symplr CPO Brian Fugere Reflects on symplr Compass Survey Findings

The symplr Compass Survey took the temperature of healthcare technology leaders, all members of the College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), finding them motivated to digitally transform their healthcare operations despite financial pressure, widespread healthcare workforce problems, and other challenges.

Brian Fugere

Next we asked symplr's top executives to share their outlook for healthcare operations and technology.

symplr Chief Product Officer Brian Fugere's responses and reactions to the survey follow. 

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How do you define healthcare operations?   

BF: I think about initially what it’s not. It’s not the clinical EMR [electronic medical record], it’s not the more traditional financial ERP [enterprise resource planning software], it’s not revenue cycle. What it is, though, is the glue that sits in between the three of those areas within a hospital or a health system and it’s the systems and solutions that enable care to happen more efficiently and effectively because it takes the friction out of the system. It’s a catchall category for a wide range of solutions and workflows that enable a hospital and health system to do what it does to support the delivery of care.   

What 3 industry trends keep you excited about the future of healthcare operations?  

BF: The future of healthcare operations can be thought of first and foremost around consolidations. And as we found in our symplr Compass survey, there are 500 discreet processes and solutions that sit within the healthcare operations space. If one CIO [chief information officer] has to manage 50, 100, or 200 different solutions, that is an enormous, time-consuming burden.     

Consolidation is the first big trend that is going to affect healthcare operations in the coming year, two years, and three years.     

The second one is the move to the cloud. Historically operations software has lagged technologically. The promise of cloud delivery has been proven in multiple industries and other parts of healthcare, and healthcare operations are just catching up.    

The third trend is around the optimization and maximization of talent within a hospital or health system. The software that helps automate the workflows for the actual caregivers—what they use on a daily basis—is really what is going to help differentiate the quality of care that each hospital and health system can deliver.  

Consolidation is really the big one and the others will follow behind that in time.    

In the symplr survey, 84% of CIOs said a streamlined IT infrastructure is key for retaining clinicians. What can symplr do to solve that concern?  

BF: We can continue down the path that we are going on to help these systems and solutions retain their clinicians. We know that complex, hard-to-use, buggy software that is supposed to make a manual process easier is a major source of frustration for anyone who uses software. You think about it in your daily life, whether it’s on your phone or at home ... if the software doesn’t do what you think it’s supposed to do, it’s a less-than-optimal experience. So magnify that by putting yourself in the care delivery setting where you are moving quickly because potentially life or death is at risk and you need the software to just work.  

As a company that delivers healthcare software, our job is to ensure that it just works in the easiest and most intuitive way possible so that our clinicians and end users have a great experience and they are not distracted from delivering high-quality care.    

What 2022 symplr accomplishments are you proud of? 

BF: First, I am most proud of [our SaaS acceleration Initiative, which expedites all go-forward solutions as cloud-based] and what the innovation team has done—and really what the entire company has done to rally to support that major program. We are on time and we are under budget. It is really quite the accomplishment and I’m so proud of the team and everybody involved in making that happen.    

Secondly, the work we have been doing around the platform for "One symplr" is the foundation for the connected enterprise in healthcare operations. The teams led by Damon Payne, VP of platform engineering,  and Jessica Hammer, senior director of user experience, who are all working on the platform, are really the ones that deserve the credit. They have worked hard over the course of this year to deliver the initial components for our platform, which are now being consumed by the other engineering teams to really deliver and build the foundation of the connected enterprise.    

The third thing is just overall the company and its commitment to the industry and the commitment to our customers. We have a singular vision of what we need to do to help our customers be successful and we’ve all rallied around it. It’s amazing to see what happens when you get a couple thousand people all pulling in the same direction and to witness what we can deliver. We’ve done a lot this year, and 2023 is shaping up to be even bigger in a delivery perspective and that’s really exciting.  

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