Workday Podcast: Accelerating Innovation in Healthcare

In this episode of our Industrious podcast series, John Kravitz, vice president of healthcare at Workday, expands on findings from a recent IDC survey focused on transformation in healthcare. Kravitz also shares insights from his work with other healthcare leaders and background as a former healthcare CIO.

Audio also available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

In this episode of our Industrious podcast series, John Kravitz, vice president of healthcare at Workday, shares thoughts on findings from a recent healthcare-focused IDC survey. Kravitz gives his perspective based on insights from his work with other healthcare leaders and background as a former healthcare CIO.

As we discuss in the episode, keeping up with digital transformation is challenging in healthcare. The industry faces obstacles across the full continuum of care. But healthcare leaders are optimistic and motivated to take on innovation efforts. They know full well these changes will help prepare their organization for the future.

The IDC survey identified priority areas for healthcare leaders, including:

  • How to achieve sustainable growth 

  • The importance of data accuracy 

  • Supply chain opportunities

  • The power of AI and machine learning (ML)

Below are a few highlights of the episode with Kravitz, edited for clarity. You can also find our entire podcast catalog here

  • “[When] I worked in the field, there was always a push to use more technology—more by the CIO versus the healthcare system. But it’s encouraging to see now that healthcare leaders are requesting that more technology be used within the organization.”

  • “There are so many industries that have moved to the cloud. Why? It’s more efficient. It gives you agility and scalability to support your business without having to worry about, ‘Do I have to order more servers and more storage and everything else that’s part of that? Am I going to have delays getting them that will impact my end user? Will that stop us from growing our business or acquiring another organization?’ Those are all factors that, once you get to the cloud, are out of your head. Focus on what you’re there for, and that’s to grow the business. Provide the tools to help the business be successful. And that’s what a CIO really should be doing.”

  • “Look for an ERP solution for your financials, your supply chain, your people and payroll, and everything else . . . it’s so much better now because the movement to the cloud affords us the ability for scalability, agility, and control over that data.”

To learn more about how healthcare leaders are advancing digital acceleration, read our report.

Ellen Murphy: Leading with resilience and empathy defines the healthcare industry. As an industry that faces many operational challenges throughout the continuum of care, keeping up with digital transformation efforts can be difficult. Yet, healthcare providers remain optimistic and are motivated by the incredible potential of pursuing continued innovation. I'm Ellen Murphy, senior content marketing manager at Workday, and joining me to discuss acceleration in healthcare and findings from a recent IDC survey focused on healthcare transformation is John Kravitz, vice president and head of healthcare industry at Workday. Thanks for joining today, John.

John Kravitz: My pleasure.

Murphy: Great. So jumping right in, in IDC's research, 40% of healthcare leaders surveyed claimed that accelerating the use of technology for business in clinical operations was their highest priority. Were you surprised by this insight? And are you encouraged by what this means for the changes in the healthcare industry overall?

Kravitz: I would say, it's very encouraging to me. As a prior healthcare CIO for 30 years that I worked in the field, there was always a push to use more technology, more by the CIO versus the healthcare system. But it's very encouraging to see now where healthcare leaders are requesting that more technology be used within the organization. I think that's really, really important. You know, technology has been used for a while in some cases. And a lot of this is not brand new or innovative, but use of, you know, data to help with recruiting and hiring people, it's extremely important in an organization. And any tools that the ERP solution may have that can help in that space is really, really warranted and appreciated by the healthcare leaders because you could do more with less people getting engaged in that process. 

There are other areas where we've seen considerable improvement in healthcare on the provider side when I was a healthcare CIO, was tools and use of bots and things like that to help with appointment scheduling. That was always important where people didn't necessarily have to be on the phone the whole while but using that technology to be able to expedite and get more patients through the process to get them scheduled in their appointments. And, people are generally accepting of that as long as it's not in an obtrusive manner. So that's really important.

Also, leveraging things like different tools that are available in the healthcare sector. One that I utilized, and I think we were one of the first where I worked was the use of facial recognition to identify patients. So that's really important in a couple of different areas. It can help with the workflow, getting patients through in admissions, or registrations for ambulatory surgery, things like that, where it was not uncommon, and I was there at those times, where 5:30 in the morning, patients were lined up and down a hall trying to get through a registration process, so they can go in for a 7:00 AM or 7:30, scheduled, appointment for surgery. So the ability to get them through that much quicker and make sure you have the patients identified properly is really, really important for our healthcare system. So that use of technology is great. Another one is, using natural language processing to review medical records and try to find anomalies in medical records. So that's– that was always important. That's something that's been used probably for the last several years. But sometimes even more recent and really as important as the use of ambient voice.

Ambient voice is when a physician may talk with a patient in an exam room as an example. And the ability for the computer to listen and discern the physician's voice from the patient's voice to be able to document into the record instead of the physician doing it later in that evening or later that afternoon tied up with other patients, the ability to place orders, review results, all those components are really, really valuable. And we're starting to see more of that technology, which really cuts down on physician burnout. Patient satisfaction is very high because they see the use of this technology. And so I think, yeah, those are important areas that we're starting to see where, you know, the technology can support the healthcare system itself. 

We expect to see anywhere-- 60 to 70 percent of healthcare leaders focusing on accelerating technology. I know, where I worked, it was a very innovative organization. The CEO and the board always looked to me to say, "How do we do more with technology versus people?" So I think that's going to be really, really important. And that impacts, you know, the electronic health record space. It can impact the, you know, enterprise resource planning space as well. So I think those are important things. And leading organizations want to use this technology, and CIOs talk to one another. And so the ability for that word to spread is very high within healthcare.

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Murphy: That's great to hear about bringing on this new technology, it helps physicians. It helps patients. It helps ensure accuracy. Yeah, really hitting that point of decreasing that provider burnout, too, and really helping CIOs, make the most of-the change and the most impact. 

Going off of that flavor of optimism here too in the industry, half of survey respondents from this IDC research believe that the industry is thriving, yet many still do have concerns about adaptability, especially during times of uncertainty. So what advice would you give to healthcare leaders to enable this sustainable growth and future success? 

Kravitz: There's opportunities within healthcare to do different things and, and make things more sustainable and grow the organizations, which is important. One of the areas that, in particular, in healthcare that's impacted because it's so people-intensive in healthcare, right? 

70%, on average, of the cost of healthcare expense is the personnel because it's a people-intensive industry. You've got nurses at the bedside. You've got physicians. You've got surgeons. You have housekeeping and food service and everything. I mean, it's just a lot- of different personnel that are engaged in that process. So what could be more important for a healthcare system than retaining their personnel? And I'll use nursing as an example.

Nurses are so mission-critical to every aspect of healthcare, right? They are the direct caregiver. The physician is an extender of the nurse. It's not typically the physician that's at the bedside. It's the nurse that's at the bedside. And so what's, what's really important is that we can actually retain these people, you know, going forward. Healthcare systems would much, much rather retain a good person, a good employee versus having to go out and hire someone else. And the worst-case scenario, because nurses are in such demand, there's been a lot of traveler nurses that were required to hire when, COVID hit and post-COVID and some of the changes that they've had. And the challenge is they would have to pay 200 and 300% of what they're paying their own employees to hire traveler nurses. And then they don't have the continuity because they're outside. They're not as cohesive. Yes, they could do tasks. They could be responsible for the patient's care, but they don't gel well with the rest of the people in every case. So I think that's really important. I've seen that firsthand.

And I think, when we look at that, we say, "What would be better? Wouldn't it be better to have your finger on the pulse of how employees feel about the organization? Wouldn't it be better to take more frequent understandings of this?" Because typically, I would see it happen once a year, potentially twice a year, where we'd have an employee engagement. And so that would tell a story on an annual basis or semi-annual basis. But that might be too little, too late to do it that way. So you know, opportunities to get employee sentiment throughout the year at different intervals. Maybe it's once a month, maybe it's every other week. You know, you don't want to overdog employees with surveys, but you do want to get the organization to understand how employees are feeling about the organization. How do they feel like they're more engaged and part of the organization, respected by the organization? Those are such important factors for everything that's happening and the things that we need to do to be able to be successful. 

A part of this is employee sentiment to make sure you're understanding how the employees feel about the organization, how they feel like they're valued within the organization. That's so important for employees to be engaged and to stay with an organization. Modern technology can help with this. There are tools that are available in the platforms that can support this ERP solution. So I think that's really important. AI can also accelerate-- you know, artificial intelligence and machine learning can help accelerate the screening process if you need to hire someone from outside of the organization if you have openings. So you know, tools like that, I think, are prevalent-- are becoming more prevalent in the industry. I think the cloud versions of systems as a platform are extremely important because having those tools in one platform is invaluable to an organization. 

And it keeps the organizations competitive, right? It allows you to be able to provide, you know, and serve your mission as an organization. Healthcare's mission is all about the patients. They are the center of the world, and that's the way everybody has to march in that direction. They show empathy for the patients, sincerity, and they are really dedicated to the patients and the activities they serve. So workforce managing the labor cost was one thing. 

The second I'd like to talk a little bit about - I think is really valuable - is a mobile-first business approach, and operations and optimizing the use of mobile technology is really important. And you can look at this from a couple of sectors, from the employee sector and the patient sector, right? So let me use the patient sector first, then we'll go to the employee sector. From a patient's perspective during COVID, we opened up virtual visits, things like that. And actually, a lot of patients liked it. They had a mobile device, a mobile phone, or an iPad. They were able to communicate with their provider. They were able to make sure the medications are current and they can stay on their current regimen. It didn't disrupt them. It didn't cause a readmission for those patients because they had an exacerbation of their disease or illness, and I think that was really important. Also, the flexibility due to inclement weather. Like right now on the East Coast, we're about to get another four inches of snow today. So you know just those kinds of scenarios cause a lot of grief and consternation for an elderly patient trying to get to an appointment. So the flexibility and use of technology is so important from the patient's perspective, making it simple for them to get access to services. Prompting them with tools of technology that can support them is really, really important for the patient. 

Now, if you look at the employee's perspective, I think that's really important as well. And the use of mobile technologies can support nurses on the floor that are concerned about, is their pay correct? You know, did they get compensated appropriately? Were their hours all accurate? Go to their mobile device. Look at it. You can see it while you're out there on the floor and then you can use it as well for ordering supplies, validating inventory levels, things like that. And you know, the nice thing is, if you could do all that within one application, one mobile app, that's even stronger for the organization with an ERP solution. So I think those are important factors to consider.

And then finally, you know, beyond mobile is investing in the right tools, making certain, for your ERP or EHR solutions, you have the right toolset to get the job done. You're maximizing the use of technology to support their operations in the organization. So I think that's really important, things like changes in the market. You know, having the right financial or administrative or people planning tools are extremely important as market forces change the way healthcare needs to be delivered. Regulatory changes that can impact healthcare need to adjust to be able to, to really be successful in this industry and in this field. So I think those tools are really, really important going forward.

Murphy: Yeah, so many great insights there, John. Touching on your initial point, too, about retaining talent within an organization, if you have a steady group of talent that's your top talent too you don't have to retrain people every few months. You have those people that have that seniority and really understand the organization. I think that's great. And then having the tools and technology to really support that patient care, and that mobile-first is super valuable. 

Jumping into data, which we're touching on a little bit here already too. But, based on what IDC has, has found, in who they surveyed, 40% of their surveyed leaders lack confidence in their data across talent, financials, or supply chain data, which really ultimately impacts their decision-making. So how do you think organizations can evolve, so they can really trust that their data is accurate? What changes do they need to make?

Kravitz: Well, number one is governance of data. The proper governance of data is really, really important. I think, you know, what you were talking about specifically with IDC in relation to financial supply chain and other things, those are ERP functions. So I think, looking historically at ERP, and, and I know because I've had on-premise solutions that were customized, customization often derails governance. And, um, if you don't have a real-- doesn't mean that you don't have governance, but if you don't have a strong governance process, your data could get - out of control, if you will. 

Not having accurate data and not having one source of truth for the data is extremely important. I've seen this time and again where I had a lot of on-premise solutions in my data centers, and we had people customizing that to meet the business needs. And, that's not necessarily the best thing. As a matter of fact, probably 10 years ago, I remember talking to certain CIO mentors that I had, and they were pushing the idea of don't customize, configure. Change things, as you need to in a process the way it's presented to you, not necessarily changing the data at its source. And, I listened to that, and I tried to get practical examples that would make sense so when I'm talking to people, they don't think I have three eyes in my head when I'm talking about this because it sounds so weird. Uh, now it doesn't, but back then, 10 years ago, it sounded very unusual.

And so the ability to, look for an ERP solution for your financials, your supply chain, your people and payroll, and everything else, your human resources, payroll, talent management, talent acquisition, all those components, it's so much better now because the movement to the cloud affords us the ability for scalability, agility and, control over that data. Because once, once you move to the cloud, you can't customize the data or customize the application. You can only configure it for the way it's presented to your organization. And so that actually, enforces a lot of the data quality and the source of truth of that data that's so important to an organization. 

And you think about that. Why is it important? Well, it's important if you're doing analytics so you know the data that you're showing from those analytics is actually true and it can be trusted by the organization. It's important if you consider using AI and ML because while the volume of data is very important for learning algorithms with machine learning, quality of data is just as important, if not more important. So even if you had a large quantity of data but the data has got suspect data, it's not good for artificial intelligence algorithms or generative AI to do new things because it may take you down different paths that you really don't want to go.

So what's important is to, you know, have a solid solution. I think the preference now is moving to the cloud for a number of reasons. And CIOs will tell you, "The more I can do in the cloud, that provides for me standardization, less people on-prem that I have to support our data center operations." And then any enhancements that happen with all these on-premise solutions are a nightmare to keep them synchronized to the cloud solutions. 

So the more you can move to the cloud, you're actually reducing cost. It sounds like it's just the opposite because many CIOs-- when I made the decision at that place where I worked, Geisinger Health System, to move to the cloud, I analyzed the data. For the first two years, I would lose money. Year three, year four, year five, it was exponentially higher savings because we can move things there, clean up our portfolio, reduce applications, reduce costs, and then still have the agility and flexibility to grow if we need to - and we were always growing - the ability to do that, and the agility to add new applications if you need to or change business processes for the changing business environment. So those are all important factors to consider. And I think that goes a long way in data quality. Data governance is really important for sound financial decisions.

Murphy: Yeah, having all the data in one place where you can trust that it's accurate too, and then knowing that you're investing in something too. You're investing in something that's going to take you into the future, and enable you to grow, and then you don't have to worry about these other applications that you have to maintain and hope the information is accurate too. So that's super helpful insights sharing that whole picture jumping into something, on the supply chain front, you know, in healthcare, of course, supply chain has been a hot-button issue for quite some time, especially with COVID, and before and after COVID as well, too. 

But from IDC's findings, they found that healthcare providers identified operational shortcomings with their processes, with only 15% saying that their clinical sourcing and supply chain management had the best capabilities. So what do you see as the biggest pain points regarding supply chain for healthcare leaders? And what do you recommend providers look for when they're taking on supply chain solutions?

Kravitz: Yeah, I think having lived through COVID in the healthcare system and hearing repeatedly, PPE, protective equipment or personal protective equipment to work with patients who have COVID with healthy healthcare caregivers was a real challenge. 

Trying to get those protective masks and goggles and gowns and everything else that were really important, to keep the germs from spreading to healthy employees was extremely challenging. It only got worse as time went by because COVID touched the whole world, right? And it impacted so many areas where we were dependent upon foreign countries to be able to provide a lot of the, uh, supplies that we needed. So having visibility into the supply chain, understand will we have the supplies? And many healthcare systems pre-COVID became so efficient that they went to just-in-time processing or just-in-time ordering for supplies to be delivered on time so they didn't have to store a lot of inventory, which could go bad and cost you a lot of money. 

And I remember this with like a hip replacement or a knee replacement, things like that. It was always a challenge since I've gotten into healthcare 30 years ago where, you know, certain surgeons wanted certain types of hips or knees or whatever else it might be. And then, all of a sudden, they haven't used them, they're in your inventory, and they go bad. Or it's not a preference anymore, they're not the leading-edge technology, and it's money wasted to the healthcare organization. 

So obviously, supply chain items are extremely important to healthcare organizations. We want to save money for healthcare organizations as much as possible. So keeping a small amount of inventory to be able to work effectively and efficiently is really important. The ability to get those supplies in a timely basis so that you don't have to cancel elective procedures, that's where a lot of money comes into healthcare organizations, are the surgical procedures and recoverability and things like that are really important for financial sustainability within a healthcare system. So you know, having the right tools, investing in the right tools, contracting with vendors so that you can almost guarantee or provide a guaranteed level with mitigation of your risk for getting those supplies, is really, really important to a healthcare system.

And I think those are factors that really play an important role for us. We didn't have that level because our technology didn't support that effectively in the past. we're starting to see where that does change, and technology is getting ahead of the curve when it comes to having visibility into our supply chain, visibility into our inventory levels to make sure we have the best-contracted pricing with certain selected vendors that we think are truly partners and not necessarily vendors. So all those factors play a role, and I think that's really important. 

And using automation, to drive more efficiency, and accuracy to make sure you do have the supplies you need. Place those reorders without a person having to go down through par levels and check every little thing. If technology can do that and support you effectively with a 90-plus percent hit rate, that's pretty good. And it ultimately ends up, saving the organization a lot of money because they haven't wasted inventory. They haven't purchased things that are going to sit on the shelf for a long period of time that could go bad, or they may not. And, it's just the efficiency and not having to have, you know, warehouse locations filled with things like that that just aren't, effective and efficient for an organization.

So I think those are factors that come into it transformation with the cloud is extremely important as well. Utilizing that type of technology where we have connections to certain, uh, clearinghouse vendors and things like that are extremely important for an organization. Then having the ability for someone in supply chain - it could be a nurse, it could be a supply chain expert on the floor, could be somebody just in the back office, who would place orders in the past or verify orders - utilize mobile technology because they're all over the place. They're moving all the time. Not necessarily having to go to find a workstation log in, find all that stuff. Have it on your phone where you have that flexibility to validate and, and have the insight into where, you know, those supplies are. And are they going to be there in time? Do we have to cancel elective surgeries? And, that's really the worst thing you want to have happen. You disappoint a customer or a patient, and you know, you're impacting your financial sustainability for an organization, so the risk level goes way up. So I think we want to leverage that technology, especially in supply chain, to mitigate the risks to the organization and to drive efficiency and visibility.

Murphy: Yeah, that's interesting and powerful too, especially, the point about mobile-first, that hits on so many things where nurses have the information they need, and then as an organization, you aren't ordering things that you don't need too. You have visibility into what you actually have in real-time as opposed to people double ordering the same supplies or not knowing what's in your back warehouse.

Jumping into AI and ML, I know we've touched on this a little bit too, and you've spoken previously about AI and ML and the capabilities for healthcare, and that's been such a hot topic, the last year or so. So IDC notes that 30% of healthcare providers are using or considering using AI and ML for automation, ordering, invoice matching, and license and credential management. We touched on this a little bit, but do you predict that that will increase? And are there any other areas of healthcare that you predict AI and ML will expand into that they haven't already?

Kravitz: Yeah, I think, with the proper use of AI, responsible AI is what we call it at Workday, and I think, we've been at this for a long time as an organization, probably 10 or 11 years, have learned a lot from it, and have decided that AI and machine learning is there to assist somebody to do their job more effectively and efficiently. it is not there to make the decisions for you., it doesn't take people out of the equation. It supports people with the right information, timely, so they can make an intelligent decision to support their organization and to continue with effective care for the patients, that's the center of what it's all about in healthcare systems. So do I think it'll increase? Yeah, I think it will, but again generative AI which I think we all see if we use Gmail, right? You're typing a response and it's suggesting some other words. You know, that's generative AI, and that's been around for a while with Google. We're starting to see that within the applications. 

I think that's really important because it looks historically at the way you've done processes and your practices, and it can start to make assertions, if you will going forward using the AI algorithms to predict how things will go in the future or serve up data so that when you need to make a decision, you don't have to go and research all that data. It's serving it up for you. What a tremendous impact to an organization. You're actually-- it's like you're adding FTEs to them that are in analytics that would do all this work. The machine's doing the work for you. So it's pretty awesome.

And I think, trusting that data, validating it, trusting it, and then using it responsibly is what's really important for an organization. I think we do a fabulous job at that at Workday. I think that will continue on. And some examples of what I've seen is, when you need to recruit talent from outside of your organization, right? You may have hundreds or a thousand resumes, for positions you're trying to fill. Well, wouldn't it be great if the machine could scan those resumes, do natural language processing to read through the resumes and looking for key elements, skills in this case to match for a position that you're posting, and then start serving up resumes to people who may have missed them because they're reading so many? It's human nature. Human error can occur, right? But the ability to serve up a certain number of those that you should look at again because these might match that better than you thought, right? And, and so if it can help you to identify, save time-- I know people in healthcare systems that have talked to me where they have 20 people in HR. That's all they're doing, is reviewing resumes all day long.

I couldn't even imagine doing that. That would probably be a pretty boring job after a while, doing that. So you know, the tools that can help you do that and save money for your organization are extremely valuable. And I know CIOs find the use of AI-- while they–they're typically, you know, developers in their early careers like I was. I was a programmer or a developer. We always want to know how things work. We want to validate the tool, validate the methodology to make sure it's right before we put our stamp of approval on it. And I think that's really important. So we talked about the facial recognition as one way of using AI. It's pretty nice when it's sub-second time. You could tell who the person is because they would have been there before, just doing a quick scan of the patient's face. Even if they had a mask on, during COVID, you still can identify who the patient is, like you can with your iPhone, right?

You [scan?] facial recognition on your iPhone. So there are capabilities to do that. And, uh, it really helps improve the processes for the organization. So you know, CIOs are looking at this as, "What's another tool that I can utilize to reduce my cost to provide a better service to our patients in our organization?" I think that's something that all CIOs are wired to do. They want to drive efficiency. They want to utilize that technology to be able to support, and utilize less resources in an organization, have the technology support that, and drive those changes. So I think high labor costs, clinical labor shortages, those are all factors that come into play. AI can help eliminate a lot of those, times, the time to be able to recruit good people, find people, efficiently and quickly will go a long way in an organization because shorter, higher times, they'll impact patient levels, care that's delivered, whether it's-- especially outpatient procedures, those can generate a lot of money for an organization. If you don't have enough staff, you have to reduce the number of procedures.

I think that helps a lot, you know, from the talent side, proper staffing, things like that are really important. I just think we can also lean on, on partners to help us, right? There are certain system integration partners or system support partners within healthcare, that we utilize at, at Workday. And I think it's important because they have a lot of experience in this field. They can provide insight because they've seen so many different healthcare organizations, and they can make recommendations to the CIO or the executive team on opportunities to maximize technology. That's important as well because you don't see everything on the inside. 

Murphy: Yeah, being able to use your clinical talent and your hospital staffing talent to really focus on strategic work and helping with that burnout from talent as well. If you can use AI and ML on tasks that can be automated, then your staff can focus on the things that are actually within their wheelhouse and are more strategic and higher-level work. 

IDC found that more health care providers are modernizing operations through major system upgrades and minor incremental improvements. With a growing interest in cloud based solutions. We know that change even if it enables a better situation is challenging. So what guidance would you give to leaders who are thinking about pursuing a technology change or are in the midst of that technology change?

Kravitz: Yeah from a past CIO's perspective, technology changes are really important. Platforms are really, really important. And, in the past, if you had a platform solution, it was probably-- you were shooting, at best, to hit the 80/20 roll, like can I get 80% of the functionality and leave out 20%? Because I'm saving money. I've consolidated. I've got an integrated solution in the platform. But that's no longer the case. That's changing dramatically, as we move to the cloud and as we provide tools like a platform like Workday's, the entire platform. It provides a lot of flexibility, configuration capabilities that allow us to do a lot more, and then the use of partners that can assist in those areas too, to do a lot more to meet the needs of the business. And, really, you don't-- you don't look at it the way it was done years and years ago. They would buy software, they would look at the business process, and they would try to customize the software for the business process, not necessarily driving the most efficiency in the business process.

Uh, but that's changed a lot. Platforms, as we talked about, are really important. The other thing you want to look at is, how do I clean up my application portfolio? If I were a CIO, how do I reduce best-of-breed solutions? They are difficult because you have to integrate them and support them. You have to upgrade them. Every time you get a software upgrade, you have to upgrade them, customize them. And then the integration can change back to your core platform. The cost is high. The people to support it is expensive. Application support and everything else is part of that. So if you can mitigate with the use of a platform a lot of these best-of-breed systems, your integration into your platform is cleaner. It's just driving efficiency and reducing cost by a lot. It's interesting because I've been engaged with customers where I speak to the CIO and I said, "You know, what do you think of this software?" And he goes, "Well, I think it's really good. It might be a little expensive." I said, "Did you look at the big picture?" And we do a value assessment for you to show you where we can clean up your environment working with you and drive efficiency and reduce costs well beyond what you would spend for new software.

And, interesting enough, once we do that, it opens a lot of eyes because they could see where efficiencies are going to be gained, costs are [left?] to be reduced. And if people leave or take other roles, they don't have to backfill those people and, and hire more people. So there is a cost savings associated with that as well. And then if you have a data center, you don't need to have all those technology people and, and everything else. Security is always a challenge. Security in the cloud is different. And, while it's still a challenge for security officers and other people, it's not quite as challenging as all these on-premise solutions. So I think that's where we can get a lot of value with one solution, substantial cost savings, and efficiency for the organization.

Murphy: Yeah, to your earlier point, about having CIOs and, and leaders step out of their day-to-day and l taking in insights from others outside the organization, to help drive that efficiency is interesting and helpful and I think will help people think about that some more. We touched on so many things, but any additional advice you'd like to share with healthcare leaders as they navigate the evolving industry?

Kravitz: Yeah, I would say first thing I would say is don't be afraid of change. Look at the big picture because everyone looks at their organization and says, "I'm so unique as a healthcare organization." I did the same thing when I was in my earlier career. But as you get exposed to the bigger world and how things are changing, there are so many industries that have moved, as an example, have moved to the cloud. Why do they move to the cloud? Well, it's more efficient. It gives you agility and scalability and other things to be able to support your business without having to worry about, do I have to order more servers and more storage and everything else that's part of that? And then I'm going to have delays in getting it. Is that going to impact my end user? Will that stop us from growing our business or acquiring another organization? Those are all factors that, quite frankly, once you get to the cloud, it's out of your head. You don't even have to worry about it. Focus on what you're there for, and that's to grow the business. Provide the tools to help the business be successful. And that's what a CIO really should be doing.

And I think by looking at the big picture, talking to others that have done it, have gone through it, and have demonstrated results,which are really favorable, opens a lot of people's eyes. But I think that's a challenge because three years ago when I was at Geisinger and I was planning to move to the cloud, and we ultimately did with AWS, I'm talking to all my CIO friends because I'm in CIO groups with them, and they're like, "You're crazy. You're going to risk that. You're going to cost your organization three times the money you're paying now." And I said, "You have to do the analysis. You have to run the numbers and work through a couple-of-years scenario until the depreciation washes out and you start to save money." And the scalability, the ability to adjust to the business need is really paramount for success for CIOs. And I think that's where they need to think about and work with-- if they need to work with, uh, a consulting group to help them, they can help them crunch and run the numbers. -It's a lot of work. It's a lot of dedication. But you have to keep an open mind and look at where the industry is going and how you can address your business needs most effectively.

Murphy: Yeah, that makes sense. I'm curious about you must have had a really good partnership with your CFO and your finance team, too. How did you establish that to get the buy-in to, to run the financial numbers on, this as well?

Kravitz: Yeah, I think I absolutely had a great relationship with our CFO, treasurer, supply chain, all of those things, and human resources and everything as well. But I think everyone is engaged, and they read a lot. They read a lot about where the industry is going, where other industries have gone. How do you compute technology most efficiently? What's the lowest cost to provide those services? And, many CIOs, they read all the time, and they're very proficient at this. So when I approached our CFO for this, he's like, "Uh, yeah, I think that makes a lot of sense." And I said, "Well, it's a radical change for us." He goes, "Well, maybe we need a radical change, and let's go. You know, let's make it happen."

It was then a matter of validating the numbers, proving that we could do it effectively and efficiently. We knew we would have a ramp-up period to get to the cloud, but that was like two and a half years. And after that, it was all cost savings, and we could start rolling, saving probably about $14 million a year of what we're spending now. And then reducing your application portfolio, which was another 15 to 20 million a year, because you simplify with platforms. So every organization is different. There is no cookie-cutter approach here, but it does take a lot of grit, and it takes a lot of hard work to get to those decisions and validating your numbers so you're comfortable in presenting that to the board of directors to get their approval for spend. And that's really important to do that. So it's, it's business 101, but you got to do the hard work to get there.

Murphy: Yeah, and having a team that's open to that change and wanting to take that leap of faith that's well calculated, of course, but having that team with that mindset, is such a great starting point that you are able to work from as well. Thanks so much, John, for all the great insights about accelerating transformation in healthcare. And thank you so much for joining the Workday Podcast.

Kravitz: It's my pleasure, Ellen. Thank you very much for having me. Appreciate it.

Murphy: We've been talking about the trends, challenges and opportunities in health care with John Kravitz, vice president and head of healthcare industry at Workday. Before we go, here's the URL one more time for the health care focus research from IDC. again, If you enjoyed what you heard today, be sure to follow us wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts, you can also find our entire catalog at I'm your host, Ellen Murphy and I hope you have a great workday.

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