What's in This Episode?
In this episode, we will discuss our MDExpo Baltimore conference takeaways and emerging big data, service management, and capital life cycle management trends.
Mike Zimmer: So we just finished up with MDExpo last week, wrapped on last Saturday. I thought it'd be a good idea to just kind of debrief, kind of wrap up and talk about some of the trends that we noticed during the conference because it was a little bit of a different vibe let's say, during this MDExpo than in previous ones that we've either presented at or in my case, I've worked the booth hat because that is my lot in life is to be the booth bade at MDExpo and then we also have on this episode we've got Matt Hooper.
Mike Zimmer: Quick intro with Matt, I'll go ahead and do that for you Matt. He's the VP of healthcare here at Accruent but he has a really strong background. Years upon years of experience within the IT space and then also experience with ServiceNow. This was his first MD Expo, so we thought we'd get sort of a noob's eyes on what the conference was. What his overall take with it was and then also he's got some experience in an area that may lend itself to kind of talk through a major trend that we saw. So with that really odd introduction,
Matt Hooper: Thanks Michael.
Mike Zimmer: Let's go ahead and get started.
Matt Hooper: I'm still stuck on the years upon years, I'm not that old.
Mike Zimmer: Let's be, I mean-
Matt Hooper: I'm not Al [Gresh 00:26:05] .
Al Gresch: No, but I'm kind of stuck on the noob thing. I've never heard Matt referred to as a noob but I think that'll stick, Mike.
Mike Zimmer: All right, that's great and it's also probably going to be my performance review. [crosstalk 00:01:56] going to lie. So Matt, thank you for taking some time-
Matt Hooper: Yeah, my pleasure guys. Listen, thanks for having me on this incredibly, overwhelmingly popular podcast. I thought the event was great. You know, I've done events for 25 years. Attended them as a practitioner, as a buyer, as a booth babe as Michael likes to call himself and standing on both sides of the table, these events get really dry. You had gone from the days of hocking wares to try to stand out and be different and when everybody's trying to be different than everybody's the same. So it doesn't really translate I think into, how do I walk into this expo hall and take some value.
Matt Hooper: And so I had never heard of a reverse expo before and when it was proposed to me, I was a little bit lost and didn't know what to expect and so for those who don't know what a reverse expo is, MDExpo has this concept where instead of having buyers and practitioners walk around the expo hall, loading up their bag with chotchkies, usually two of them, because they have two kids now, it's the average age so the two lightsabers and the two little toys that work together. They go through a process of selecting these individuals that are in a senior level role from inside of healthcare systems and they sit them at that table and then kind of a speed dating where the vendors come in and they've chosen who they want to go meet with and they bounce around from table to table and they have eight minutes to kind of make a connection, identify what needs are there at that organization and then then in turn kind of give a little pitch and get some follow up and next steps.
Matt Hooper: So what's really interesting as the vendor which I hate that term, I consider myself to be a strategic partner but I'm a vendor, hawking my goods, if I can sit there and I can go through the 23 or the 27 different customers in that short period of time in a few hours, it really allows me to connect and for me it was beneficial because while I've been selling in to healthcare on the IT side, selling in clinical engineering and facilities management is just very different, right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: Hearing some of the pain points and sitting next to the infamous and famous, Al Gresh, I got to hear some good war stories and I got to hear some commonalities and I probably now dream about cost of service in ways I never thought I would but this is the G show, so we're going to keep this clean here Al, but that whole interaction was really powerful for me because I got to see the trends, between one after the other, the other right? Regulatory compliance pressure, understanding, capital planning, knowing how to figure out I get 10 million to spend and $12 million worth of needs to spend, which 2 million puppies am I going to drown, right to get through next year.
Matt Hooper: And so that was awesome for me but even better, for the practitioners that were sitting on the other side of the table like Rob Rudnick at ProHealth called it, he called it, he goes it's the trailer before the movie, because we hadn't yet opened up the expo hall, he had just had, I don't know, 25, 30 vendors come through, tracing through talking about what's new and exciting and hot and something that they should probably go check out. He was taking notes that when he went into the expo hall, he knew exactly where he needed to go and spend a little bit more time with whatever there was 60, 70 exhibitors there. You don't have 60, 70 hours worth of expo hall time, you can't spend an hour with each, you can't even spend 20 minutes with each so, knowing where to spend time was really good.
Al Gresch: That's something that's fairly common at supply chain conferences but it was great to see that at an HTM conference because I agree with Matt wholeheartedly, it brought a lot of value. You talked to the folks in a very short time period and discern what their needs are that you have the solutions to meet, right? And you don't waste a lot of time doing demos and figuring out what's important to people, you do that in a very, very short period of time to see if what you have aligns with what they need and we got a lot out of that.
Al Gresch: One of the things I want to call out, Mike, is the one thing that was of immense interest to literally everyone that we talked to was our data insights solution. I think Matt will attest to that as well and it kind of speaks to what the trend of this conference was overall, you talked about that in the opening, that this had a little bit different vibe or a different feel to it and I would agree with you on that front.
Al Gresch: It had some of the topics that have been covered in other conferences for the past many years, including cybersecurity, right? That's not going anywhere and I would say on that front, if you aren't involved in creating a cybersecurity program at your organization, you'd better get started because you're already behind the curve but overall, I think what I saw that was much different is a much more lean towards strategic rather than tactical and you and I talked about this Mike.
Al Gresch: I think if you think about the maturity curve that I talk about in every one of the webinars that I've done, the 10 steps webinars, if you're still in that lower left hand corner of that curve, which means what you're doing today is simply regulatory compliance and break fix on low end equipment, you better start climbing up that curve because that's what your organizations really need from you.
Al Gresch: They need your organization of your department to bring that total capital life cycle management and there were just so many sessions at this conference that leaned toward that, right? So there were a few sessions on strategic planning. In fact, in my own presentation, that was a huge component of it. There were a couple of sessions targeting capital planning and strategies around how to do capital planning and that's what organizations need today. They need you, as an HTM department, to bring all of that rich data that you collect in the course of doing service, bring that to bear and make good a capital decisions.
Mike Zimmer: It's almost as if we're getting past just providing a really good solution to our customers or to the healthcare industry. Now we really can step into this higher role of being this valued partner as Matt likes to say, or this subject matter expert or consultant because not only can we provide the healthcare industry with the tools to capture this kind of data but then also coaching around how you deliver the valuable insight that you get out of this data to the C-Suite of your hospital, of your health system, et cetera and it's just really, really powerful and it's definitely stepping up what the relationship that traditionally exists between like a software vendor and its client or its customer and it's becoming much more collaborative.
Mike Zimmer: Doesn't mean that it's easy and everything's rainbows and sunshine because you want that degree of creative tension or constructive tension where it gets past just that, you know, "I pay you money for you to build this for me." And now it's like, "Let's solve these problems together and really drive the industry forward" and that-
Matt Hooper: We'll people [inaudible 00:10:31].
Mike Zimmer: Yeah, right.
Matt Hooper: They want a partnership and the reason why they want that partnership is technology has become commoditized in so many ways. Everything's a platform as a service, right? You don't go out and find a product where they say, "No, I can't do that."
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: You know, it was funny, you and I were onsite with a client and they said, "Hey, we want to talk. We really thought that we were going to get some functionality out of the box." and people love to throw that expression out of the box and my analogy was, listen, you can go and you can buy the Death Star in a Lego set, you can break the seal and you can dump it out and all of the Lego pieces come out of the box, right? Does that give you a Death Star? It does not give you a Death Star, right?
Mike Zimmer: Right
Matt Hooper: Some solutions have the planet blow up ray, there might be an actual technical expression for that beam like a shot, but I don't know what it's called but I'll call it the planet blow up ray. And then you get the power stations and you get the habitation systems may already be built, right? [Crosstalk 00:11:34] those together but the reality is that it, and particularly around big data, there is now a understanding that we don't need ticket management solutions and knowing what we're supposed to do has become very easy like we're all on teams, we are all on Office 365 and listen, at the end of the day we all brutally go back the one solution that's the worst solution for managing that, which is email.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Matt Hooper: What we need as a decision making tool and the reason why we want people to leverage those, you know, "Hey, what am I supposed to do?" or "How am I supposed to get this thing done?" Tool is so that we know did we have the right person doing the right thing in the right way at the right time.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Matt Hooper: And it's only through that baselining and looking at the deviations that we find out that we have a skills issue, we've got a skills gap, we've got a resource limitation and it allows us to go from the component break fix to the system break fix to the service break fix to the business function break fix and that's really kind of where I think IT has led this initiative to service management transformation and has demonstrated the ability to go from like a help desk queue management function [inaudible 00:12:48] performance management. It has found ways to capitalize on service integration and management where multi sourcing at different levels of components and infrastructure allow you to deliver a service at the end of the day. You don't have to own everything and I know that you guys like to talk about ISO on this podcast and that is of course is of a concern, but it's also opportunity, right? Because we can't be experts in everything and at some point we always have to look at where's the best dollar spent.
Matt Hooper: But what we see and I think a shift that's happening is for HTM is they realize, hey, we outsourced the function but we also outsource the governance and now has to make decisions on equipment replacement or service providers or do we renew the contract with ISO but I really don't have the data to make that empirical decision. And I think that's where the HTM department probably doesn't have the history that tech technology or IT has, or at least the expansiveness that IT has, now that every company is a digital company, but they've learned that. We can learn a lot from that-
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Matt Hooper: We can learn from the ITSM industry on how they were able to look at service providers, determine resources and capabilities and make a value based decision based off empirical data that says, "Hey, these are things that we should fix, not fix. These are functions we should outsource, in source, repatriate. Co-source." Right? And I think that's a testimony to the maturity of the HTM industry and some thought leadership that's going out there like we saw at MDExpo and we'll see at other conferences. I think that's why the presentations have changed as you mentioned Al.
Al Gresch: Yeah. I'll tell you guys, I did a keynote address at a MDExpo back in, I think it was 2010 and I actually talked about a lot of these kinds of things and I had a lot of people come up to me after presentation, loved what I had to say but there were many that told me, again, this didn't come from me, this came from the participants that said, "You know, this is great stuff Al, but so many people in the room here, they don't even know what foot to put in front of the other." Right? And so that's where we have to be more than a software provider.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Al Gresch: We have to be, as you said Mike, a trusted advisor, right? And I think helping our customers get to that higher level of operational and financial performance, using the tools that are available is something everyone should be looking for as we've all talked about being a partner rather than, "Here's your software, have a nice day." That just doesn't work anymore.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah, for sure and I think the best case scenario Al is for you to get on stage and go through your content or go through your presentation and then the feedback you get afterwards is... You know we saw you present that a month ago and we've already implemented the changes that you've stated, what else you got? Because that's also going to keep us like continually pushing the envelope with how we can help our customers evolve towards that best practice.
Mike Zimmer: And Matt, it is so interesting to hear you talk about ITSM and its evolution and this is the first time that you and I have talked about it where you broke it down into that component system organizational kind of remediation or break fix and it fits really nicely into the journey that a lot of our HTM facility's engineering customers are currently on, whether they know it or not.
Mike Zimmer: And it's the individuals that we come across like at MDExpo that they know that they're on that path and they're eyeing your maturity curve Al, and they're like, "I cannot wait until I'm a level three organization" and Matt, when you get to that level of organization and those are the kinds of discussions you're having both internally and externally with your partners, it makes conversations around functionality in a software we happen to provide just so boring to be really honest and it just makes the conversation quite a bit more engaging and-
Matt Hooper: I'll give you my perspective Mike, and it's funny, you're right but here's the thing that I perceive and again, being a little bit of an outsider to this space. In IT, we made the changes we needed to make and we adjusted our thinking and we adopted governance but it wasn't because we wanted to. We didn't understand the benefits of opening a ticket and closing a ticket and why I had to put my notes in the system [inaudible 00:17:41] ask for approval to make a change like I [inaudible 00:17:43] understand this stuff. I just did it because my job was on the line, right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: Or SOX told me Sarbanes-Oxley came in and said, you know, "Hey, you changed the validated system and you didn't get approval for it. And so I'm there for going to pull your drug off the street, right? And someone's going to get fired."
Matt Hooper: Like okay we'll make those changes. We really didn't understand the benefit of governance but once we kind of, they didn't forced us to do it, but once we kind of got through the reality, the fact that we were going to log incidents and requests and changes into a system that could start to then track and trend the response times for us and we throw this bat around, maybe it's a boomerang called an SLA, right? Which we always drop off the A, it's really just a service level demand, it's not a service level agreement because we didn't ask the other person if it was okay if we had this turnaround time, you know, so we use these sticks and stones in in ways and that's sometimes command and control. What happened in IT is they realized all of a sudden that the data gave them the transparency to understand how work came into their team, how it got done, and the demand on the resources in a planned or unplanned way, that really they couldn't get to the strategic things that they wanted to do and sometimes the demand was coming from other departments who themselves didn't have control over their own work, so we weren't working towards this common goal and what we found in IT, like for instance, there's a lot of IT organizations still called internal departments custom.
Matt Hooper: They never stepped and thought, "Well, who's our real customer?" Like if I'm a bank, is it the person who's walking up to the teller? Or from a healthcare system, is it the patient or is it our provider? These are the real customers and when we step back and think about the master we are all serve and all of a sudden there's an alignment shift that happens and it's not about command and control of our own department but it's command and control of the outcomes and I think that's what IT has learned probably in the last five years and why I've been such a big fan of ServiceNow is because while it does make it really easy to get things into the system, you know, opening a ticket through mobile or a self service or knowledge-based for self-service-
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: We now see the demand on our team and the justification of the resources and the improvements we need to make and where we need to make them that actually have a benefit to our business outcome and I think that's where HTN will get to, but right now, they're doing it because the joint commission is happening, right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: And so we need to get back to like Simon Sinek's The Why, get to the why they're doing that. Help them to see that by them orchestrating governance in the right way, gives us the data to justify going to training. Gives us the data to justify improving the equipment. Give us the data to justify getting rid of the vendor who's actually causing us more anxious than benefits.
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Matt Hooper: But we're at a disposition today and I think HTM can get there faster by leveraging the lessons from IT.
Al Gresch: That's a great call out Matt and it was really evidenced by some of the other presentations that were at this MD Expo. There were a couple of them on quality management systems and here were a number of organizations that are already working to get ISO 9000 certified. There was a presentation on ISO 13485 and that's to me is evidence of two things. First of all, I think one of the things driving that is the recent right to repair discussions that have taken place over the last several years but also that there are organizations that are coming up to that higher level of performance and this is a way for them to capture and quantify the quality that they're bringing, exactly in line with what IT did many years ago and having those kinds of sessions at this conference that quite frankly, I hadn't previously seen is further evidence that that's the direction we're going.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah, and I'm so happy you didn't say this term, so I get to say it but it goes back to whatever gets measured gets managed. And so the majority of our customers or the HTM industry on a whole, they've solved for compliance and now they're going what's next? And that's when ISO comes in and we start taking a look at measuring in an objective way, the quality that you're delivering through your operation. It's a really transformational time to be in this part of our industry and I for one am just so excited about the engagement that we're going to have with our clients and just people in general and the kinds of solutions that we're going to be able to bring to them.
Mike Zimmer: So in terms of podcasts bingo, we have mentioned Simon Sinek, so that's one. I said what gets measured gets managed and that's a pretty popular one too. Can we throw any other buzzwords out there that..?
Matt Hooper: Is this for those playing at home?
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Al Gresch: I don't know about buzz words but I've got some young grandkids and I will tell you that that Death Star Lego set is extremely expensive.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah and painful when you step on it in bare feet as I can also attest to personal experience. Now that we... it sounds like we're sponsored by Lego, but yeah, it really was like a phenomenal conference. You know, definitely the industry is moving into the space where a lot of things are going to start to get challenged from like a traditional software vendor customer relationship perspective as well as we face these different challenges within the healthcare industry, like how can companies like Accruent and ourselves step up to the plate and really be there for our clients. Don't want to make this like just about work or whatnot but... Yeah, so I'm really excited about the future and I think some of the trends that we talked about during this episode Al, we should probably click down into a little bit like I'd like to have a-
Matt Hooper: Thank you for not saying double click because I really hate that [crosstalk 00:24:09].
Mike Zimmer: Oh, I'm a single click. It's all about the number of clicks. A single click, a left-hand click down into things like QMS entity, ISO 9001, I can never remember the numbers and things like that but I mean after this episode, we'll definitely build out some additional topics for other episodes.
Matt Hooper: I thought the highlight of MDExpo also there was the Baltimore Marathon and Comic-Con happened at the exact same time, that was pretty [crosstalk 00:24:39].
Mike Zimmer: I wonder if anybody did both events, like they finished the marathon in their costume and they went directly to Comic-Con.
Matt Hooper: Yes, it was Flash, but no one actually saw him.
Mike Zimmer: It's like I did that on purpose but no, that was a pretty good one Matt. I'll give you credit for that, but this might be a good place to wrap it up. Anybody have any last minute things to add?
Matt Hooper: No. Thanks for letting me jump on the show and appreciate you drilling into the perspective. You know, I hope you guys start doing these at the upcoming shows too. I think shows are a great place to meet the digital in real life.
Al Gresch: Yeah.
Matt Hooper: Podcast [crosstalk 00:25:22].
Al Gresch: I'd love to pull in some of the other participants on these because there are folks that could add a lot of value to these discussions.
Mike Zimmer: Rather than just you and I talking back and forth Al?
Al Gresch: As much as we're loved in the industry Mike, yes, yes.
Mike Zimmer: Couldn't agree with you more. Okay, gentlemen. Well, that's a wrap. To anybody listening to this, thanks for listening. Let us know what topics that you might want us to cover in future episodes.
- Read Matt’s recent article, IT Service Management for Healthcare Technology: Why & How
- Download Al’s MDExpo Baltimore 2019 Session, Using Big Data And Machine Learning To Facilitate Benchmarking And Support/Defend Your AEM Program
- Watch the webinar, 10 Step to Make Your Healthcare Technology and Facility Departments a Strategic Asset