Transforming Healthcare Systems to Adhere to the Consumerism
Episode 483

Edmondo Robinson, Chief Digital Innovation Officer at Moffitt Cancer Center

Transforming Healthcare Systems to Adhere to the Consumerism

Leveraging digital tools like machine learning AI to improve consumer’s interactions and engagements

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Transforming Healthcare Systems to Adhere to the Consumerism

Episode 483

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Transforming Healthcare Systems to Adhere to the Consumerism with Edmondo Robinson, Chief Digital Innovation Officer at Moffitt Cancer Center transcript powered by Sonix—the best automated transcription service in 2020. Easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

Transforming Healthcare Systems to Adhere to the Consumerism with Edmondo Robinson, Chief Digital Innovation Officer at Moffitt Cancer Center 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. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

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

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast. Saul Marquez here. Today I have the privilege of hosting Dr. Edmondo Robinson. He’s Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Innovation Officer at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. In this role, Dr. Robinson is charged with expanding the digital ecosystem to deliver on a consumer oriented, real world solutions for one of the largest cancer centers in the U.S.. Prior to Moffitt, Dr. Robinson served as a Chief Transformation Officer and Senior V.P. of Consumerism for Christiana Health Care System. He had responsibility for transformation of health care delivery. To advance population health initiatives and moved from volume based to value based care with a special focus on developing and managing Christiana Cares, Consumerism Strategy, including development of consumer digital and virtual health service offerings. Today we are hyper focused on on value based care and consumerism and health care. Some super excited for Dr. Robinson’s perspectives. In addition to his previous roles, he’s also an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Thomas Jefferson University’s Sidney Kimmel Medical College, and he’s also a Practicing Physician. So it is truly a privilege to have him as not only a health industry leader, but also a practicing physician to talk about some of these trends in health care. With that, Edmondo, I want to give you a warm welcome. Thanks for joining us.

Edmondo Robinson:
Thanks for having me.

Saul Marquez:
So what is it that got you inspired to do the work that you do, Dr. Robinson?

Edmondo Robinson:
I had, as you said, read my bio a little bit. I’ve had a few different roles and my inspiration that was always been consistent is I truly want to make a difference. I know it seems a little corny, but, you know, it’s one of the drivers.I think there’s so much opportunity in health care to assess and improve people’s lives. One of reasons why I continue to practice that one on one interaction where you are truly in a hospital is literally saving someone’s life. That is inspiring and is even as I think about digital and the opportunity to improve and affect people’s health across steeled across a large population continues to inspire me. Is the one on one interactions equals one interactions as well as the equals many interactions. To me, that is where many different ways. But at the end of the day, we actually truly helping people in that. That’s a good reason to get out of bed in the morning.

Saul Marquez:
Totally agree with you and my head and heart are in the same place so I don’t think it’s corny, but I think it’s a great thing to be moved by.And and so I’m curious now, you know, with the work that you’re doing there at the cancer center. How are you guys adding value to the healthcare ecosystem? What’s different and better about what you guys are doing?

Edmondo Robinson:
It’s interesting. The goals here at a NCI doesn’t need a comprehensive cancer center or nothing less than curing cancer. It’s not an ambiguous goal is to contribute to the prevention tour of cancer.So, you know, when you would everyone has is lockstep with that focus. It’s very refreshing. Right.. You know what your goal is? My my job on the digital side. How do I leverage digital for that same goal?Right.. So what does it look like? We all have the same goal. I bring in the digital piece. So you start thinking about those areas like how do we improve outcomes? How do I use things like machine learning AI to approve the actual clinical outcomes of those folks that we that we serve. How do I use digital to drive costs? Drive down costs? We can cure cancer cheaper and make it more accessible. Thinking about robotic process, automation, those kinds of things, improving operations. How do I do all of that with an even better experience for patients? How do I leverage digital to steal that improved experience across the entire population that we serve? So those are those that’s how we how we approach from a digital perspective the opportunity to contribute to the provisional cure of cancer.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. And so as as we wrap our heads around this digital theme, how does that translate into, say, did the work that you’ve done and consumerism and how does that translate to the physician level that’s providing care all the way down to the patients that you guys are taking care of?

Edmondo Robinson:
That’s interesting. So I like to it’s that’s great. Great question. I start with the patients billing, go back or go the other way. And actually, you mentioned consumers. So there’s different ways of defining who we serve. Honestly, even though I’ve had the title, consumer may not be the most comfortable for me, but there needs to be some acknowledgement that there are people who are engaging in health and health behaviors and improving their health, they don’t see themselves as patients.And so we have to figure out how do we how do we want how do we deal with them and then what do we call them? So right now, the best definition that we have are the best kind of descriptor that we have is consumer from its life. Until I hear something better and people as people people have said, OK, this is called a people, which I did. But it’s a little it’s a little loose. And so I think I like consumer health care consumers. To me, it feels a little bit better than just kind of broadly people.That being said, now, how do you engage with consumers? Well, the same way everyone else, every other. And she deals with consumer digitally Right.. That’s that’s the way you engage with them, whether it’s new online or estimate’s text or it’s mobile apps and so forth. That’s how you engage with people. It’s not complicated conceptually. It’s complicated in execution. And so I don’t think anyone disagrees with the idea that you engage with consumers digitally. That’s certainly how you steal that. Now, there’s certainly aspects of what we do with health care and other industries as well, where you need a physical you need a physical component to that. So now we start talking about the operations from other physicians and so forth. So how do you then convert? You know, it’s almost clicks to bricks. How do you convert those digital interactions into those physical interactions when necessary?It’s not always necessary when you think about things like virtual care. And so now you say, well, how do we optimize our operations?So streamline that we can focus on those physical interactions when necessary and do a really good job at that. How do we bring everyone along who’s been in a traditional health care system for decades? How do we bring those folks along to this new digital age? So that’s part of that’s part of the work. That’s the work of digital. And if you ignore as a digital person, as as a digital innovator, if you ignore the people part of the operations and the clinical piece, you will fail. You absolutely must focus on those people, whether it’s the front line staff that are back in the back office operations and certainly the clinicians, the physicians, nurses, pharmacies and so forth, that needs to be a high focus. And so, you know, there’s this title of digital in this type of innovation. But at the end of the day, it’s it’s about people, about people and it’s about people.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. It’s it’s a great call out. And and what do you believe makes what you do and what the cancer center does better than what’s available today?

Edmondo Robinson:
There are many opportunities, again, to leverage digital. You thought and think broadly about how do you leverage digital. We’ve got some really, really talented people that are working in the digital realm.And when I when I called digital from for Moffitt in our team, it includes the entire I.T. shop, includes informatics and includes data in it, as well as kind of the more traditional things that people think about with digital in terms of, you know, virtual care and in apps and so forth. So think about informatics. Think about the opportunity to refine the way that clinicians interact with electronic medical record. The first I mean, you can have saw a whole separate broadcast podcast about the electronic medical record, the pros and cons, and you’ll spend most your time on the cards, by the way.And so that’s a wholesale. So just refining Right.. So you’re familiar with this, right? It’s just we’re finding that in a refined IT interaction so that you can actually focus on the people both who are delivering careful as well, the people who are receiving the care. And we’re seeing those those interactions. And so there’s that piece. There’s also, you know, how do you leverage data to optimize outcomes, whether it’s refining your your interactions? So, you know, you have a list of people who potentially could have some kind of intervention, but you’re leveraging data, big data in this way to say, you know what? But it’s really this subset of those people who are truly going to benefit. Again, that’s leveraging, using machine learning and in some cases AI around and around that you can do that as well in imaging as well, where you actually have algorithms that are that are looking at your films and supporting the radiologists in optimizing that outcome in, you know, so that you can operations, clinical operations the way this is, interact with the left side of medical record. And then again, the way that patients and consumers engage with the system itself. Whether it’s through a piece of portal’s, which I’m not a fan of, by the way, so that I think I think about the way we engage much more broadly than that. Everyone starts with Dr. Google Right.. So so what are you doing around that? When you’re doing an online search? What are you doing around MCO, this GM and all those kinds of concepts as well? That entire package, right, of digital was going from the interactions with the patient and consumers all the way through the clinical operations and operations all the way through to the to the hardcore kind of big data components. That entire interaction is the value that we bring. By leveraging digital to improve ultimately improve outcomes.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, I think it’s super interesting. And then there’s the spectrum, right, Dr. Robinson I’m thinking on the one hand, folks like yourself, that are well versed then understand how to operationalize these these things. And then on the other end is folks that don’t understand how to do it. What advice would you give to other hospitals waiting to take some of this digital up and you know that don’t know really where to start?

Edmondo Robinson:
Yeah. So it’s a that’s a great question. And there’s there actually are levels to that conversation. What are the weather challenges in U.S. health care is you’ve seen one health system, you’ve seen one health system. So the answer to your question actually depends on the health system. There are a couple of things I think that are in there, though. So one is that, quite frankly, I can pretty much guarantee you that you’ve probably under invested in digital. That’s that’s that’s going to be, you know, whatever whatever health system I’m talking to you under invested. And so just realize that building out digital is going to require investment. It reminds me of this idea of, you know, we’re going to imagine a health system says, hey, we want to grow our our surgery business. So let’s say we want to grow our joint joint replacement business. And so they say, hey, we’ve got it, we’re going to grow to replace it. Let’s go. You know, maybe let’s hire some you hire some orthopedic surgeons or something, but they did to build operating rooms in hospitals and or equipment in those kinds of things. We don’t need to do that. So we just gonna hire the docs. You can’t. You have to build the infrastructure if you want to grow that business. The same is true for digital. You actually have to invest in the infrastructure around digital if you actually want to grow that business. You can’t just say, hey, we’re digital. How does it work that way? And so again, I almost guarantee that they under invested in digital. Part of the reason is because it’s much easier to get money to build a building, bonds, you know, tons of health as you’re going out for bonds rather than the reach of great times. It’s much easier to do that for building tools to build digital RISC. Right. So that’s. So there’s reasons behind it. But quite frankly, you’ve probably already under invested until you actually have to have some dedicated resources around. You know, people are knowledgeable around this of this topic around digital. And so you actually have to put people in place. You have to you have to get transmission officers, digital officers, innovation officers, whatever you want to title them. You have to bring them in. You’ve got to get them into to do that work. Thirdly, I would say partnership, collaboration, partnership, collaboration. Go out there and see what your see what your peers are doing. See where you have opportunities to collaborate with early stage companies, get out to the you know, to conferences and meetings and maybe go to Chicago’s Silicon Valley. Boston, some of these hotbeds of health care innovation and have some of those conversations. So I guess all three invest, invest, invest, bring in the right people and think about your partnerships and collaborations.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Now, that’s a really great pathway and frame to think about it. And yeah, I love that you just went straight for it. You’re more than likely not investing enough. And what is enough then? You mentioned build your team. Yeah, they’ll let you know and finally collaborate. If you look in the rear view mirror, Edmondo, what would you say you’re most proud of in your career thus far?

Edmondo Robinson:
You know, maybe there is a theme here. It’s funny because a digital guy has a theme that’s about people. But that’s I think that’s what I’m most proud of. I was recently I was able to answer that question quickly. So I’ve recently asked that question as I was transitioning from Christiana Care to to Moffitt. And you get really reflective in a little bit introspective when you’ve when you’ve spent over a decade in one place and then you chose it into another. And at the end of the day, it was really the people. What’s your legacy? And the other day was the people that I that I recruited, that I had mentored, that I’ve supported, that I really kind of grew fond of over the years. Those are the folks that are going to Athina that for me are going to truly be a legacy, that they’re truly going to move the needle, they’re fully going to improve outcomes, are truly going to help people get back to money. What really motivates me is the ability for me to bring those folks along. I mean, I’ve recruited people who were never in health care before. I’ve matured folks who never knew that, never thought they were going to be leaders and into being, you know, outstanding leaders. That is what I’m most proud of. Is there a project or product or thing? I mean, there’s lots of that stuff out there. But in the day, it’s really about the people.

Saul Marquez:
Love it and have it on the business side. What would you say is the most proud business accomplishment?

Edmondo Robinson:
You know, there was this is probably over 10 years ago. I was tasked with creating a hospital medicine practice, get him a hospitalist in. Essentially, I was told, hey, we need to build a practice from scratch. Faculty practice, academic medicine, competitive environment and you just have to make it happen. We know, by the way, there’s no one in the health system at the time who was the hospital is it could or could really help you figure it out. Good luck. And I was like, sure, I can do that.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, sign me up?

Edmondo Robinson:
I don’t know if I have it back. I would realized like that was practically impossible job. And why would I take that? But, you know, at the time, I was sure I could do it.And so, you know, there’s a little too off and, you know, was about that. Those people that I was able to recruit and bring in. And we could have people who, you know, and I said, hey, yeah, it doesn’t exist, but this is what it’s going to be. That’s going to be cool. You should come join us and those intrepid souls signed onto reminds me of that little video where it’s not it’s not the first person who’s out there dancing, but the next person to come. Right. Yeah. Right. is awesome. And so it was those that second and the third person says, yes, we’re going to sign onto this idea. We’re going to just go out there and dance on our own. That is to me, that was a powerful that’s the end of the day. That group has grown to well over one hundred fifty years, in my opinion, one of the strongest hospital medicine practices groups in the whole country. And it grew just from a little kernel of an idea that I had, you know, over a decade ago. So I’m quite proud of them. I’m quite proud of the people that make up that that practice.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. You know, and in reflection, what it took to grow that practice from nothing. I’m sure built a really strong foundation, skills, relationships for for what you’re doing today?

Edmondo Robinson:
I think you’re right on. And it’s because, again, it’s about understanding stakeholders and understanding motivations is about collaboration, broad collaboration with multiple stakeholders. It’s about it’s about leadership and management. It’s about mentorship. It’s about execution on business objectives, objectives in a kind of budgeting and all of those all those pieces, all of those things team together. And those, I think are universally applicable management and leadership skills. So I think you’re right on on that.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Now, that’s that’s exciting, congratulations for that accomplishment and it continues to run even though you’re not there anymore. If you have to say the most exciting thing that is going on today, what are you most excited about?

Edmondo Robinson:
Interesting. So now I’m going to now back to my digital hat again. You know, what I really said above all is essentially so using that you kind of had your hype cycle around this moment and it’s on it’s coming down a bit, but I think it’s even more exciting now. Artificial intelligence. What about what I mean by that? I’m not I’m not talking you know, we’re not talking Terminator types. What I’m thinking is, at the end of the day, in health care, AI, at a minimum kind of the machine learning piece but but true kind of kind of even kind of true pushing out to AI is going to be baked into almost everything we do. And I think that’s awesome. Right.. So it’s not it’s no longer like, wow, we have this cool AI project notes. Where is AI in what you’re doing on a day to day basis? How is helping you make clinical decisions at the point of care? How is AI looking at you? You’re helping you manage populations and broadly apply your resources most effectively. How is AI actually improving your operations on a day to day basis in the back office? How is AI actually improving your interactions and engagement with those you serve that you’ll be? It’s quite frankly can be baked into everything we do to the point where people even don’t even realize that that’s what’s going on.There’s one note of caution that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, which is this idea, this black box around A.I. that exists right now. People don’t know what happened in there. Just some inputs come in and some outputs come out and people just kind of go with that. That is there’s there’s a danger there because you can beat in bias into those algorithms. And so I do want to the caution caution there is that you we really should spend quite a bit of time understanding what’s going on in those algorithms and making sure that we haven’t just baked in and kind of made kind of more rapid bias in health care, because it’s already it’s already a problem that we deal with. So that’s my note of caution. That being said, I’m pretty bullish on the overall.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it’s a great message. It’ll be like the back in the day. You would just you had a business if you tacked on a website to it. Right? Here’s what I think. Well, now they’re going to tack on AI to everything. And then I’ll become that much more useful.

Edmondo Robinson:
Yeah. And one of my roles at Christiana was to lead our our venture capital kind of into a small fund. Right. I’ve been in that space in a remember, you know, going to the JP Morgan conference, for example, in San Francisco and several years back. And, you know, having those conversations with some of those those companies that are that are in rounds of fund, funding. And I remember there was a there’s a period of time where if they said they just mentioned block chain. People start throwing money at them. But I I remember it was also if we just mentioned A.I. and the others to be in there in the block chain, then suddenly, you know, money just showed up almost vacillating. Typically, what you knew people the there was neither block chain or the AI in what they were doing, but it was clearly those buzz words. So that that is a caution. You know, I spent enough time to get on the investment side, too, to have seen that cycle come and go. But yeah, no, that’s I think there are some costs around this idea of what truly we see AI. What are you really talking about? It is a truly AI think, part of that product.

Saul Marquez:
That’s a great point. You know, and there’s that experience that you had that the venture arm sort of honed your your B.S. detector. Like, wait a minute, let’s dive into this a little bit deeper. What?

Edmondo Robinson:
Oh, yeah,.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. That’s great experience. And so if you could have lunch with Edmondo, would it be?

Edmondo Robinson:
Interesting question, as I thought about that one. So, you know, as you know, tragically before Tyson passed away recently, unexpectedly and really a hero for many folks, a mentor for people that I know personally and quite frankly, a leader and not just a Kaiser, but in health care more broadly. I never got a chance to meet him. And I would love to have had a chance to just sit down and pick his brain over lunch, not just about how we thought about Kaizer and that that vision there, but really broadly for health care overall, indirectly and strategically and ethically, even as we talked about bias a little bit earlier on AI just he’s he’s such a powerful thinker and such a influencer. That would’ve been a really cool conversation. That that unfortunate. Never got to have.

Saul Marquez:
Man. Yeah, that was tragic to lose him. And I actually had the opportunity to meet him a couple weeks ago during the health meeting.

Edmondo Robinson:
Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
And I mean, just incredible. Right.. He was talking about the work he was doing with getting meals to improve community health. And I mean, just. Yeah, man. I mean, I’m glad you brought him up. And and definitely somebody that I think is near and dear to all of our hearts and yeah, it would have been nice to get lunch with them.

Edmondo Robinson:
Yes. That’s one of my regrets that I didn’t figure out how to get that done.

Saul Marquez:
Well, you know what? I think he’s left behind a legacy and that you’re doing a fantastic job. I think continuing to do what you do is just an incredible way maybe to honor him and what he he’s doing.

Edmondo Robinson:
Well, I really appreciate that. If I can even just a pursuit of the kind of influence that he’s had on your vote on health care across the country and around the world, really, that would have been that would be a career that I could be proud of.

Saul Marquez:
Now, for sure. And what’s what would you say, Edmundo, is the best advice you’ve ever received.

Edmondo Robinson:
So I have had such great mentors, Steve, Bubblers, so many other folks. I’ve had a lot of a lot of great advice. One thing that came to me. So maybe it’s not the best advice. If I thought about it much longer, I probably could come up with even better advice. But this is something that’s sticking with me just right now. Maybe it’s the best advice and I haven’t had it in my mind right now, which is this concept of impostor syndrome. Have you so you familiar with this car?

Saul Marquez:
Oh, yeah, for sure. Yes.

Edmondo Robinson:
So this advice I received is imposter syndrome is nonsense. Leave it like just stop. Stop this. With this idea that you don’t belong in the space where you belong. Yeah. It’s just you. You’re better than you actually think you are. And if someone thinks that you should be in that space, you probably should have been there a long time ago. So it’s it’s I think it’s it’s really interesting for me as an African-American physician. There are many spaces that I’m in where there are no one else like me. And so it’s kind of it would be easy to kind of look around and say, do I really belong here? And so I think that that’s left. One is what that advice is really important for me is to say, you know what? You’re here because you do belong here. And I think, you know, it’s a lot of a lot of women in their careers, physicians and non physicians. And I’ve I’ve often had to repeat that same advice, which is you were here because you belong here. I recruited you. Were I hired you because you are the best person for this job. It had to kind of encourage them along along those lines. And so I think that’s a good general advice for lots of folks.

Saul Marquez:
That’s a great, great advice Edmondo and to all the folks listening here, I think and myself included, I do believe that those thoughts of doubt enter the mind. And let’s listen to Dr. Robinson here. And and that, you know, imposter syndrome you do belong in. The idea of imposter syndrome is that you’re not enough. You don’t have what it takes. You’re not an imposter. You’re the real deal. And so I love that you share that. And very cool that you’re helping others see that as well and your mentorship to them. So this talk has been great. You know, I think with the time we were a lot and I feel like we could probably even do a part two. So if you’re up for it, maybe, maybe in six to seven months, we’ll get you back on again Edmondo.

Edmondo Robinson:
You know what my time is yours Saul, whenever you want.

Saul Marquez:
I appreciate that. Hey, so before we conclude, I’d love if you could just share a closing thought with the listeners and then the best place where they could get in touch with or follow your work.

Edmondo Robinson:
Gotcha. So. And I think my last thought is, you know, embrace, embrace, embrace the digital health revolution, and that goes for not just for these innovative companies, of course, that, you know, that’s that’s what they’re there based on. That goes for all of us in health care. Embrace the digital health revolution. But remember, I always had these tablets. So remember that the people at the end of the day are the key. People are the key. Not your algorithms, not your cool app. Not sure optimized search engine, but the people. Best way to follow me LinkedIn, Edmondo Robinson and in Twitter @edmondorobinson e d m o n d o r o b i n s o n. I’m pretty active, relatively active socially and typically I can share my work there. So I would love to follow you. Follow me of all you back.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Edmondo, this has been great. Really appreciate your your words of wisdom and definitely excitement to continue. You stand in touch with you.

Edmondo Robinson:
Thank you for having me. All this is awesome. And I. Any time you want me back or, you know, even just want to chat, let me know. Appreciate you for that.

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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