Workday Podcast: Driving Innovation in Healthcare IT

Sarah Richardson, vice president of IT change leadership at Optum, and Joe Wilson, chief technology officer for North America at Workday, discuss how healthcare IT is evolving, the importance of alignment across business functions, and how communication is key for effective digital transformation.

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Audio is also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

While we know change is the only constant in our daily lives, the massive changes of 2020 have rocked even the most resilient among us. All industries have had to adapt to the unforeseen and often challenging circumstances of this year, and the healthcare industry is no exception. 

Over the course of 2020, we’ve witnessed the acceleration of previous trends in the healthcare industry. For example, healthcare organizations have continued to move away from traditional, rigid systems to more nimble, accessible systems in an effort to improve business continuity and create opportunities to better support patient care. 

On this episode of the Workday Podcast, we hear from two technology leaders: Sarah Richardson, vice president of IT change leadership at Optum, and Joe Wilson, chief technology officer for North America at Workday. They discuss how healthcare IT is evolving, the importance of alignment across business functions when approaching innovation efforts, and how human connection and strong communication is key when approaching transformation efforts, now and in the future. Below you’ll find excerpts from the conversation, edited for clarity. You can find more episodes of the Workday Podcast here.

“At Optum, we're constantly acquiring medical groups or technologies and innovations that allow us to connect on fronts like insights, data, and analytics. We're always seeking ways to create opportunities to be a partner with our business to accelerate the ability to deliver the best patient care.” — Sarah Richardson

  • “This year has been the year of compression that finally got us to the point of getting smarter with how we allocate capital against projects that can help the organization; specifically around building toward this model of ‘buy where you can and build when you must.’” — Joe Wilson 
  • “In many ways, [the office of technology] hasn't shifted at all, and yet it's light years ahead of where it was 20 years ago. Even today, how much of a window of opportunity do you have to get a product right before the person who's receiving it will or won't use it? What’s that tolerance for your customer or your patient if it doesn't work the first time? If it doesn't make it better for them from the onset, they're not going to use it. That hasn't changed.” — Sarah Richardson
  • “Often, the business says, ‘Here's our strategy. Now go make it happen digitally.’ And IT may or may not have all the pieces from the business model to make that happen. It's not sexy to replace technical debt sometimes, but part of that ongoing conversation is, ‘If we want to do this, we have to spend the money and take the time to continually invest.’” — Sarah Richardson

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