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Industry Solutions, Healthcare and Life Sciences

2Inspire: Meeting Today's Healthcare Needs (Key Takeaways)

By Stephen C2C | August 22, 2022

On August 23, 2022, C2C welcomed longtime colleagues Paul Novak ( @paul_novak ), CTO of Community Health Systems, Steven Michaels ( @Steven Michaels ), Vice President of Technology Services at Intermountain Healthcare, and Michael Ames ( @michaelames ), Managing Director of Vertical Markets at SADA, for an inaugural 2Inspire event introducing the new Healthcare and Life Sciences community on the C2C platform. The hour-long conversation covered virtually every major consideration for HCLS organizations looking to pursue transformation on Google Cloud. For those who weren't able to attend, read on for an overview of the discussion and a video of the complete discussion.

Michael opened the conversation by asking Paul and Steven why a community for Google Cloud customers in the HCLS space is a value-add for their organizations. "This healthcare-specific forum is actually a first for C2C," he said. Paul was quick to offer an enthusiastic response: "Having that type of collaborative capability to talk to people who have been there and done that, and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful to allow you to move forward quickly when you're going through and you're having problems, or you're trying to innovate and you're trying to create ideas around how IT can be more of a value-add to the business. So having that ability to connect is priceless in my mind."

Michael and Steven agreed, Michael adding that "a unique opportunity with C2C, because it isn't a Google-operated community, it's an independent community, is to sometimes maybe have conversations that are a little uncomfortable." Michael moved on to ask the guests a series of questions about their experiences with innovation in the cloud. "You do have to challenge from time to time what exactly is it you're doing and why,"  said Steven, to illustrate the importance of being willing to fail. This prompted the guests to comment on the opportunities for innovation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the change that can come about when IT professionals and teams get ahead of business challenges and innovate to help organizations overcome them.

Next Michael asked the guests to talk more about how their organizations are using Google Cloud in particular. CHS has been a Workspace customer since 2018. According to Paul, they are trying to push the idea of collaboration across an organization and share lessons learned across hospitals. The company's first foray into Google Cloud was migrating an enterprise data warehouse. "Then something fun happened," Paul said. "We started to think about, well, what are some other ways that we could be using this." CHS hired a data scientist to standardize all semantic layers of hospital KPI measurement and started making new decisions around palliative care offerings and using documentation to track and potentially impact mortality rates. SADA had a similar experience moving resources from on-premise to the cloud, Michael said. "You realize you've opened this door."


"Having that type of collaborative capability to talk to people who have been there and done that, and to share ideas, and to share lessons learned, is so powerful."


For Intermountain, Steven said, the greatest impact of adopting Google Cloud has been speed to scale. "There's a lot of stuff that used to happen in the background," he said. "That all gets taken care of when you find a cloud partner like Google Cloud." Intermountain is extending its Google partnership into hardware by equipping frontline healthcare workers with Google Pixels. Michael pointed out that this addressed an audience question about using technology to improve communications with patients. Then he asked if Paul had anything to add. "No," said Paul, "I'm just jealous."

Toward the end of the event, Michael started posing some tougher questions. First, he asked each guest what his organization needed from Google that it hadn't seen yet. Paul said he is interested in "trying to get Workspace to be more corporate-based or enterprise-based to enable ease of use, to enable ease of administration," while Steven said he would "like to see Google be more deliberate in their partnerships within our technology ecosystems." When Steven added, "I would love, and I'm sure we would all love, to see Epyc and Google get together and make their platforms a little more partner-like," Michael raised both hands with his fingers crossed.

To wrap things up, Michael asked each guest to share one unpopular professional opinion on the IT industry. Steven believes there is a common misunderstanding that healthcare technology and IT lags behind technology and IT in other industries like retail. Michael agreed, while Paul answered the question from another angle altogether. "I personally don't think that working from home is a positive thing for the overall environment," he said. Michael was interested in the questions this comment raised about challenges for hospitals adapting to the hybrid work environment. However, by the time Michael was able to make this last point, the group had run out of time. "Let's make it another C2C event," Michael said.

Watch a full recording of the event below:



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