How do we bring along the different players across the continuum? This is not a software eats the world type of approach. This is going to be a true partnership.
The tech world and the traditional healthcare world speak very different languages. It's not a bad thing. It’s just reality.
Whenever you're introducing something new, people generally want to get on board. It’s about making them comfortable, so that they understand what the technology is and how it's going to impact them and their daily life.
How many times have you cursed under your breath as you fill out the same form at your doctor’s office for the 20th time? Or played Russian Roulette on whether your insurance would cover a medicine or procedure? Or struggled to log into an obscure portal for a telehealth visit?
These frustrations have given rise to the buzziest of buzzwords in the healthtech world: healthcare 3.0.
Healthcare 3.0 is both a rallying cry and a white whale—a quest to fix an oft-infuriating healthcare experience for doctors and patients alike and make it as seamless as most of our experiences with technology in our daily life. That quest has given rise to a new role inside many healthcare companies: the Chief Innovation Officer.
The ideal archetype for this role may be Jessie Beegle, who was hired as Chief Innovation Officer at Lifepoint Health earlier this year. After starting her career as a lawyer, she was recruited for GE’s storied premier executive management program and helped design GE’s healthcare strategy as they transformed from an industrial company to a digital-first enterprise. She was then recruited to be a founding member of the healthcare team at Amazon, where she sold a risk-averse industry on a revolutionary new technology that would transform their business: cloud computing.
(Disclosure: Lifepoint is an A.Team customer.)
From there it only gets more impressive: 4 years at Deepmind and Google, helping lead the relaunch of Google Health, and two years at Walgreens, incubating its innovative, consumer-first healthcare experience in retail outlets.
Healthcare 3.0 is both a rallying cry and a white whale.
She’s the type of leader that just doesn’t sell change. She makes it happen.
Now at Lifepoint, Beegle is on a mission to create a delightful healthcare experience for the patients and clinicians across its vast network of hospitals and healthcare facilities. I sat down with Beegle to discuss what “healthcare 3.0” really means, how to bring the right team together to accomplish it, and to get technologists and healthcare veterans to work in harmony.
“Healthcare 3.0” has emerged as a major buzzword this year, but there are many different takes on what it really means. What are the most important things for the industry to be focusing on?
It all comes down to data, honestly. How is the data being appropriately aggregated from traditional and emerging sources to show members of my care team that Jessie Beegle is Jessie Beegle regardless of where I receive care? How is that data appropriately shared with the right folks that would be part of my care team to help them make more data-driven decisions about my care?
Whether I'm walking into a local CVS, going in for surgery, having a remote telehealth visit in my home, or checking into my hospital’s portal on my iPhone, I should not have to fill out the same form nine or ten different times. I know that's a common pain point that many people have.
The good news is the technology we need exists today. The issue is the technology world and the healthcare world speak very different languages. I spend a lot of my time translating between the two so we can both paint “the art of the possible” for what technology can help the healthcare industry achieve, while balancing meeting our teams where they are today (in the reality of healthcare vs a research lab). To get to the future of healthcare 3.0, we need to build the foundation of how we organize, normalize, and liberate the important data.
Everything from consumer data to remote monitoring data that you're getting from a Fitbit, from an Apple Watch, or from bluetooth-enabled blood glucose monitors—things of that nature. How do we start to organize all that information with the right guardrails to support someone along their health journey? That's the first step.
I constantly ask myself how am I putting the right people in the right positions on the field to win?
The second step is: How do we bring along the different players across the continuum? This is not a software eats the world type of approach. This is going to be a true partnership. Doctors do certain things really well that a technologist will never do. Artificial Intelligence researchers do certain things really well that a doctor will never do. And so it's on us, the people who are pushing for change, to help equip and set up each of the players across the continuum for success. I constantly ask myself how am I putting the right people in the right positions on the field to win?
Healthcare 3.0 is both a more consumer-centric approach to health where I, the patient, am empowered to make a decision about my own care, and one that supports my care team with modern, user-friendly technology. Because let's be honest—my computer is not going to diagnose a lot of things. And so while I want to be an informed participant in my healthcare as a patient, I also want my doctor, my nurses and the staff who work at the local facility to also have the best of information and the best tools to support their work.
So you said not one group can do it, but you have a pretty ambitious set of initiatives at Lifepoint. How do you think about putting that right team together and what's the approach you're taking?
It starts by looking internally. Who are the people who know, inside and out, how our hospitals operate, how our local markets adopt things, and the needs on the ground? That's the first layer of the cake.
From there, we ask: What skill sets and backgrounds do we need to be able to support and solve these problems? If they're in-house, fantastic. But a lot of times, you have a couple folks in-house, and you need to go outside to find the right expertise.
In many Fortune 20 companies where I've worked, what typically happens is you go hire a big consulting firm, and you pay a lot of money, and you get some reports. And that's pretty much it. The onus is on the team internally to actually deliver on a lot of the recommendations that have been given. What I try to do is say: How do we find folks who are really excited about our mission of making communities healthier? That buy-in is really important, especially if they don't work in-house at Lifepoint.
What has been great about A.Team is that their builders are excited about our mission and about changing healthcare. But they also bring different skill sets and an understanding of agile product development, UX, and top-tier engineering, with tools like machine learning, artificial intelligence, cloud, etc. They partner with our team internally, which has all of the depth of knowledge in every system of record that will need to be paired up with these new emerging technologies and solutions.
We're really excited to work with A.Team to introduce how Silicon Valley companies rapidly iterate and prototype, and bring that know-how to healthcare more broadly.
We talked about combining Silicon Valley expertise with your internal expertise to actually get things done, instead of just getting another slide deck from a big consulting firm. How do you think about bringing those teams together?
I was recently pitched by a promising West Coast startup: We're going to be “the Netflix of healthcare.” And I said, Look, that's fantastic. I'm the biggest fan of emerging technology there is, and would love to one day experience a Netflix-type experience in healthcare. But what you’re pitching me is taking me straight to Mars. The reality of healthcare on the ground is that I'm here in Nashville, and I need you to help me drive to Memphis. That disconnect is real, but that's just the reality of healthcare.
I have conversations like that with folks who are tech native, or come from other industries, who are really excited about applying their know-how into healthcare. We definitely want to paint the art of the possible of where modern technology can take us. That is our North Star. But the reality is we have to help tech companies understand they must first meet us closer to where we are today.
What advice would you have for other tech leaders that want to execute an actual digital transformation, and not just walk out of the room with another 100-page slide deck from a big consulting firm that doesn't necessarily get put into practice?
I think it starts first with an appreciation that the tech world and the traditional healthcare world speak very different languages. It's not a bad thing. It’s just reality.
Understanding how a technologist speaks and what they're solving for, and understanding how the traditional healthcare partner speaks and what they value—you've got to be able to bring those two together and translate so they can start speaking the same language. That’s step number one.
Step number two is actually getting initiatives adopted. It’s bringing along a number of the cross-functional stakeholders, so they feel involved. And it's not trying to do death by consensus, by any means.
How do we empower our leaders with information about how this solution is going to help them achieve their goals?
I've learned this with AWS and cloud computing, and with Deep Mind and artificial intelligence. It’s the same thing here: Whenever you're introducing something new, people generally want to get on board. It’s about making them comfortable, so that they understand what the technology is and how it's going to impact them and their daily life. So they can be big champions of it. How do we empower our leaders with information about how this solution is going to help them achieve their goals?
I spend a lot of time with our clinical team, our IT team, our legal team, our operations team, and leadership both at Lifepoint and in the field so they understand and can appreciate the solutions we are bringing and are empowered to be a local champion for their given area. It is important to make them feel like they're an owner and a champion of what you’re doing. It’s only through partnership that we’ll be able to truly move the needle in healthcare.