Leveraging Tech to Improve Population Health
Episode 404

Bob Berbeco, IS Director at Indiana University Health

Leveraging Tech to Improve Population Health

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Leveraging Tech to Improve Population Health

Episode 404

Recommended Book:

Master The Matrix by Susan Finerty

Best Way to Contact Bob:

bberbeco@gmail.com

Mentioned Link:

Adult and Child Health

Leveraging Tech to Improve Population Health with Bob Berbeco, CTO, Adult and Child Health transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Leveraging Tech to Improve Population Health with Bob Berbeco, CTO, Adult and Child Health was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2019.

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast, where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes, and business success with today's most successful and inspiring healthcare leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Today, I have the privilege of hosting Bob Berbeco. He's a Six Sigma Black Belt and Chief Technology Officer at Adult and Child Health. He is a 2018 Indianapolis Business Journal CTO of the Year Honoree at the firm where he's at. He is leading Enterprise Data Warehouse billed to consolidate data from multiple EMR's, Epic, Credible and Athena. We all know how difficult that is. Financial system and H.R. system and leading the data governance plan with the goals of increasing data literacy and reducing data reporting inconsistencies. He's developed the strategy and led I.T. optimization, which reviewed current state pinpointed process waste reduction opportunities and mitigated the feature state with reduced process, waste and costs. He's I.T. leader to the core that definitely knows how to utilize his vision and grit and understanding how to get things done to improve healthcare outcomes. And it's with a true privilege that I give Bob a warm welcome. Glad you're on the show today.

Bob Berbeco:
I'm glad I'm here as well Saul, thank you for inviting me.

Saul Marquez:
It's a pleasure. So is there anything that you want to share with the listeners before we continue?

Bob Berbeco:
No, no. Actually, I appreciate you providing the intro. The one thing I would add is that I have been in medical technology leadership for much of my career. I find it very rewarding and I continue with that Adult and Child Health I find the mission that we have here is very exciting and very true mission. We're dealing with a lot of difficult subject within healthcare, behavioral health, mental health, addictions, therapy. We also do transitional living for folks who are homeless. We're regionally based here within Indianapolis and we're medium sized company and I've been truly enjoying what I've been doing yeah.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it's fascinating work Bob and the impact to regular health, but also public health that you guys are making is big. What made you decide to get into healthcare to begin?

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah, no, absolutely. Great question. I have found being in the medical sector really rewarding. Personally, I've been in it. Much of my tech career I started about 19 years ago. I decided to begin and continue working within medical sector as I feel like every day I'm making a positive difference in patients and clients' lives. Although I'm not a frontline clinical person, I do have… I feel like I have the capacity to improve technology, based workflows, reduce costs, track data that can help with improvement of treatment. And overall, I feel like I have the ability to have some sort of an influence within potentially reducing cost of care.

Saul Marquez:
Well, you know, I had a guest a couple of years ago say without margin, there is no mission. And I think that's true. So the work you're doing is making the business sustainable. And then the impact that the business is having on people is huge. So I love to hear from you, Bob. What a hot topic that you feel needs to be on health leaders agendas today and how you and your organization are tackling it.

Bob Berbeco:
Sure. Sure. I think something that is important in regards to improving healthcare outcomes is patient engagement. Providing telehealth services, facilitating in-home health services, enabling patient portals, providing easy access for patients to their medical records, enabling easy provider woke up, reminders, being active on social media. All of these things, I think are really big topics that healthcare organizations need to tackle. Engaging the patient like a customer. Ensuring that the patient is getting what they need from the organization. And then doing what you can as a healthcare organization to improve patient lives through that engagement.

Saul Marquez:
Definitely, Bob. The engagement is key and so is the work that you and the team there have have done. Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about a specific story of how you guys have had success.

Bob Berbeco:
Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. So I mentioned earlier at Adult and Child Healt, what we do with this clients of all ages experiencing serious mental illness and assist with therapy. We have about 700 employees. We're partnered with about 120 schools within Indianapolis area. And what we do goes beyond brick and mortal or mortar…

Saul Marquez:
Farming?

Bob Berbeco:
And we provide mobile outreach. So what I've been focused on since I've been here is teleconferencing and telehealth. We've implemented a pilot behavioral health program to facilitate more client visits. And then internally we have leverage, hyper presence to facilitate. The coolest thing about telehealth, it's enabled us to be able to see more clients between locations. So in the past, if we had a patient that came to one of our locations, it's possible, especially if there was a lock in, that they may not be able to be seen, but that location was back out for the day. Walk in, potentially not be seen because we would have people read the calendar. By having this telehealth, if the patient does walk in and it appears at that location that's has been booked, that person can sit in a room within that location. They're not to go anywhere. They don't believe in that location and actually be remote and to a provider at another clinic. So the best part about this. Yes. Is no client is turned away in this scenario.

Saul Marquez:
That is so cool. And it's interesting…

Bob Berbeco:
It has been wonderful.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it's interesting that the models and it's fascinating to think of how modular telehealth could be, you know, because I think most people think about telehealth. It's something that you do from home. But in this particular situation, you guys brought the monitor into a room within the waiting room to help with overflow to make sure that people get taken care of.

Bob Berbeco:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And another advantage to that is not only are we not turning away clients, but we're enabling them to be seen. And then, you know, the technology that we have, we can standardize the technology and make sure that there's no glitches or issues when the telehealth is occurring because there is in our workflow. So that's another important piece of this is with… so you have technology, but you have to make sure that the workflow of the provider is integrated with the technology. Technology is just the piece of it. So what we do is we start with the workflow, make sure there is a workflow in place so that the technology can be applied and then the client can be seen with on a technological issue, have someone on site that can assist you.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. And that's so, so great. Love the idea and definitely an impact, positive impact that you guys are having by doing that. Tell me about the other side of the coin. Bob, there's projects that don't always work out. Is there something that you guys tried that didn't work out that you learned a lot that's made you guys better?

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah. No. Great question. I can look back not only here but across my career at lessons learned from failure. And all of them, I can summon some them up as they all have one similarity. It's when my assumptions were made versus actually working with stakeholders or focus groups. Good example that I could think of as a year ago, I was responsible for rolling out a new point of care capture system to providers. It was actually super cool because it was the technology… it worked to function on like a Palm Pilot or function on a smartphone. And the provider to be in the room and actually do the charge entry, which in previous days they would either put it on a sheet of paper or they would have to go back to their work area and put in the charges. So the technology was awesome. What I learned through this is so I got handed the project, project manager who had it before had a plan. And I just got the plan.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Bob Berbeco:
And instead of sitting down and level setting on what the current state was and with my stakeholders, the physicians and service ministers, I started to kind of move down that plan because I thought everything was in place.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Bob Berbeco:
Well, it wasn't… for a lot of perception issues. And with how the technology works, how I work in the workflow and the original plan was a big bang versus a face like a controlled phase rollout. So at that moment I learned I put everything on hold. I took a step back, even though there was a big organizational pressure for this to proceed because it involves charge capture and also involves some financial implications. But I quickly met with the stakeholders, identified issues and determine the options to overcome any of the issues and then communicated the path forward. In addition, the key was something else I learned. I don't think communication was as good with the project. And so I made sure there were continual cadence as far as continuing with the stakeholders, ensuring there was a comfort level there. And as we completed each phase. Lessons learned were gathered and we would use those for the next phase. So in summary, we learned from that and that I always keep in my mind with projects I work on is never assume and don't just proceed down this path before ensuring that there is engagement with your stakeholders. It's a good communication plan and that's that's something that I keep taking forward.

Saul Marquez:
Now, I'd say it's a great it's a great piece of advice to provide here with the listeners. And yeah, definitely glad that you're able to take those diamonds out of the… out of the lesson for the listeners today. You know the hot topic that keeps coming up is, is behavioral health. And I know it's a core that you guys work on. You guys do community treatment and school treatments. How are you guys getting paid on that? Is it? Is it insurance or Medicare?

Bob Berbeco:
That's a good question. So much of much of what we are getting paid on is this through Medicare and Medicaid.

Saul Marquez:
Got it.

Bob Berbeco:
We do have commercial insurance that comes in, but the majority of our clients are Medicaid and Medicare.

Saul Marquez:
Got it. Very cool. And look, I mean, the suicide rate is getting worse. I mean, we're at an all time high. I think the work that you guys are doing is so important.

Bob Berbeco:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And that's what drives me to that mission. I take it to heart every day.

Saul Marquez:
That's awesome. Well Bob you know, there's definitely a lot of good that could be done in this field. And the work that you're doing is certainly contributing to the wellness of the community that you work in. So kudos to you and your team for doing what you do. What would you say one of your most exciting and proud experiences has been today?

Bob Berbeco:
The proudest moment that I've had throughout my career has been when I've been able to mentor others who work for me, for individuals that I associated with. What I really love to do is mentor people. That's actually why I get the most out of leadership and in interacting with them, I learned a lot from them as well. So the greatest reward that I had experience with in my career have always been where I felt like I had the capacity to influence someone in the growth. And then over the years, I've watched their career flourish and there's multiple people that I've had that opportunity. And over the years, some can be upwards of 15 years, others a couple of years. I've seen them grow and watch where their careers at. And it warms my heart to see. I truly love just having some sort of an influence on that.

Saul Marquez:
Bob, you have like a little fellowship program there you're cranking out.

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah. Yeah, you're right. You're right, buddy. That's funny. I do about it all the time. I think it's awesome, though.

Saul Marquez:
It's awesome.

Bob Berbeco:
I mean, it's truly awesome. What do you really others like… You see a central role in someone because of them. And and they and sometimes they're not sure where they want to go in their career and just trying to guide them, you know, asking questions and learning from them and guiding them down that path of what their career choices would be. I get so much out of that. I get so much out of those personal interaction.

Saul Marquez:
That's awesome Bob, that's that's really great. I definitely you know, I've had some great mentors in my life as well as been a mentor to others. And there's there's definitely something magical to that. Definitely feels good. Tell us about an exciting project you're working on today.

Bob Berbeco:
Sure. Sure. Absolutely. There's something we're working on today is we've recently consolidated data from multiple EMR. This has been from Epic, Credible and Athena, from finance, from external claims and H.R. into one warehouse. This is something that we've been working on over the past year. The next step and the exciting step is for us to produce the reporting. So by leveraging the data that we have within that warehouse and then integrated KPI that can be used to monitor results. So what we're working on right now is building the architecture, building the visualization. We're using Microsoft Reporting Services Power V.I. to get techie there for effect, and then we're going to leverage that to enable both the drill down capability and high level dashboards for managers and executives.

Saul Marquez:
Wow. Very cool. Yeah. You've got to you've got to have a scoreboard to know if you're winning or losing.

Bob Berbeco:
Absolutely. Absolutely. And then, yes, have that scoreboard and see how you're doing and monitor your results. I mean, it gives all those strategic goals you have to have a plan to get there on. So absolutely.

Saul Marquez:
That's powerful. Good for you, man. It sounds like you're really bringing in just putting some handles on the business to help managers and leaders there. And even the frontline workers do a better job. This time of the podcast, I have a lightning round, so I've got a couple of questions for you there and then I'll ask you for your favorite book. You ready?

Bob Berbeco:
Sure.

Saul Marquez:
All right. All righty. What is the best way to improve healthcare outcomes?

Bob Berbeco:
I think I mentioned a little bit of that earlier. Patient engagement. I think patient engagement is the best way for us as a health organization to improve healthcare outcomes, engaging the patient and providing the services they need, educating them, providing the portals and the communication that they need, and then actively work with them on educating them on what they can do within their healthcare needs to improve. So it's like a partnership.

Saul Marquez:
What's the biggest mistake or pitfall to avoid?

Bob Berbeco:
Assumption. Don't assume what your customers patients would want. Leverage focus group, create engagement, provide options and gather feedback from them.

Saul Marquez:
Love that. How do you stay relevant despite constant change?

Bob Berbeco:
Yes, that's a great question. Be thoughtful about the environmental changes. Think about what is most important for your patient and your customer. Answering that question will enable the changes to be customer driven.

Saul Marquez:
What's one area of focus that drives everything in your organization Bob?

Bob Berbeco:
Our clients, our patients are the reason for everything that we do. The stories of achievement, healing, and hope that I hear that we hear on a regular basis is what truly inspires us to keep moving forward.

Saul Marquez:
These next two are a little more on a personal note. What is your number one health habit?

Bob Berbeco:
Oh number one health habit. Eating well, I do workout. I do bodybuilding. I ride bicycle. I've actually done some bodybuilding competitions. So…

Saul Marquez:
Have you really? That's cool.

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah. Yeah. I'm not a huge guy though.

Saul Marquez:
That's pretty awesome.

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah. So health is very important to me. I mean, I can share that when I was younger, I was very overweight. I was 18 and about two hundred fifty pounds. I'm now in the 160's.

Saul Marquez:
Man, that's awesome.

Bob Berbeco:
The weight off. Yeah. I kept the weight off for a long time. And I think how health and being thoughtful about your health is the really important thing.

Saul Marquez:
Wow. Awesome. I love that. Very cool. And what is your number one success habit?

Bob Berbeco:
I would say it's persistence. I am not a give up type person. There are some times in your life or on projects where it's time to make that are why determination. And you have to go ahead and say, "Okay, I think we sunk enough, got into it." But if there is an inkling of hope or if there's always a bad situation and there's a way that it can be turned around, I'm very persistent.

Saul Marquez:
Love that. And what book would you recommend to the listeners?

Bob Berbeco:
Yeah, for a book that I if I read that, I really like it. Master The Matrix by Susan Finerty. Most of what we do, especially within healthcare, most of what we do is we work within a matrix environment.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah.

Bob Berbeco:
And so having those skills, the partner and influence others are a really important skills. I saw this book in reading it provides a good foundation or a great foundation for anyone who encounters matrix management and provides them with advice and guidelines. It's actually really easy to read book. Some of them get a little technical when you read some of these business books and this was a real easy read.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. What a great recommendation, folks. You could go to outcomesrocket.health and check out our full transcript of our talk with Bob today, as well as links to Adult and Child and the book that he recommended. Check those out, go to outcomesrocket.health, you'll find it there. Before we conclude Bob, I love if you could just share a closing thought and then the best place for the listeners did follow your work.

Bob Berbeco:
Sure. Absolutely. Closing thoughts are… is I see healthcare as a real, real important, mission driven genre as far as working within it. And I truly enjoy it. I think healthcare has a lot of rewards to it and a lot of chances even within technology to have some positive changes made within, especially when it comes to cost of care. In regards to myself, I can be reached bberbeco@gmail.com and I'm also available through LinkedIn. I think I'm one of the few Berbecos out there, so it's probably easy to find.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Love it. So there you have it, folks. There's a way to get in touch with Bob, if something in today's interview resonated with you and yeah just keep up the awesome work, Bob. Really appreciate you spending time with us.

Bob Berbeco:
No, I appreciate it as well. It was a great conversation. Thank you.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration, and so much more.

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