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HAS 22 Day 2: Healthcare Analytics’ Biggest Party Wraps Up

Day One of HAS 22 may have looked like a hard act to follow, but Day Two did not disappoint! From early risers for the fun run/walk to a full day of keynotes, featured speakers, breakout sessions, and more, summit attendees learned new ways to look at data and analytics, how we relate to information and each other, and new perspectives for making the healthcare ecosystem–and world at large–a better place.

Featured Speaker Session: Penny Wheeler, MD

Penny Wheeler, MD, Former CEO, Allina Health

In short, it’s about meaning. After decades in healthcare – as a practicing OBGYN, Chief Clinical Officer, and CEO of Allina Health – Penny Wheeler, MD, shared her insights on Measures That (Really) MatterHer leadership lesson for HAS 22 attendees was “never forget whom you’re serving and why.” 

How the World Has Turned 

The last few years have indelibly impacted healthcare and highlighted social disparities. In addition to a global pandemic, Allina Health’s Minneapolis HQ placed them in the middle of the unrest following George Floyd’s murder. The organization was determined to make and measure a meaningful impact in its community. 

What Is Asked of Us and How We Might Get There 

Allina signed a pledge with healthcare systems, payers, and clinics, to fight the dual pandemic of COVID and racism. And then they set about turning words into action. 

They looked at their various roles and where they could make a difference: 

  • Provider: Provide quality healthcare to all.
  • Employer: Employ and promote diverse groups.
  • Purchaser: Invest in the right things, people, and populations.
  • Community member: Understand community needs and how to best partner with them. Then design for it. 

They created a comprehensive scorecard for patient-reported outcomes that are: 

  • Psychometrically sound. 
  • Person-centered.
  • Meaningful to the person. 
  • Amenable to change. 
  • Implementable. 

Don’t Forget About the Thing 

Dr. Wheeler stressed a person-centered approach to measuring what’s most important to the patient. Preventing a stroke is important, and we must document interventions. But what’s important to that patient is being able to walk around the lake with his grandson, so provide meaningful measurement for that as well. 

Featured Speaker Session: Matthew Luhn

Former Lead Animator and Storyteller, Pixar Studios

How do you tell a great story? In his keynote address, Matthew Luhn shared how he approaches storytelling. As Lead Animator and Storyteller at Pixar Studios, he brought audiences stories that were memorable, impactful, and personal. Through movies like Toy Story, Up, and Ratatouille, he crafted stories that made audiences feel empathy, anticipation, excitement, and happiness. He shared how to create an inspiring story like those:

  • A Great Hook. The average human attention span is 8 seconds – share something unusual, or unexpected. Put the audience in the middle of the action or conflict to really grab their attention. Take the ordinary and make it different – make your audience curious about what’s coming next. 
  • Inspire Change. Great stories are about transformation – they inspire us that change, try new things, and be better people. 
  • Make a Connection. Stories can be universal or hyper-focused, but to connect with a specific audience, they must be authentic – use themes like the desire for love, safety, and freedom or fear of failure, abandonment, and not belonging to meaningfully impact the audience. 
  • Don’t Neglect Structure: Every great story has a beginning, middle, and end. The beginning gets the audience’s attention, the middle crafts the plot, and the end is the most important part. 

Luhn closed his remarks by reminding the audience that in the end, people will remember how the story made them feel, those are the stories that will win.

Featured Speaker Session: Jason Jones, PhD, Stephanie Jackson, MD, FHM, and Lisa Taylor, MS

Jason Jones, PhD, Chief Analytics and Data Science Officer, General Manager of Data and Analytics Platform, Health Catalyst

Stephanie Jackson, MD, FHM, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, HonorHealth

Lisa Taylor, MS, Vice President of Analytics, HonorHealth

Healthcare has largely focused its use of predictive and prescriptive models at the point of care. Moving forward, however, healthcare leadership is recognizing critical opportunities for augmented intelligence (AI) at the executive level. To dive deep into AI’s potential in leadership decision making, Jason Jones, PhD, Chief Analytics and Data Science Officer, General Manager of Data and Analytics Platform, Health Catalyst, facilitated a conversation with Stephanie Jackson, MD, FHM, Senior Vice President, Chief Clinical Officer, and Lisa Taylor, MS, Vice President of Analytics, both of HonorHealth.

To explore the role of AI in executive decision making, Dr. Jones asked Dr. Jackson for common ground between executive and clinical decision processes. Dr. Jones explained that as a clinician and an executive, she tended to view her health system as a patient (e.g., is it critical, needing moderate care, healthy etc.). And like one treatment decision will impact another aspect of a patient’s health, any executive decision will impact another operational area of the organization. Furthermore, like clinicians, healthcare executives are also overburdened these days. In short, if AI is valuable in clinical decision making, given the parallels with healthcare leadership, it can also be a meaningful tool at the executive level.

Taylor added that she’d like to see healthcare leaders asking for more data (clinical, operational, and financial) to support expanded AI use. Data, she said, should always be the first question in the decision-making journey. Yet, that human cognition must always accompany the data, and even the analytics experts on stage admitted that sometimes in healthcare human judgement rightly goes against the data.

A key conversation takeaway was that clinical use of predictive models at the point of care has taught us to ask ourselves, “What’s the human’s job (clinician or executive), and what’s the computer’s job?” As AI continues to support decision making in all aspects of healthcare, this distinction will become increasingly important.

Featured Breakout Session: Creating Cultural Contagion Within Your Health System

Marcus Collins, DBA, MBA, Top Booked Speaker, DE&I Thought Leader, Head of Strategy, Wieden+Kennedy

Data-driven insights may be a gold standard at an analytics conference, but Marcus Collins, DBA, MBA, questions the value of data unless we apply that information to real lives and experiences. Collins says that while we have more data than ever, our ability to convert fact into something meaningful hasn’t grown at the rate of acquisition. As a result, we’re mistaking information for intimacy and never really getting to know the people behind the data. We’re experiencing a data paradox—we have a lot of information but don’t really know much.

Marketers, researchers, policymakers, and others have relied on self-reported data, such as the General Social Survey, which comes up short in meaning. Humans aren’t likely to self-report accurately and are not inherently good at making projections. Collins says that savvy data users rely on meaning over self-reported data.

According to Collins, the field of ethnography closes the gap between data and meaning, showing what people care about and how they show up in the world. Ethnography puts researchers in the subject’s field to see the world through their eyes and understand how they make meaning. Bringing it back to the human side of analytics, Collins says the meaning-forward approach reminds us that it’s our job in healthcare to understand why the information is what it is, not just take data at face value.

Collins’s three recommendations for conducting field ethnography and finding meaning include the following:

  • Watch people with purpose (don’t look for answers, look for questions).
  • Ask “why” three times.
  • Apply empathy.

Featured Breakout Speaker: What You Can Learn from 100 Days of Rejection

Jia Jiang, Inspirational and Emotional Intelligence Speaker

Innovators and forward-thinkers in any field, including healthcare analytics, face the risk of rejection with each new idea or approach. While fear of rejection is a common human tendency, countless great experiences, modern advances, and lives saved wouldn’t have happened if their creators hadn’t taken a chance and risked hearing “no” when they pitched their ideas.

As a young entrepreneur, Jia Jiang realized he had a lot of big ideas that he wasn’t presenting and moving forward due to fear of rejection. Committed to overcoming this professional barrier, Jiang started learning about “rejection therapy”—an approach to exposing himself regularly to rejection, thereby desensitizing himself from it.

Jiang set out on a 100-days-of-rejection project. He chose off-the-wall requests to approach strangers with. Propositions included borrowing $100, asking for a “refill” on his burger, and more. While strangers didn’t initially grant Jiang’s requests, he started learning that when he asked “why” in response to rejection instead of immediately retreating, he felt better about the encounter and more confident, even if he didn’t get the thing he’d asked for. Eventually, Jiang’s commitment to staying engaged past rejection started turning “nos” into “yeses.” With this approach, he ended up playing soccer, in a stranger’s backyard, driving a police car, flying a gyroplane, and more.

Rejection, Jiang learned, is a numbers game. He found that if you talk to enough people and try enough times (such as asking why), you’ll eventually get a yes. He also discovered that rejection can serve as a moment of opportunity. Once you’ve asked for something big and been rejected, you’ll likely have betting luck if you try again with a more modest request.

Featured Breakout Session: What Is Making AI Fail? Is it the Humans or Algorithms?

Taylor Davis, MStat, MBA, President, KLAS Research

Taylor Davis, KLAS Research President, has gained significant insights into AI and healthcare by speaking to many organizations that have something in common: they’re disappointed in their AI solution. As he dug deeper into the “why” he concluded that AI just isn’t enough on its own, but humans combined with AI can be a powerful solution for a number of healthcare challenges. 

He pointed out how computers and humans have different strengths, but that they are very complementary. Healthcare organizations that focus on building the right team to solve the right problem are seeing success in areas like population health, sepsis, and others. Davis provided some advice:

  • Pick a specific clinical problem that AI can solve – don’t try to apply AI where it isn’t appropriate. 
  • Use the technology to do things like process massive amounts of data and apply human skills to then act on that information.
  • Continue to iterate and adjust until it’s a successful model.

When it comes to implementing an AI model, Davis noted that medical leadership is essential to success as they set priorities for the organization. Next focus on efforts where AI can drive results so that the effort can maintain executive support. Don’t forget that AI is a new frontier and while it has great potential to make a positive impact on healthcare, it’s going to take time to realize its full potential.

Featured Speaker Session: Elana Meyers Taylor

Five-Time Olympic Medalist, USA Bobsled

Elena Myers Taylor closed HAS 22 with an inspiring speech highlighting the marriage of humans and analytics to control what seems uncontrollable and offering attendees lessons learned on her way to Olympic Gold.  

Shake It Off 

She fought long-held perceptions that women could only drive two-person bobsleds. To become the first-ever female driver of four-person bobsleds, she had to recruit a team, starting with her husband. While women turned out in force to cheer her on, Elena’s husband warned that many people didn’t support her—“Don’t let them into her head.” Myers Taylor focused on her supporters and teammates, blasting Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off” into her headphones to keep the negativity away and win. 

Focus on What You Can Control 

Myers Taylor made it to the 2022 Beijing Olympics, only to have her teammate husband, father, toddler son, and herself test positive for COVID-19. Isolated in a small room alone, without even control over her diet, she focused on what she had control over: 

  • Her thoughts.
  • Her sleep. 
  • Physical workouts. 
  • Mental race preparation. 
  • Her son’s nutrition. 

By controlling what she could in quarantine, Myers Taylor recovered to win two medals in Beijing, making her the winningest Black athlete in the Winter Olympics. The data and technology applied to her training and her bobsled have helped her get to the starting line as prepared as possible, and her human resilience and strength have sped her to the finish line. 

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