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How Hillrom Leverages Technology to Improve Outcomes & Workflows

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Healthcare Insights From Our Leaders: Sven Krause, CIO

Leverage Technology to Improve Patient Outcomes and Caregiver Workflows.

What is it about what you bring to the table – what’s your special super-power – from a technology point of view? Is it a vision, is it an ability to see trends?

I think in reality, what everyone is facing – all of our customers out there, all of the health systems, all of the physicians – the new reality is around disruption. With the massive influx of attacks on hospital systems, for example, what does cybersecurity truly mean if you’re in a highly regulated and highly sensitive data environment, like a hospital or physician’s office?

A lot of our hospitals and the CIOs in our hospitals care about – how do I get to standard applications, how do I get to interoperable applications? How do I implement security in zero-trust environments, for example, and how do I optimize clinical workflows to improve outcomes for our patients? That ability, and that combination of new technologies and standardization is a unique qualifier that allowed me to jump into this role and hopefully bring Hillrom and our customers forward.

That concept of really knowing the customer inside and out is interesting to me. Can you talk about that?

In the past we used to call it customer or client intimacy. We need to understand day-to-day what we call our heroes – our nurses and our doctors – are going through every single day, in order to talk about what it even means to optimize clinical workflow or how to measure patient outcomes. That only works if we understand what they care about and what they live through every single day. What we’ve seen through COVID is one of the most significant disruptions ever that our health systems have experienced and it became clear how difficult it is if you are not standardized, if you don’t have clear clinical workflows, if you don’t know how to communicate with each other amongst the different parties within the hospital and patients.

Let’s talk about understanding hospital and health system CIOs. Tell me your thoughts about what are the needs, the challenges, that CIOs at large health systems are dealing with right now. What are they trying to solve, and then we’ll get to how you’re trying to position yourself to be a service provider of these people.

At the top of their minds is certainly security and data privacy – so how do I protect the data and the assets that I have within my hospital, for example. How do I connect and provide connectivity amongst all the different devices and capabilities within the hospital without exposing anything to the outside? And the third thing is how do I bring more standardization across my hospital? So if I have several hundred hospitals across the U.S., how do I connect them all with each other?

The connectivity and cybersecurity and the security protection around this is what they truly care about. And when we say connecting care, that doesn’t just mean the interoperability of our devices, for example, or the devices within the hospital. It also means the connectivity between the different parties within the hospital – the doctors and nurses and providers, etc.

I’d like to see if you have some advice for our health system CIOs, based on what you know. Now you haven’t been in that role, but based on what you know about what they’re dealing with, what’s your best advice to them, and what do you want them to understand about Hillrom?

Continue to be curious and walk with your eyes open. You don’t have to rush into something, but there are technologies that are advanced enough that can truly improve outcomes for the health systems and ultimately for the patients. So curiosity, balanced with speed, is something that I would give as advice.