Podcast Episode 3 – How Microsoft is Transforming the Healthcare Industry

Steven Borg: Welcome. In this podcast, I talk with Katie Haw from Microsoft. Katie talks about two very interesting topics in this podcast. The first is what Microsoft is doing around innovation in healthcare and how they’re transforming the healthcare industry and the four major axis that they’re doing it on.

Steven Borg: Next, Katie brings up something disruptive in a hospital environment. It’s not AI, it’s not ML; it’s Microsoft Teams. And the story she weaves around how Teams has been transformative inside this hospital is a story worth listening to. Enjoy the podcast.

Steven Borg: I’m here with Katie Haw. Katie Haw runs the healthcare practice for Mid-America for Microsoft. Welcome Katie.

Katie Haw: Hey Steven, thanks so much for having me. I appreciate it.

Steven Borg: Can you give us a little background on what you do, what your role is, and what you do at Microsoft?

Katie Haw: Sure, yeah. Happy to do so. So, Microsoft reorganized as a company about a year and a half or so ago. What we did is we recognized that there were some different verticals that we felt like were underrepresented and we weren’t supporting those customers in a way that was meaningful for them. We also felt like there were some areas that weren’t being represented from a security perspective, that there were some verticals that needed a deeper visit into security as an example, with the regulations that those industries were facing. And so we split apart our healthcare and life sciences customers as well as our financial services customers into two separate vertical industries. And those two vertical industries now report in a U.S. basis as opposed to being a regional breakout.

Steven Borg: Interesting. So, that allows you to then focus more closely on their particular needs as opposed to being a more general platform company. You can dive right into their specific industry needs.

Katie Haw: Exactly. And not only do we dive into their specific industry needs, but the individuals that spend time with those customers, are only focused in their industries. So it makes the use cases that we talk about with those customers, it helps to bubble up specific issues that we’re experiencing with those customers, into the attention of our leadership team so that we can be more responsive to our customer’s needs.

Katie Haw: We at Microsoft say that we want to be customer obsessed, and it helps to enhance that customer obsession that we have with our customers today.

Steven Borg: See, I love this because as we’re talking, what’s popping in the back of my mind is a lot of listeners to this podcast are looking to disrupt their industries, or be disruptors in potentially an adjacent industry and avoid the disruption that other people might bring. So when we’re talking here, you, Microsoft in general, went through a major change in the customer focus. You mentioned customer obsession and this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that.

Katie Haw: Yeah, we really have made not only changes within our own customer base, but really we’ve been on our own journey over the last three to five years. Changing how we think about the market, and how we like to try to help our customers. We’ve really significantly operationally changed how we’re going to market, how we’re working with our customers, and really we’re bringing those specific customer use cases to our customers to talk to them about, ‘here’s how you might do things. Here’s how you might think about these types of activities and what you can learn from them’. So, would it be helpful if maybe I shared a couple of those with you?

Steven Borg: Very helpful, because you’re talking about being more specific in the healthcare case?

Katie Haw: Yeah.

Steven Borg: Show me, what’s different? What’s different there than elsewhere?

Katie Haw: So there’s a couple things that we think about first of all when we talk about, what does healthcare mean at Microsoft? The first one is we think about the patients themselves. So we talk about, how can we create personalized care for those patients?

Katie Haw: The second part of that is, how can we change the operational expenses that these customers are going through? In our provider space, for example, they’re under a lot of pressure to reduce the cost, so how can we get them into a better place operationally?

Katie Haw: The third thing that we think about is population health. We talk about care coordination, and what does it mean to look at the population statistics holistically and make improvements across that population? And one of the use cases I’m going to talk about, we’ll spend a little bit of time talking about that specifically.

Katie Haw: And then the fourth is, is around the clinician experience. So, as you may be aware, clinicians are just faced with so many new pressures and challenges. They’re trying to balance all of these things. Get to see enough patients within their seven minute time frame. And so what we’re trying to do is have them have a better experience. Make them be more productive, and have them have a better outcome with the patients, so that they’re not just having their faces stuck in their computer all the time, but they’re actually having a better outcome with each patient that they serve.

Steven Borg: That seems customer-focused. Very much so, because you’ve flipped it on its head and you’re understanding now, not just the general technology platforms that they’re using, but you’re caring very specifically about the customer’s experience being patients, even governmental-type population dynamics, where your customers are beyond just what’s being treated currently, but across the board. And then the focus on the clinicians themselves as well.

Katie Haw: Yes, exactly.

Steven Borg: I love that. That’s a good… that customer focus is what Microsoft’s kind of known for lately, is pushing that strongly.

Katie Haw: Yeah, we’ve been working at it hard. Definitely.

Steven Borg: How has that changed your life at Microsoft from before and after this shift into these focus areas?

Katie Haw: So as you think about one of the use cases that we have had most recently, is I have a provider in my space, so someone that manages about 150,000 employees. They decided to make an investment on Office 365, which is our platform of modern workplace solutions. It includes things like Teams.

Steven Borg: Okay.

Katie Haw: Which is a capability in which the clinicians can come in and use it to communicate with each other. And what we’ve found was, we had these clinicians who were meeting in a conference room on a monthly basis, semi-weekly, something like that. And someone would be missing from the coordination team. So one of the patient’s care coordinators would be missing, and so they would say, “Oh, well we can’t meet on this topic because Dr. Smith isn’t here today, and so we’re going to have to stop and we’ll have to come back pick that back up.”

Katie Haw: And what you’re seeing is, you were seeing the care wasn’t getting expeditiously treated. It was costing a lot of both time and morale issues because everybody else is waiting for somebody to show up that’s not there. They’re aggravated. Their time is valuable and they’re having to wait for that person, and so what we did is we took that experience and we moved it to Teams. And so now what you had is, you could have these physicians, these care coordinators, these nursing staff, get onto one platform. And they could review these patient cases at the time that they wanted to do it. So if they had a few minutes in between cases, or they were wrapping up for the afternoon and wanted to do this, they had the time to do it, and they could do it in this one place.

Katie Haw: And so it made the process, it made the coordination for that patient, go faster with a better outcome. And what was really cool is we’ve now got this information out there. So future patients that have maybe troublesome cases, can now have those clinicians go and look at past history of patients and say, “How did we handle this example in the past and what should we do going forward?”, to make improvements in the population that they’re serving.

Steven Borg: That’s interesting. So what’s playing through my mind right now is watching House, or it’s one of those hospital shows and all the doctors are getting together in a room and they’re hammering out this difficult problem, and the care providers. But of course on TV, they’re always, everybody’s there.

Katie Haw: Right.

Steven Borg: Of course, but what you’re seeing is a doctor gets pulled away. And so you’ve missed that interaction, but now you can still have that meeting, track those things, the second doctor, third doctor, or the nursing staff can pop in, really understand what’s happening for that patient. But really interesting to me, is that you’ve now captured that standard of care, or the approach that you took, and you can come back to that for other people in the population. Did I get that right?

Katie Haw: You did. Exactly.

Steven Borg: Now coming from, I love machine learning and AI, so I … It just pops in my head. Here’s this repository now, of these notes, these discussions, these things that I can capture and analyze to come back and understand outcomes later on and how can we track these back and then eventually come up with a better solution that might not have been obvious right at the get go. And it’s because they’re captured. That data’s captured.

Katie Haw: Well, what’s interesting about this is it helps to differentiate the care, the level of care that these patients would get at this particular provider, as opposed to other providers where they may not necessarily get that same level of care. And so, what this particular provider is trying to do, is trying to then become a … How can we make this now a revenue generating activity for them? These providers, they’re deeply troubled by their financial picture. It’s one of the areas I talked to you about when I said, what are the four things we’re trying to solve, the operational piece. One of those ways to solve it, is to also think about what can you do with the revenue, from a revenue perspective.

Steven Borg: Right.

Katie Haw: So, data is a new asset that they can be thinking about. And how can they also help to deploy Teams, as an example, to other smaller providers. How can they help them along on this journey and make this now a revenue generating activity for them as well?

Steven Borg: I love it because now you’re tying together three of those four areas, right? Maybe all four of those areas.

Katie Haw: Yeah. Yeah.

Steven Borg: Together in one thing. And when I think of Teams, or technologies, or platforms, it’s easy to get bogged down into the feature levels of the technologies. But it’s so much more important to take that up a notch, and then talk through, like you just did, what is the impact? What are the potentially lives being saved because you’re not having to postpone a meeting for another week?

Katie Haw: Exactly.

Steven Borg: And then gathering that and getting better treatments in place. That’s very exciting. I have to share my experience with Teams too because I use Teams internally. I use it to track customers, much like they would do for patients. And in the same vein, we’re tracking things like statements of work, and what we’re deciding and architectures and those sorts of things. But what I’ve found is if we put documents in Teams, I can get Delve Analytics, which is another thing in Office 365, and I just wanted to pull it out. Because it was last week, when I had a document and Delve told me, “Here’s a related document, that I might be interested in.” And what I had discovered was, one of our consultants had moved from doing one type of proposal, one architecture, to a slightly upgraded and updated architecture. And I wouldn’t have caught that, had I not seen that correlation between those two documents. And it pulled it out automatically for me.

Steven Borg: So, I love it because it’s transformative and I just had to share too that it’s not just in that patient space, but it’s available to small companies as well as … You don’t need to have 150,000 people.

Katie Haw: Right, and where we find people getting the most value out of what we do, it’s taking the technology that they’ve been given, and then leveraging it for another analytic. Another piece of information that is useful. And so you’ve really used it in a way that is how we’re hoping that the technology gets used. Is that one piece then helps to build a story that can have a better outcome. In our case, we’re driving patient outcomes. But better analytics, better productivity, those kinds of things. So we just really feel like leveraging the full suite does that. And what you just described is a great example of it.

Steven Borg: Thanks, it just popped out. Is the interesting thing. I had no… I wasn’t looking for it.

Katie Haw: Right.

Steven Borg: It’s just, those are the things that get … I don’t know how you do it in the background. Something’s happening in the back end and you’re looking at those documents and showing me similarities, and … I love that. That kind of analytics.

Katie Haw: Right, right.

Steven Borg: What’s next? What’s next for Mid-America in healthcare?

Katie Haw: There’s a couple of things that we’re working on. So one is around, as I mentioned the revenue generating aspects of this. So healthcare is under a lot of cost pressure. Another way to make an improvement in that is to focus on the top line revenue. And so, there are things that we’re doing there. One example is we’re working with a hospital that is trying to improve the outcomes of diabetics with blindness. And so, what they’re trying to do is say, okay we have… Diabetics are what a lot of times are called frequent fliers in hospitals. They are cases that have a lot of frequency coming back and they have a lot of other issues that come up as a result of being diagnosed as a diabetic.

Katie Haw: So we are working with a company that is helping us to identify patients that are at risk for blindness, because that’s a very commonly correlated problem with diabetics. So what we’re working on, is to say, “How can we help them identify, and treat early cases of blindness before they turn into full blown blindness?”

Steven Borg: Right.

Katie Haw: And so, we’re really trying to think about what can we do to help the healthcare space really grow their market? And really expand into new areas? So we’re spending quite a bit of time on that.

Steven Borg: I have to interject because that’s great for the top line revenue as a new revenue stream for hospitals, but impossible to measure the value for the diabetics who may maintain their sight.

Katie Haw: Exactly.

Steven Borg: That’s a huge… It benefits both of those and it strongly comes back to that, the very personal benefit.

Katie Haw: Right.

Steven Borg: Of the populations too.

Katie Haw: And it addresses a couple of different areas that we are trying to think about when we think about healthcare. So, both the patient experience, but then also the population of diabetics as well. And ensuring that they are not having increased blindness as a population. And then certainly as a clinician, having to prevent early onset blindness has got to really make them feel really good. So, it’s really hitting a lot of different areas for us as we focus on what we’re trying to accomplish at Microsoft in healthcare.

Steven Borg: I love it. I interrupted earlier too. I think you had one more thing you were jumping into on what’s future.

Katie Haw: Yeah, there’s one other thing that we’re really thinking about and that’s the juxtaposition between healthcare and what we can do with the population at large. So, it was just… Had a gentleman in the room with us here today talking about what are the sorts of things that are happening in our state government, or local government, and just in our federal government to address how can we pull in data to again address the broader population and where are those different points where we can do some work together? It’s still early days, but that’s something that I’m really excited about leading here in the St. Louis market.

Steven Borg: Katie, thank you very much. Is there anything else you want to add before we wrap?

Katie Haw: I think we’re good. Thanks so much Steven for having me on today. I really appreciate it.

Steven Borg: Thank you very much.

Steven Borg: Thanks for listening to the Art of Digital Disruption. At 10th Magnitude we’re proud to create the path for organizations to stay competitive and disrupt their industries. And for more information on innovation and how you can disrupt your industry, visit https://www.10thmagnitude.com/AgilityQuadrant and download our latest whitepaper. Thanks for listening!

By |2019-02-05T00:12:30+00:00October 11th, 2018|

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