think we’re going to consume 90% but we think we’re still okay.” Versus a year. If the pandemic would have happened January 2019, instead of 2020, we would have been completely blind to kind of those trends and what was coming. So having that crystal ball and then tuning that crystal ball to get more and more accurate every week and every month was just… Proved to be invaluable.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, when we realized that we were just days away from running out a PPE, having that information allowed us to make different choices. So one of those is that we literally had our administrative workers, caregivers making PPE.

BJ Moore:

I was one of them. Yeah.

Melissa Tizon:

We made our own PPE. We took our conference rooms and made assembly lines and just manufactured ourselves. And then literally drove them to the hospitals later that day and then like the community got on board and a furniture factory said, “Hey, we’ll help you.” And they converted their furniture factory into a mask making factory, Nordstrom got on board and they got their tailors to make masks for us and Alaska Airlines was flying our stuff all over the country. And it was just incredible but we were like, “We wouldn’t have had the data previously to be able to see that and to make those decisions”

Nicole:

Well, that’s incredible. Just-

BJ Moore:

Glad you brought that up. A year later, you forget how desperate we were. Right? I mean, it was panic. To have enough mask to serve our communities and our caregivers.

Nicole:

And then to take the action. I just remember, I’m in Seattle as well. And just in the community, the sites of here’s how to make masks and really involved the entire community. So as an individual, if you’re saying, how can I help and how can I contribute? And I think that that’s so interesting about using predictive analytics, having that crystal ball, but then saying, “Well, what are we going to do about it?” And when we think about the opportunity to have those predictive analytics, even about our caregivers and top performers or people who are being burned out and then what can we do proactively? What’s the communication that we can give them or the support that we can give them to get ahead of either a retention issue or a performance issue. So I think that the way that we’re thinking about predictive analytics using our platform can have some of those benefits as well.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. And just tying that into now the remote work, right? You don’t run into people everyday and can see their mental health is getting better or worse, right? Having these analytic tools to see, “Okay, BJ’s, engagement’s changing, he normally is on email, [inaudible] opening up our newsletters immediately and now he’s not. What’s going on? Why is his engagement decreasing?” It could be mental health issues, it could be burnout, it could be I’m on spring break, or it should be this week but I missed the memo, it could be a number of things and having that insight not only at a population level for all of our caregivers but an individual and seeing that change of behavior is again, insight we didn’t have a year or two years ago that we can have in partnership with you.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely.

Melissa Tizon:

It helped our clinicians make really great clinical decisions too because they were able to share information with one another quickly with the first patient who came to us back in January 2019, that infectious disease doctor who treated him had previous experience with Ebola and remdesivir is one of the drugs that was treated for Ebola. And he used it to treat COVID-19 and we’ve just been able to really share information and data across our clinicians. So we’ve had some of the largest clinical trials on remdesivir which has really shown to be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I mean, it is amazing to think about… Again, the power of those communications, connecting people at just the right time and then again, layering in what we can do with data. It’s truly incredible. Okay. So now, what you both have been able to do at Providence, I think has just been really amazing both for your caregivers as well as the patient community in general. Be you think that… Or what as being a ski racer has helped lead this transformation? Are there any maybe traits or skills that helped you there?

BJ Moore:

Sure. Well, one thing I found is as a organization and this is probably all health systems, rightfully. So you’re risk adverse, right? It’s patient outcomes and patient safety becomes paramount and that’s a great culture to have, but it becomes a culture that gets applied to everything. And so tying it to ski racing, ski racing’s similar. In that picture, you see me in my speed suits, basically swimsuit material, you’re going 80 miles an hour down an icy slope, you don’t want to fall so you got to be risk adverse to survive. But if you’re risk adverse and make it to the bottom safely, it means you’re not a very good ski racer, right? You’re going to come in last place. And so you got to sometimes take it safe. And sometimes you need to take some risks and taking those risks are maybe the difference between first place and last place.

And same thing here at Providence. Things like patient safety, we can’t take risks, right? Patient safety is paramount. But there’s so many areas, a lot of the areas we talked about this predictive modeling and looking at these new technologies, we can take risks, we can fail fast. And so I think what I take away of ski racing and the digital transformation to healthcare. When you take risks, one of those risks appropriate, one [inaudible] they give you agility and help you to move fast and get innovation and then when you absolutely not take risks and make us more of a bi-modal culture, or sometimes we take risks and sometimes we don’t versus a culture maybe IT had when I joined, which is risk adverse for everything. “Don’t touch anything as long as nothing breaks, we’re fine.” But if you don’t touch anything, then you don’t have the innovative breakthroughs either. So that would be the connection I see between ski racing and our digital transformation. Definitely not speed suits, I wouldn’t recommend wearing that [crosstalk].

Nicole:

Not speed suits. That’s not the new PPE.

BJ Moore:

No, I did wear it at one Halloween party. I wore that speed suit. And based on the reaction, I will never wear that speed suit in public again. So definitely…

Nicole:

See, there is not risk taking.

BJ Moore:

Not even Halloween friendly.

Nicole:

Right. Risk-taking at its finest. So we’ll list that with your yoga guru status. Is there anything that you think your yoga practice helped in this transformation, especially in the past year?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. There’s that saying that you’re only one yoga class away from a good mood. Yoga is just so rejuvenating and I think it’s probably the ultimate self-care and these are just such stressful times. I think it’s important for everybody to make sure that they’re recharging themselves and renewing themselves because we all need to step up and we can’t do that if we’re completely depleted. So I just think that just continuously taking care of yourself so that we can be here for our communities and the people who need us is just really critical. And also, it just gives you a lot more clarity to be able to find the solutions and the compassion to work with others in these stressful times. So that’s my take on yoga

BJ Moore:

Thought you’re going to say, “Yoga, you’re only one class away from pulling a hamstring.” So I haven’t done yoga myself, obviously. So I may have to try it, Melissa. That was a good plug.

Nicole:

So you have to do it more. So you’re not one class away from pulling a hamstring. That’s the point.

BJ Moore:

Exactly.

Nicole:

Okay. We’re almost up on time, but I love for both of you to give… If you can give our audience kind of one key thing that they can prioritize to really catapult them to that next phase of their transformation, wherever they happen to be. BJ, why don’t you go first?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. You have to prioritize time for innovation, drive innovative culture, right? If you’re waiting for your everything to be perfect, get all your ducks in a row and then we can start to innovate that’s never going to happen. Right? We work in complex environments, complex industries and so carving out that time for innovation, carving out a culture where people can have that personal space to do innovation, having that fail fast, it’s okay to experiment fail fast, try something new that would be my advice. Because if you’re waiting for perfection, back to my three strategic pillars, if you’re waiting to simplify and modernize before you innovate, you’ll never get to innovate. So carve out the time and make innovation a priority.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely. What about you, Melissa?

Melissa Tizon:

Prioritizing engagements of your key stakeholders across your organization because it takes everybody getting on board. And so that means it’s not about consensus striving necessarily, but just making sure that you understand your stakeholders and where they’re coming from and what their needs are. And so that they feel heard and that they’re a part of it. I don’t see how you can really do a transformation without the key people being engaged in it.

BJ Moore:

Great point.

Nicole:

Right. So innovate and engage the key stakeholders. And I think at Providence, what I’ve just loved about working with you all is that all of the work that you’re doing for those 120,000 caregivers and it extends out into the communities that you serve. So thank you both for being here, just an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. And again, just thank you for all the work that you continue to do to keep our communities safe and healthy.

BJ Moore:

Thanks Nicole. Appreciate the opportunity to share our story.

Melissa Tizon:

Thank you.

 

Video Transcript

Nicole:

Thank you both for being here with us, we are in for a very exciting session on how IT and comms leaders work together to digitally transform the employee experience and lead one of the largest healthcare providers through a transformation that ultimately benefited millions of people. So, Melissa, will you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Providence?

Melissa Tizon:

Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s great to be here. I’m Melissa Tizon and I lead internal and external communications for Providence. That runs the gamut from public relations, to events, to communication support for our government priorities as well as executive communications. But I think everything that I do, all aspects of my job, the most important thing is supporting the 120,000 healthcare workers who we have on the front lines. So to tell you a little bit about Providence, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that we are one of the oldest and largest organizations founded by women.

So the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph founded our organization more than 165 years ago. And now, we’re a $25 billion company, we operate in the Western United States, we’re in seven States, we have 51 hospitals, more than a thousand clinics and as I said, about 120,000 healthcare professionals who we call caregivers. And then just really quickly, I think what’s so inspiring about the women who founded our organization is that they came to the Western frontier before there were even roads, before there was anything. So they traveled out here, they saw a need and they just started building schools, hospitals and orphanages.

So they established healthcare and social services as we know it in the Western US and that required a lot of innovation. So we feel like we have a very innovative and pioneering spirit. And you’ll hear a little bit more about that from BJ, but that’s something that we’ve just really tried to keep going. And we’ve been working towards this digital transformation for some time now. And then one other thing I wanted to mention is that this year has just been incredibly significant for our caregivers. It’s been incredibly intense and Providence was the first healthcare system in the United States to admit a COVID-19 patient.

So it actually happened before it hit the rest of the country here in… We’re based in Seattle. And we had our first COVID-19 patient in January 2019. And as soon as we discovered that patient, it was just like all systems go. And we actually did get a couple months head start of the rest of the country on being prepared for this. Every aspect of the response was so critical, the IT aspect, the clinical aspect but then also communications played a really important role. Looking forward to this conversation because I think we have a lot to share.

BJ Moore:

Absolutely.

Nicole:

Yes, definitely. Innovation and grit. My gosh, I can’t even imagine what all those women had to go through. So BJ, you have an interesting background. Can you please introduce yourself and a little bit your journey to Providence?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So my name’s BJ Moore, I’m the chief information officer here at Providence and I also own a real estate and facilities. Before I joined Providence I was at Microsoft for 27 years so I have a strong, diverse tech background. But two years ago I joined Providence and really felt like the mission and giving back to our communities and being part of the digital transformation of healthcare was so critical. So I joined two years ago and who knew it would be such a ride? I think the first year was pretty normal and then the second year was COVID. Definitely trial by fire but love it here, love the mission, love the impact we have on our community. So excited to be here.

Nicole:

And definitely… And how could you possibly leave this out of your introduction?

BJ Moore:

Pretty simple. A speed suit is not the most flattering piece of ski wear so I tend to keep this photo in the archives. A little embarrassed that you guys are showing it. But yeah, I used to be a ski racer, I used to race at a national level and as a pitcher, I think from 2006.

Nicole:

Nice. So we might-

BJ Moore:

[inaudible].

Nicole:

Yes. Okay. Of course, no pictures of me skiing. And we will circle back to maybe what being a ski racer has to do with leading a successful transformation. Melissa, do you have any other gem to share with us about passion?

Melissa Tizon:

Well, I guess if I have to pick one thing, my passion is yoga and it’s not competitive skiing, it’s maybe the opposite of that but it’s just a great practice to have.

Nicole:

Definitely. And I think we can… At the end of the session, spoiler alert or not a spoiler alert, and we’ll talk about how being a Yogi and a ski racer has helped lead this transformation. But first BJ, you had a personal transformation, obviously from big tech to healthcare. How did you think about making that jump?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. When I joined Providence two years ago, came with a strong tech background. Other than being a patient, I wasn’t an expert in healthcare. So I really spent the first three months visiting our regions, visiting the 51 hospitals that Melissa mentioned, visiting our clinics, meeting with caregivers, administrators, patients, figured out what worked and what didn’t work. So you can imagine when you’re the new chief information officer and you visit a hospital, they really don’t want to talk to you about anything that actually works, they want to talk to you about all the issues that we were having and there was definitely a lot of opportunities identified. But those first three months were fantastic and really felt that the culture of the organization felt very welcome. I’m not going to pretend after three months I was a healthcare expert, but definitely had insight into where IT could help in that digital transformation and areas for improvement and where my team could have an immediate impact. So it was a good three months and that really kicked off our journey on that transformation.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then how did you hop in and say, what is this impact we could have? And how did you start to organize that work that you needed to do?

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, it was overwhelming. I mean, as Melissa mentioned we are a $25 billion health system, one of the largest in the US and so when I did that tour, the list of issues was huge. And the key for me was, how do I boil it down to something simple? And that is how we came up with our three strategic pillars and that’s simplify, modernize and innovate. Simplify as you know, we’ve got 4,000 applications in our ecosystem, how do we simplify that down to the vital few for our caregivers and patients? Modernize, you know I found that we were 15 to 20 years behind other industries and that wasn’t a Providence thing. I think just healthcare in general was 15 to 20 years behind.

So how do we modernize the way we do IT, modernize the tools and capabilities that we use for our caregivers and patients. And then innovate, there’s so many great innovative tools coming out, machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data. How do we build upon that foundation and do those innovative things? So I have a laundry list of to-do lists that’s a thousand long, but basically we put that list into those three buckets, simplify, modernize and innovate. And that’s how we tackle things.

Nicole:

Yeah. I love those buckets. And my gosh, 4,000 applications? You might win the award for…

BJ Moore:

For context. You know Microsoft’s the trillion dollar company. Microsoft has about a thousand applications to run their worldwide business. So yeah, it’s a crazy number of applications.

Nicole:

Wow. And then, as you’re thinking about boiling down to that caregiver experience as a critical part of the transformation, how did you really think about that piece of [inaudible].

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, just going back to the 4,000 apps, you can’t have a great caregiver experience. I can only imagine trying to be a caregiver, remember my login, remember how to use the app, what app I use for what. And so that’s where that simplify really comes in. How do you boil it down to the core tools for that particular caregiver? If you’re a caregiver and finance your core set of tools and needs, and experiences are different than if you’re a frontline nurse or if you’re a doctor delivering care. And so it’s not just reducing those number of apps but actually having that tailored bespoke kind of experience.

We’re two years in, it’s probably a three to five-year journey and so if caregivers are listening in, I’m sure they’re saying, “BJ, you need to make more progress.” Patients probably saying, we need to make more progress. But that’s how we’re systematically doing it, getting it down to the vital few experiences. And then we can optimize those experiences for great patient or caregiver experiences versus 4,000. You can’t optimize 4,000 of anything, it’s just impossible.

Nicole:

Yeah, exactly. And Melissa, how are you thinking about… From a communication standpoint, kind of where you were on this transformation both internally and externally?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, just to kind of provide some perspective about healthcare. One thing that our CEO has said a lot is that healthcare is the last bastion to get itself into the digital age besides higher education. So we’ve actually kind of been on… I mean, if you think about it, healthcare has been really way behind as BJ was saying. So we’ve been on this journey for maybe six to seven years actually trying to become more digitally enabled. And Providence is based in Seattle, which it’s so happens that other very innovative companies are based in Seattle, such as Amazon and Microsoft. And so our CEO over the years just found people like BJ and other folks from these companies to just help us with this transformation.

So it couldn’t have come at a better time. One of the other challenges that we face as being 51 hospitals in seven States, each of the regions and those States operate very, very independently and previously just really wanted to do their own thing. But I think if ever anything proved it, it’s January 21st, when we got that first COVID-19 patient, it was like, “No, we can’t do our own thing anymore, we have to be in this all together, all 51 of us, we need to be able to apply the same protocols, we need to be able to share PPE, we just need to work together.” And so I think that was such a wake up call. So all that work that we had been doing leading up to this digital transformation, set us up really well to be able to handle and respond to the crisis at hand.

So from a communication standpoint, I think that was just one of the most important things, is that we needed to be able to consistently share information with people. Everybody needed to have the same level set of information especially because there was so much misinformation, especially throughout this pandemic. So much misinformation, it was just really critical for us to make sure that our caregivers were hearing it from us and that all of our leaders we’re consistent across the board.

BJ Moore:

Melissa, I just want to add on to something you said. I mean, obviously there’s a collaboration between our own health system. But coming from tech, being an outsider, the other thing I loved to see is how we partnered with other health systems.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah.

BJ Moore:

So there was a period of time where the West Coast, our trends were starting to go down, but unfortunately on the East coast, in New York, their COVID cases were going up and we actually were able to remotely monitor patients in New York, help them with their own surge. So it was fantastic to see us not only serve our local communities and partner within our own hospital system, but to see us actually reach out to the other side of the country and partner with New York in their time of need, it was just absolutely incredible to see. And when you come from tech, the thought of partnering with others is not common and it was great to see in healthcare and doing what’s right for our communities and patients [inaudible] was job on.

Nicole:

Yeah. And I think that your core pillars that simplify, modernize, innovate just talks to how you could come together across all of those.

BJ Moore:

Yeah.

Nicole:

So I think that’s just really wonderful. And then Melissa, on the kind of simplify and modernize, and you talked about the 51 areas just operating pretty separately and bringing together something in a source of truth. How did you go about that?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah, I think we started off with eight different email systems and we had… So we have a communications team of about 100 people across our seven States and we had been getting more and more aligned up to this point, all of them were operating off of different email systems. I think just to produce a newsletter, they were having to publish onto three or four different platforms and it was just incredibly time consuming. And I think for our communications team, we’ve really been working on our caregiver satisfaction and engagement scores just for our communication members. And they’re just experiencing a ton of burnout, they work so hard and here they are trying to publish all these newsletters in all these different platforms. So I think that was one of the great things about going to SocialChorus.

And I just got this update… I don’t know if you’ve heard this Nicole, but I just got this update yesterday that it previously took our communication team members, the newsletter editors, 10 hours just to send out a newsletter. And now we’ve got it down to 45 minutes. So just kind of addressing that burn out issue for our own communications team, this is like one of the key things that’s helping us do that. But then also just to be able to get a single simplified platform out to our caregivers across, a consistent way of getting information out to our dispersed workforce has been incredible. So it’s just something that I think is really going to… We still have a lot more work to do, but I think it’s really going to put us over the edge and help us to be so much more effective in terms of communication.

BJ Moore:

I just want to add to the plug there on the great work that Melissa and the PR team did and what we were able to do as SocialChorus. I mean, as Melissa mentioned, we’re a 170-year-old organization, that’s a 170-year-old organization that never worked remote. We had very much a culture, coming to work every single day, most people had desktops even the thought of working remote didn’t even exist, you couldn’t do it, right? Flash forward to March of last year with the moratoriums, all those people had to stay home. So communication went from being important to lifesaving, right? It was the lifeblood of keeping the organization together now that everybody was working remote. So I really appreciated the partnership with Melissa and her team and having those communication channels with our now remote workforce, which would have been disastrous if we didn’t have that in place.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s amazing. I hear a lot that… We’ve always known that communication is that life blood, is that backbone, but I think we needed COVID unfortunately to really elevate it to be a true CEO problem and a senior leader problem of we have to be able to reach our entire workforce with that source of truth information exactly like you said, Melissa. So yeah, we’re just so grateful with our partnership and that we could be there to support your caregivers. BJ, can you talk a little bit about just Microsoft? Obviously, you’ve come from Microsoft, there’s a big partnership there, how you’ve worked with them in a digital transformation and then a little bit about, this working together with SocialChorus and Microsoft as part of your employee stack.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So as Melissa mentioned, we had a very fractured communication email environments, we also had our collaboration environments, we had Webex and Teams and Link and Skype and Zoom. I think if you produced a collaboration tool or platform, we had it. And so we were already partnering with Microsoft before the pandemic to standardize on Microsoft 365, move everybody to Teams, we were going to do that by December 2020. Obviously, when we sent everybody home, our plans went from December 2020 to how do we get everybody on board by April, which was a massive acceleration to get 120,000 caregivers on those standard platforms. As far as the partnership between Microsoft and SocialChorus and what we’re doing, it’s that, now we’ve got a good foundation of standard email and standard collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. How do we then use these multiple channels of communications?

Right? It can’t just be an email, it can’t just be a website on SharePoint, it can’t just be texts, it can’t be just one or two channels, it’s got to be multiple channels. And then having the insight into what channels are working or not working and who we need to follow up with and who’s getting the engagement or not getting the engagement it gives us insight that we didn’t have before. Before it was, you sent out the newsletter and you assume maybe 10 or 15% of the folks read it and that was it. And now through the partnership, we’ve got greater insight and those multi-channels to get those messages out.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then Melissa, I know you have such a great partnership with BJ and IT. Were there other… Or who else did you partnership as you are thinking about serving your caregivers and helping those communicators with their work as well?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I think the biggest partnership really has been within the communications team itself. So just getting all of our local communication teams aligned to be able to transition to this new platform. Many of whom did it in the middle of the pandemic. So they had a lot going on, so just getting them on board and getting them to understand why this was going to make their lives better and help us to be more effective at communication. So there just some engagement and alignment that we had to do to get folks on board with it.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s what… Oh, go ahead, BJ.

BJ Moore:

Sorry to keep jumping in here. Sorry, just Melissa keeps bringing up these excellent points. One of my fears coming here was the reason healthcare was 15 or 20 years, I thought people would be really changed or risk adverse or not willing to adopt new technologies. My experience has actually been the opposite, our caregivers, our executive leadership is actually quick to adopt things quicker than tech. And so I’m sure Melissa it was challenging to get folks on board but it would have even been more challenging to be in a tech company, you would think a tech company would be agile and open to change. My experience is that Providence is actually more open to change and so that’s been a nice surprise for me.

Nicole:

Goes back to those founders with their innovative and then that grit.

BJ Moore:

Scrappy women. Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole:

Exactly, exactly.

BJ Moore:

The grit.

Nicole:

The grit, the grit. So I want to switch and talk a little bit about data because I know that that’s kind of top of mind for everybody and BJ, you alluded to a little bit for on the innovation side. Can you just talk [inaudible] things of kind of what else you’re doing with big data? I imagine just from the caregiver side, yes. But then what you’re able to do to drive that patient experience.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So I love how you put it there. So big data as a piece of technology fits in that modernized section. But what we can do with big data is really what’s going to drive innovation, right? Machine learning and artificial intelligence doesn’t work if you don’t have big data sets. And so an example I can give you that really before COVID, when I would say big data and machine learning, the execs would just hear it as buzzwords. When we were a couple months into COVID, we were using machine learning and our big data models to do predictive analytics around the COVID surges. And by May, June timeframe, we had about 85% accuracy to say, “Okay, within this community, we think COVID is going to go up and by how much. And this community, we think COVID may be under control and going down.”

And that really allowed us to manage our resources, our PPE, our ventilators, allowed us to serve our local communities more effective by investing or de-investing, it allowed us… That’s why we were able to help New York out with confidence because our predictive models said, “Hey, things on the West Coast temporarily are semi under control. So we have some capacity to help New York.” And so we took these buzzwords that machine learning and big data that just sound like alphabet soup and really highlighted what we could do for our communities, what we could do for our patients, how we could really improve care. And so I think we now have… No pun intended the religion around what we can do with these innovative technologies.

And so what are the predictive analytics around future outbreaks? It could be the flu, what can we do around health bots, where we can start monitoring… With patient consent, the health changes of an individual, right? A doctor can’t follow me or Melissa around, but a health bot can. And so we really see big data and artificial intelligence really changing the way we deliver healthcare, really changing that patient experience and even better predicting before somebody gets sick and having preventative medicine that we can put in place to prevent more acute illnesses, I think really transform healthcare.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. Can I add to that, Nicole? So one of the really cool things… Thanks to what BJ did, is we were able to… As soon as the pandemic hit, we were able to have the 7:30 AM meeting with… It was like 200 to 300 clinical leaders across the seven States. So everybody would get on Teams and we would do this meeting so that we could all be on the same page for the day. And in early March… As I said, Seattle was the epicenter and because of the predictive analytics, we could see what was happening in Seattle, but we could also see what was happening in all of our other cities and States. And there was one morning in March where it was like, we could see that Portland looked just like Seattle the week before, Seattle got inundated.

There was just this aha moment where we were just like, “Oh my gosh, this thing is real, this thing is on fire.” And we could see it coming to our next city. So it was just really incredible to have the data to see that but then also just to have the means to be able to communicate with one another real time to be able to respond quickly. I mean, and there were other things too, our analytics showed us that we were days away from running out of PPE at some points. I mean, it was pretty intense. Things are better now though. That’s good.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. I used get goosebumps in those meetings. Right? Because you realize how close we were to the edge and those running out of ICU beds, running out of ventilators, running out at PPE. And as people got more confidence in these predictive tools, we could say, “Okay, we think we’re going to consume 90% but we think we’re still okay.” Versus a year. If the pandemic would have happened January 2019, instead of 2020, we would have been completely blind to kind of those trends and what was coming. So having that crystal ball and then tuning that crystal ball to get more and more accurate every week and every month was just… Proved to be invaluable.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, when we realized that we were just days away from running out a PPE, having that information allowed us to make different choices. So one of those is that we literally had our administrative workers, caregivers making PPE.

BJ Moore:

I was one of them. Yeah.

Melissa Tizon:

We made our own PPE. We took our conference rooms and made assembly lines and just manufactured ourselves. And then literally drove them to the hospitals later that day and then like the community got on board and a furniture factory said, “Hey, we’ll help you.” And they converted their furniture factory into a mask making factory, Nordstrom got on board and they got their tailors to make masks for us and Alaska Airlines was flying our stuff all over the country. And it was just incredible but we were like, “We wouldn’t have had the data previously to be able to see that and to make those decisions”

Nicole:

Well, that’s incredible. Just-

BJ Moore:

Glad you brought that up. A year later, you forget how desperate we were. Right? I mean, it was panic. To have enough mask to serve our communities and our caregivers.

Nicole:

And then to take the action. I just remember, I’m in Seattle as well. And just in the community, the sites of here’s how to make masks and really involved the entire community. So as an individual, if you’re saying, how can I help and how can I contribute? And I think that that’s so interesting about using predictive analytics, having that crystal ball, but then saying, “Well, what are we going to do about it?” And when we think about the opportunity to have those predictive analytics, even about our caregivers and top performers or people who are being burned out and then what can we do proactively? What’s the communication that we can give them or the support that we can give them to get ahead of either a retention issue or a performance issue. So I think that the way that we’re thinking about predictive analytics using our platform can have some of those benefits as well.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. And just tying that into now the remote work, right? You don’t run into people everyday and can see their mental health is getting better or worse, right? Having these analytic tools to see, “Okay, BJ’s, engagement’s changing, he normally is on email, [inaudible] opening up our newsletters immediately and now he’s not. What’s going on? Why is his engagement decreasing?” It could be mental health issues, it could be burnout, it could be I’m on spring break, or it should be this week but I missed the memo, it could be a number of things and having that insight not only at a population level for all of our caregivers but an individual and seeing that change of behavior is again, insight we didn’t have a year or two years ago that we can have in partnership with you.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely.

Melissa Tizon:

It helped our clinicians make really great clinical decisions too because they were able to share information with one another quickly with the first patient who came to us back in January 2019, that infectious disease doctor who treated him had previous experience with Ebola and remdesivir is one of the drugs that was treated for Ebola. And he used it to treat COVID-19 and we’ve just been able to really share information and data across our clinicians. So we’ve had some of the largest clinical trials on remdesivir which has really shown to be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I mean, it is amazing to think about… Again, the power of those communications, connecting people at just the right time and then again, layering in what we can do with data. It’s truly incredible. Okay. So now, what you both have been able to do at Providence, I think has just been really amazing both for your caregivers as well as the patient community in general. Be you think that… Or what as being a ski racer has helped lead this transformation? Are there any maybe traits or skills that helped you there?

BJ Moore:

Sure. Well, one thing I found is as a organization and this is probably all health systems, rightfully. So you’re risk adverse, right? It’s patient outcomes and patient safety becomes paramount and that’s a great culture to have, but it becomes a culture that gets applied to everything. And so tying it to ski racing, ski racing’s similar. In that picture, you see me in my speed suits, basically swimsuit material, you’re going 80 miles an hour down an icy slope, you don’t want to fall so you got to be risk adverse to survive. But if you’re risk adverse and make it to the bottom safely, it means you’re not a very good ski racer, right? You’re going to come in last place. And so you got to sometimes take it safe. And sometimes you need to take some risks and taking those risks are maybe the difference between first place and last place.

And same thing here at Providence. Things like patient safety, we can’t take risks, right? Patient safety is paramount. But there’s so many areas, a lot of the areas we talked about this predictive modeling and looking at these new technologies, we can take risks, we can fail fast. And so I think what I take away of ski racing and the digital transformation to healthcare. When you take risks, one of those risks appropriate, one [inaudible] they give you agility and help you to move fast and get innovation and then when you absolutely not take risks and make us more of a bi-modal culture, or sometimes we take risks and sometimes we don’t versus a culture maybe IT had when I joined, which is risk adverse for everything. “Don’t touch anything as long as nothing breaks, we’re fine.” But if you don’t touch anything, then you don’t have the innovative breakthroughs either. So that would be the connection I see between ski racing and our digital transformation. Definitely not speed suits, I wouldn’t recommend wearing that [crosstalk].

Nicole:

Not speed suits. That’s not the new PPE.

BJ Moore:

No, I did wear it at one Halloween party. I wore that speed suit. And based on the reaction, I will never wear that speed suit in public again. So definitely…

Nicole:

See, there is not risk taking.

BJ Moore:

Not even Halloween friendly.

Nicole:

Right. Risk-taking at its finest. So we’ll list that with your yoga guru status. Is there anything that you think your yoga practice helped in this transformation, especially in the past year?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. There’s that saying that you’re only one yoga class away from a good mood. Yoga is just so rejuvenating and I think it’s probably the ultimate self-care and these are just such stressful times. I think it’s important for everybody to make sure that they’re recharging themselves and renewing themselves because we all need to step up and we can’t do that if we’re completely depleted. So I just think that just continuously taking care of yourself so that we can be here for our communities and the people who need us is just really critical. And also, it just gives you a lot more clarity to be able to find the solutions and the compassion to work with others in these stressful times. So that’s my take on yoga

BJ Moore:

Thought you’re going to say, “Yoga, you’re only one class away from pulling a hamstring.” So I haven’t done yoga myself, obviously. So I may have to try it, Melissa. That was a good plug.

Nicole:

So you have to do it more. So you’re not one class away from pulling a hamstring. That’s the point.

BJ Moore:

Exactly.

Nicole:

Okay. We’re almost up on time, but I love for both of you to give… If you can give our audience kind of one key thing that they can prioritize to really catapult them to that next phase of their transformation, wherever they happen to be. BJ, why don’t you go first?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. You have to prioritize time for innovation, drive innovative culture, right? If you’re waiting for your everything to be perfect, get all your ducks in a row and then we can start to innovate that’s never going to happen. Right? We work in complex environments, complex industries and so carving out that time for innovation, carving out a culture where people can have that personal space to do innovation, having that fail fast, it’s okay to experiment fail fast, try something new that would be my advice. Because if you’re waiting for perfection, back to my three strategic pillars, if you’re waiting to simplify and modernize before you innovate, you’ll never get to innovate. So carve out the time and make innovation a priority.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely. What about you, Melissa?

Melissa Tizon:

Prioritizing engagements of your key stakeholders across your organization because it takes everybody getting on board. And so that means it’s not about consensus striving necessarily, but just making sure that you understand your stakeholders and where they’re coming from and what their needs are. And so that they feel heard and that they’re a part of it. I don’t see how you can really do a transformation without the key people being engaged in it.

BJ Moore:

Great point.

Nicole:

Right. So innovate and engage the key stakeholders. And I think at Providence, what I’ve just loved about working with you all is that all of the work that you’re doing for those 120,000 caregivers and it extends out into the communities that you serve. So thank you both for being here, just an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. And again, just thank you for all the work that you continue to do to keep our communities safe and healthy.

BJ Moore:

Thanks Nicole. Appreciate the opportunity to share our story.

Melissa Tizon:

Thank you.

 

Expand Transcript

Video Transcript

Nicole:

Thank you both for being here with us, we are in for a very exciting session on how IT and comms leaders work together to digitally transform the employee experience and lead one of the largest healthcare providers through a transformation that ultimately benefited millions of people. So, Melissa, will you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about Providence?

Melissa Tizon:

Yes. Thank you so much for inviting me. It’s great to be here. I’m Melissa Tizon and I lead internal and external communications for Providence. That runs the gamut from public relations, to events, to communication support for our government priorities as well as executive communications. But I think everything that I do, all aspects of my job, the most important thing is supporting the 120,000 healthcare workers who we have on the front lines. So to tell you a little bit about Providence, one of the things that I’m most proud of is that we are one of the oldest and largest organizations founded by women.

So the Sisters of Providence and the Sisters of St. Joseph founded our organization more than 165 years ago. And now, we’re a $25 billion company, we operate in the Western United States, we’re in seven States, we have 51 hospitals, more than a thousand clinics and as I said, about 120,000 healthcare professionals who we call caregivers. And then just really quickly, I think what’s so inspiring about the women who founded our organization is that they came to the Western frontier before there were even roads, before there was anything. So they traveled out here, they saw a need and they just started building schools, hospitals and orphanages.

So they established healthcare and social services as we know it in the Western US and that required a lot of innovation. So we feel like we have a very innovative and pioneering spirit. And you’ll hear a little bit more about that from BJ, but that’s something that we’ve just really tried to keep going. And we’ve been working towards this digital transformation for some time now. And then one other thing I wanted to mention is that this year has just been incredibly significant for our caregivers. It’s been incredibly intense and Providence was the first healthcare system in the United States to admit a COVID-19 patient.

So it actually happened before it hit the rest of the country here in… We’re based in Seattle. And we had our first COVID-19 patient in January 2019. And as soon as we discovered that patient, it was just like all systems go. And we actually did get a couple months head start of the rest of the country on being prepared for this. Every aspect of the response was so critical, the IT aspect, the clinical aspect but then also communications played a really important role. Looking forward to this conversation because I think we have a lot to share.

BJ Moore:

Absolutely.

Nicole:

Yes, definitely. Innovation and grit. My gosh, I can’t even imagine what all those women had to go through. So BJ, you have an interesting background. Can you please introduce yourself and a little bit your journey to Providence?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So my name’s BJ Moore, I’m the chief information officer here at Providence and I also own a real estate and facilities. Before I joined Providence I was at Microsoft for 27 years so I have a strong, diverse tech background. But two years ago I joined Providence and really felt like the mission and giving back to our communities and being part of the digital transformation of healthcare was so critical. So I joined two years ago and who knew it would be such a ride? I think the first year was pretty normal and then the second year was COVID. Definitely trial by fire but love it here, love the mission, love the impact we have on our community. So excited to be here.

Nicole:

And definitely… And how could you possibly leave this out of your introduction?

BJ Moore:

Pretty simple. A speed suit is not the most flattering piece of ski wear so I tend to keep this photo in the archives. A little embarrassed that you guys are showing it. But yeah, I used to be a ski racer, I used to race at a national level and as a pitcher, I think from 2006.

Nicole:

Nice. So we might-

BJ Moore:

[inaudible].

Nicole:

Yes. Okay. Of course, no pictures of me skiing. And we will circle back to maybe what being a ski racer has to do with leading a successful transformation. Melissa, do you have any other gem to share with us about passion?

Melissa Tizon:

Well, I guess if I have to pick one thing, my passion is yoga and it’s not competitive skiing, it’s maybe the opposite of that but it’s just a great practice to have.

Nicole:

Definitely. And I think we can… At the end of the session, spoiler alert or not a spoiler alert, and we’ll talk about how being a Yogi and a ski racer has helped lead this transformation. But first BJ, you had a personal transformation, obviously from big tech to healthcare. How did you think about making that jump?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. When I joined Providence two years ago, came with a strong tech background. Other than being a patient, I wasn’t an expert in healthcare. So I really spent the first three months visiting our regions, visiting the 51 hospitals that Melissa mentioned, visiting our clinics, meeting with caregivers, administrators, patients, figured out what worked and what didn’t work. So you can imagine when you’re the new chief information officer and you visit a hospital, they really don’t want to talk to you about anything that actually works, they want to talk to you about all the issues that we were having and there was definitely a lot of opportunities identified. But those first three months were fantastic and really felt that the culture of the organization felt very welcome. I’m not going to pretend after three months I was a healthcare expert, but definitely had insight into where IT could help in that digital transformation and areas for improvement and where my team could have an immediate impact. So it was a good three months and that really kicked off our journey on that transformation.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then how did you hop in and say, what is this impact we could have? And how did you start to organize that work that you needed to do?

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, it was overwhelming. I mean, as Melissa mentioned we are a $25 billion health system, one of the largest in the US and so when I did that tour, the list of issues was huge. And the key for me was, how do I boil it down to something simple? And that is how we came up with our three strategic pillars and that’s simplify, modernize and innovate. Simplify as you know, we’ve got 4,000 applications in our ecosystem, how do we simplify that down to the vital few for our caregivers and patients? Modernize, you know I found that we were 15 to 20 years behind other industries and that wasn’t a Providence thing. I think just healthcare in general was 15 to 20 years behind.

So how do we modernize the way we do IT, modernize the tools and capabilities that we use for our caregivers and patients. And then innovate, there’s so many great innovative tools coming out, machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, big data. How do we build upon that foundation and do those innovative things? So I have a laundry list of to-do lists that’s a thousand long, but basically we put that list into those three buckets, simplify, modernize and innovate. And that’s how we tackle things.

Nicole:

Yeah. I love those buckets. And my gosh, 4,000 applications? You might win the award for…

BJ Moore:

For context. You know Microsoft’s the trillion dollar company. Microsoft has about a thousand applications to run their worldwide business. So yeah, it’s a crazy number of applications.

Nicole:

Wow. And then, as you’re thinking about boiling down to that caregiver experience as a critical part of the transformation, how did you really think about that piece of [inaudible].

BJ Moore:

Yeah, I mean, just going back to the 4,000 apps, you can’t have a great caregiver experience. I can only imagine trying to be a caregiver, remember my login, remember how to use the app, what app I use for what. And so that’s where that simplify really comes in. How do you boil it down to the core tools for that particular caregiver? If you’re a caregiver and finance your core set of tools and needs, and experiences are different than if you’re a frontline nurse or if you’re a doctor delivering care. And so it’s not just reducing those number of apps but actually having that tailored bespoke kind of experience.

We’re two years in, it’s probably a three to five-year journey and so if caregivers are listening in, I’m sure they’re saying, “BJ, you need to make more progress.” Patients probably saying, we need to make more progress. But that’s how we’re systematically doing it, getting it down to the vital few experiences. And then we can optimize those experiences for great patient or caregiver experiences versus 4,000. You can’t optimize 4,000 of anything, it’s just impossible.

Nicole:

Yeah, exactly. And Melissa, how are you thinking about… From a communication standpoint, kind of where you were on this transformation both internally and externally?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, just to kind of provide some perspective about healthcare. One thing that our CEO has said a lot is that healthcare is the last bastion to get itself into the digital age besides higher education. So we’ve actually kind of been on… I mean, if you think about it, healthcare has been really way behind as BJ was saying. So we’ve been on this journey for maybe six to seven years actually trying to become more digitally enabled. And Providence is based in Seattle, which it’s so happens that other very innovative companies are based in Seattle, such as Amazon and Microsoft. And so our CEO over the years just found people like BJ and other folks from these companies to just help us with this transformation.

So it couldn’t have come at a better time. One of the other challenges that we face as being 51 hospitals in seven States, each of the regions and those States operate very, very independently and previously just really wanted to do their own thing. But I think if ever anything proved it, it’s January 21st, when we got that first COVID-19 patient, it was like, “No, we can’t do our own thing anymore, we have to be in this all together, all 51 of us, we need to be able to apply the same protocols, we need to be able to share PPE, we just need to work together.” And so I think that was such a wake up call. So all that work that we had been doing leading up to this digital transformation, set us up really well to be able to handle and respond to the crisis at hand.

So from a communication standpoint, I think that was just one of the most important things, is that we needed to be able to consistently share information with people. Everybody needed to have the same level set of information especially because there was so much misinformation, especially throughout this pandemic. So much misinformation, it was just really critical for us to make sure that our caregivers were hearing it from us and that all of our leaders we’re consistent across the board.

BJ Moore:

Melissa, I just want to add on to something you said. I mean, obviously there’s a collaboration between our own health system. But coming from tech, being an outsider, the other thing I loved to see is how we partnered with other health systems.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah.

BJ Moore:

So there was a period of time where the West Coast, our trends were starting to go down, but unfortunately on the East coast, in New York, their COVID cases were going up and we actually were able to remotely monitor patients in New York, help them with their own surge. So it was fantastic to see us not only serve our local communities and partner within our own hospital system, but to see us actually reach out to the other side of the country and partner with New York in their time of need, it was just absolutely incredible to see. And when you come from tech, the thought of partnering with others is not common and it was great to see in healthcare and doing what’s right for our communities and patients [inaudible] was job on.

Nicole:

Yeah. And I think that your core pillars that simplify, modernize, innovate just talks to how you could come together across all of those.

BJ Moore:

Yeah.

Nicole:

So I think that’s just really wonderful. And then Melissa, on the kind of simplify and modernize, and you talked about the 51 areas just operating pretty separately and bringing together something in a source of truth. How did you go about that?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah, I think we started off with eight different email systems and we had… So we have a communications team of about 100 people across our seven States and we had been getting more and more aligned up to this point, all of them were operating off of different email systems. I think just to produce a newsletter, they were having to publish onto three or four different platforms and it was just incredibly time consuming. And I think for our communications team, we’ve really been working on our caregiver satisfaction and engagement scores just for our communication members. And they’re just experiencing a ton of burnout, they work so hard and here they are trying to publish all these newsletters in all these different platforms. So I think that was one of the great things about going to SocialChorus.

And I just got this update… I don’t know if you’ve heard this Nicole, but I just got this update yesterday that it previously took our communication team members, the newsletter editors, 10 hours just to send out a newsletter. And now we’ve got it down to 45 minutes. So just kind of addressing that burn out issue for our own communications team, this is like one of the key things that’s helping us do that. But then also just to be able to get a single simplified platform out to our caregivers across, a consistent way of getting information out to our dispersed workforce has been incredible. So it’s just something that I think is really going to… We still have a lot more work to do, but I think it’s really going to put us over the edge and help us to be so much more effective in terms of communication.

BJ Moore:

I just want to add to the plug there on the great work that Melissa and the PR team did and what we were able to do as SocialChorus. I mean, as Melissa mentioned, we’re a 170-year-old organization, that’s a 170-year-old organization that never worked remote. We had very much a culture, coming to work every single day, most people had desktops even the thought of working remote didn’t even exist, you couldn’t do it, right? Flash forward to March of last year with the moratoriums, all those people had to stay home. So communication went from being important to lifesaving, right? It was the lifeblood of keeping the organization together now that everybody was working remote. So I really appreciated the partnership with Melissa and her team and having those communication channels with our now remote workforce, which would have been disastrous if we didn’t have that in place.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s amazing. I hear a lot that… We’ve always known that communication is that life blood, is that backbone, but I think we needed COVID unfortunately to really elevate it to be a true CEO problem and a senior leader problem of we have to be able to reach our entire workforce with that source of truth information exactly like you said, Melissa. So yeah, we’re just so grateful with our partnership and that we could be there to support your caregivers. BJ, can you talk a little bit about just Microsoft? Obviously, you’ve come from Microsoft, there’s a big partnership there, how you’ve worked with them in a digital transformation and then a little bit about, this working together with SocialChorus and Microsoft as part of your employee stack.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So as Melissa mentioned, we had a very fractured communication email environments, we also had our collaboration environments, we had Webex and Teams and Link and Skype and Zoom. I think if you produced a collaboration tool or platform, we had it. And so we were already partnering with Microsoft before the pandemic to standardize on Microsoft 365, move everybody to Teams, we were going to do that by December 2020. Obviously, when we sent everybody home, our plans went from December 2020 to how do we get everybody on board by April, which was a massive acceleration to get 120,000 caregivers on those standard platforms. As far as the partnership between Microsoft and SocialChorus and what we’re doing, it’s that, now we’ve got a good foundation of standard email and standard collaboration tools like Teams and SharePoint. How do we then use these multiple channels of communications?

Right? It can’t just be an email, it can’t just be a website on SharePoint, it can’t just be texts, it can’t be just one or two channels, it’s got to be multiple channels. And then having the insight into what channels are working or not working and who we need to follow up with and who’s getting the engagement or not getting the engagement it gives us insight that we didn’t have before. Before it was, you sent out the newsletter and you assume maybe 10 or 15% of the folks read it and that was it. And now through the partnership, we’ve got greater insight and those multi-channels to get those messages out.

Nicole:

Yeah, that’s great. And then Melissa, I know you have such a great partnership with BJ and IT. Were there other… Or who else did you partnership as you are thinking about serving your caregivers and helping those communicators with their work as well?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I think the biggest partnership really has been within the communications team itself. So just getting all of our local communication teams aligned to be able to transition to this new platform. Many of whom did it in the middle of the pandemic. So they had a lot going on, so just getting them on board and getting them to understand why this was going to make their lives better and help us to be more effective at communication. So there just some engagement and alignment that we had to do to get folks on board with it.

Nicole:

Yeah. That’s what… Oh, go ahead, BJ.

BJ Moore:

Sorry to keep jumping in here. Sorry, just Melissa keeps bringing up these excellent points. One of my fears coming here was the reason healthcare was 15 or 20 years, I thought people would be really changed or risk adverse or not willing to adopt new technologies. My experience has actually been the opposite, our caregivers, our executive leadership is actually quick to adopt things quicker than tech. And so I’m sure Melissa it was challenging to get folks on board but it would have even been more challenging to be in a tech company, you would think a tech company would be agile and open to change. My experience is that Providence is actually more open to change and so that’s been a nice surprise for me.

Nicole:

Goes back to those founders with their innovative and then that grit.

BJ Moore:

Scrappy women. Yeah, absolutely.

Nicole:

Exactly, exactly.

BJ Moore:

The grit.

Nicole:

The grit, the grit. So I want to switch and talk a little bit about data because I know that that’s kind of top of mind for everybody and BJ, you alluded to a little bit for on the innovation side. Can you just talk [inaudible] things of kind of what else you’re doing with big data? I imagine just from the caregiver side, yes. But then what you’re able to do to drive that patient experience.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. So I love how you put it there. So big data as a piece of technology fits in that modernized section. But what we can do with big data is really what’s going to drive innovation, right? Machine learning and artificial intelligence doesn’t work if you don’t have big data sets. And so an example I can give you that really before COVID, when I would say big data and machine learning, the execs would just hear it as buzzwords. When we were a couple months into COVID, we were using machine learning and our big data models to do predictive analytics around the COVID surges. And by May, June timeframe, we had about 85% accuracy to say, “Okay, within this community, we think COVID is going to go up and by how much. And this community, we think COVID may be under control and going down.”

And that really allowed us to manage our resources, our PPE, our ventilators, allowed us to serve our local communities more effective by investing or de-investing, it allowed us… That’s why we were able to help New York out with confidence because our predictive models said, “Hey, things on the West Coast temporarily are semi under control. So we have some capacity to help New York.” And so we took these buzzwords that machine learning and big data that just sound like alphabet soup and really highlighted what we could do for our communities, what we could do for our patients, how we could really improve care. And so I think we now have… No pun intended the religion around what we can do with these innovative technologies.

And so what are the predictive analytics around future outbreaks? It could be the flu, what can we do around health bots, where we can start monitoring… With patient consent, the health changes of an individual, right? A doctor can’t follow me or Melissa around, but a health bot can. And so we really see big data and artificial intelligence really changing the way we deliver healthcare, really changing that patient experience and even better predicting before somebody gets sick and having preventative medicine that we can put in place to prevent more acute illnesses, I think really transform healthcare.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. Can I add to that, Nicole? So one of the really cool things… Thanks to what BJ did, is we were able to… As soon as the pandemic hit, we were able to have the 7:30 AM meeting with… It was like 200 to 300 clinical leaders across the seven States. So everybody would get on Teams and we would do this meeting so that we could all be on the same page for the day. And in early March… As I said, Seattle was the epicenter and because of the predictive analytics, we could see what was happening in Seattle, but we could also see what was happening in all of our other cities and States. And there was one morning in March where it was like, we could see that Portland looked just like Seattle the week before, Seattle got inundated.

There was just this aha moment where we were just like, “Oh my gosh, this thing is real, this thing is on fire.” And we could see it coming to our next city. So it was just really incredible to have the data to see that but then also just to have the means to be able to communicate with one another real time to be able to respond quickly. I mean, and there were other things too, our analytics showed us that we were days away from running out of PPE at some points. I mean, it was pretty intense. Things are better now though. That’s good.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. I used get goosebumps in those meetings. Right? Because you realize how close we were to the edge and those running out of ICU beds, running out of ventilators, running out at PPE. And as people got more confidence in these predictive tools, we could say, “Okay, we think we’re going to consume 90% but we think we’re still okay.” Versus a year. If the pandemic would have happened January 2019, instead of 2020, we would have been completely blind to kind of those trends and what was coming. So having that crystal ball and then tuning that crystal ball to get more and more accurate every week and every month was just… Proved to be invaluable.

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. I mean, when we realized that we were just days away from running out a PPE, having that information allowed us to make different choices. So one of those is that we literally had our administrative workers, caregivers making PPE.

BJ Moore:

I was one of them. Yeah.

Melissa Tizon:

We made our own PPE. We took our conference rooms and made assembly lines and just manufactured ourselves. And then literally drove them to the hospitals later that day and then like the community got on board and a furniture factory said, “Hey, we’ll help you.” And they converted their furniture factory into a mask making factory, Nordstrom got on board and they got their tailors to make masks for us and Alaska Airlines was flying our stuff all over the country. And it was just incredible but we were like, “We wouldn’t have had the data previously to be able to see that and to make those decisions”

Nicole:

Well, that’s incredible. Just-

BJ Moore:

Glad you brought that up. A year later, you forget how desperate we were. Right? I mean, it was panic. To have enough mask to serve our communities and our caregivers.

Nicole:

And then to take the action. I just remember, I’m in Seattle as well. And just in the community, the sites of here’s how to make masks and really involved the entire community. So as an individual, if you’re saying, how can I help and how can I contribute? And I think that that’s so interesting about using predictive analytics, having that crystal ball, but then saying, “Well, what are we going to do about it?” And when we think about the opportunity to have those predictive analytics, even about our caregivers and top performers or people who are being burned out and then what can we do proactively? What’s the communication that we can give them or the support that we can give them to get ahead of either a retention issue or a performance issue. So I think that the way that we’re thinking about predictive analytics using our platform can have some of those benefits as well.

BJ Moore:

Yeah. And just tying that into now the remote work, right? You don’t run into people everyday and can see their mental health is getting better or worse, right? Having these analytic tools to see, “Okay, BJ’s, engagement’s changing, he normally is on email, [inaudible] opening up our newsletters immediately and now he’s not. What’s going on? Why is his engagement decreasing?” It could be mental health issues, it could be burnout, it could be I’m on spring break, or it should be this week but I missed the memo, it could be a number of things and having that insight not only at a population level for all of our caregivers but an individual and seeing that change of behavior is again, insight we didn’t have a year or two years ago that we can have in partnership with you.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely.

Melissa Tizon:

It helped our clinicians make really great clinical decisions too because they were able to share information with one another quickly with the first patient who came to us back in January 2019, that infectious disease doctor who treated him had previous experience with Ebola and remdesivir is one of the drugs that was treated for Ebola. And he used it to treat COVID-19 and we’ve just been able to really share information and data across our clinicians. So we’ve had some of the largest clinical trials on remdesivir which has really shown to be an effective treatment for COVID-19.

Nicole:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah. I mean, it is amazing to think about… Again, the power of those communications, connecting people at just the right time and then again, layering in what we can do with data. It’s truly incredible. Okay. So now, what you both have been able to do at Providence, I think has just been really amazing both for your caregivers as well as the patient community in general. Be you think that… Or what as being a ski racer has helped lead this transformation? Are there any maybe traits or skills that helped you there?

BJ Moore:

Sure. Well, one thing I found is as a organization and this is probably all health systems, rightfully. So you’re risk adverse, right? It’s patient outcomes and patient safety becomes paramount and that’s a great culture to have, but it becomes a culture that gets applied to everything. And so tying it to ski racing, ski racing’s similar. In that picture, you see me in my speed suits, basically swimsuit material, you’re going 80 miles an hour down an icy slope, you don’t want to fall so you got to be risk adverse to survive. But if you’re risk adverse and make it to the bottom safely, it means you’re not a very good ski racer, right? You’re going to come in last place. And so you got to sometimes take it safe. And sometimes you need to take some risks and taking those risks are maybe the difference between first place and last place.

And same thing here at Providence. Things like patient safety, we can’t take risks, right? Patient safety is paramount. But there’s so many areas, a lot of the areas we talked about this predictive modeling and looking at these new technologies, we can take risks, we can fail fast. And so I think what I take away of ski racing and the digital transformation to healthcare. When you take risks, one of those risks appropriate, one [inaudible] they give you agility and help you to move fast and get innovation and then when you absolutely not take risks and make us more of a bi-modal culture, or sometimes we take risks and sometimes we don’t versus a culture maybe IT had when I joined, which is risk adverse for everything. “Don’t touch anything as long as nothing breaks, we’re fine.” But if you don’t touch anything, then you don’t have the innovative breakthroughs either. So that would be the connection I see between ski racing and our digital transformation. Definitely not speed suits, I wouldn’t recommend wearing that [crosstalk].

Nicole:

Not speed suits. That’s not the new PPE.

BJ Moore:

No, I did wear it at one Halloween party. I wore that speed suit. And based on the reaction, I will never wear that speed suit in public again. So definitely…

Nicole:

See, there is not risk taking.

BJ Moore:

Not even Halloween friendly.

Nicole:

Right. Risk-taking at its finest. So we’ll list that with your yoga guru status. Is there anything that you think your yoga practice helped in this transformation, especially in the past year?

Melissa Tizon:

Yeah. There’s that saying that you’re only one yoga class away from a good mood. Yoga is just so rejuvenating and I think it’s probably the ultimate self-care and these are just such stressful times. I think it’s important for everybody to make sure that they’re recharging themselves and renewing themselves because we all need to step up and we can’t do that if we’re completely depleted. So I just think that just continuously taking care of yourself so that we can be here for our communities and the people who need us is just really critical. And also, it just gives you a lot more clarity to be able to find the solutions and the compassion to work with others in these stressful times. So that’s my take on yoga

BJ Moore:

Thought you’re going to say, “Yoga, you’re only one class away from pulling a hamstring.” So I haven’t done yoga myself, obviously. So I may have to try it, Melissa. That was a good plug.

Nicole:

So you have to do it more. So you’re not one class away from pulling a hamstring. That’s the point.

BJ Moore:

Exactly.

Nicole:

Okay. We’re almost up on time, but I love for both of you to give… If you can give our audience kind of one key thing that they can prioritize to really catapult them to that next phase of their transformation, wherever they happen to be. BJ, why don’t you go first?

BJ Moore:

Yeah. You have to prioritize time for innovation, drive innovative culture, right? If you’re waiting for your everything to be perfect, get all your ducks in a row and then we can start to innovate that’s never going to happen. Right? We work in complex environments, complex industries and so carving out that time for innovation, carving out a culture where people can have that personal space to do innovation, having that fail fast, it’s okay to experiment fail fast, try something new that would be my advice. Because if you’re waiting for perfection, back to my three strategic pillars, if you’re waiting to simplify and modernize before you innovate, you’ll never get to innovate. So carve out the time and make innovation a priority.

Nicole:

Yeah, definitely. What about you, Melissa?

Melissa Tizon:

Prioritizing engagements of your key stakeholders across your organization because it takes everybody getting on board. And so that means it’s not about consensus striving necessarily, but just making sure that you understand your stakeholders and where they’re coming from and what their needs are. And so that they feel heard and that they’re a part of it. I don’t see how you can really do a transformation without the key people being engaged in it.

BJ Moore:

Great point.

Nicole:

Right. So innovate and engage the key stakeholders. And I think at Providence, what I’ve just loved about working with you all is that all of the work that you’re doing for those 120,000 caregivers and it extends out into the communities that you serve. So thank you both for being here, just an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience. And again, just thank you for all the work that you continue to do to keep our communities safe and healthy.

BJ Moore:

Thanks Nicole. Appreciate the opportunity to share our story.

Melissa Tizon:

Thank you.

 

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