Innovation Through Simplification

"Health systems need to get out of the data center business," says Providence CIO BJ Moore. On this week's episode, Moore describes his strategy and rationale for accelerating cloud adoption, while consolidating and simplifying the application portfolio and infrastructure footprint at Providence.

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BJ Moore, CIO and EVP of Real Estate Strategy for Providence, has a vision for the future of healthcare informed by a career at Microsoft. In this episode of “Leader to Leader,” BJ shares that vision including his thoughts around simplifying complex healthcare systems, empowering caregivers with generative AI, and leveraging strategic partnerships to maintain a competitive edge. Learn about the passion driving Providence’s tech team to create a healthcare experience that’s efficient, patient-focused, and fulfilling for providers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Artificial intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and improve outcomes.
  • Hospitals should get out of the data center business. Moving to a cloud-based infrastructure as soon as possible is critical for scale and innovation.
  • An important part of the cloud journey is app rationalization. That means retiring underused applications and consolidating around best of breed solutions.
  • A diverse workforce can come from anywhere. You don’t always need healthcare experience to succeed in healthcare IT.

In this podcast:

  • [0:32] Introduction to BJ Moore
  • [04:43] Generative AI efficiently improves patient care
  • [18:23] Hiring people with a diverse tech background should be the focus of healthcare industry recruitment
  • [26:06] How the healthcare industry is adapting the tech industry's "fail fast" concept

Our Guest

BJ Moore

B.J. Moore is chief information officer and executive vice president of real estate operations and strategy for Providence. He is responsible for all information services transformation; cloud services; strategic planning; operations; strategy; and analysis across the system. He also oversees all real estate assets, management and operations.

Prior to joining Providence, B.J. served in multiple executive leadership roles at Microsoft, including vice president of enterprise commerce and compliance for cloud and artificial intelligence; vice president of enterprise commerce for the windows and devices group; and vice president enterprise commerce information technology. He is board chair of the Seattle CIO Leadership Network, a board member for Provider Solutions and Development, and serves on the executive client council for Nuance. As an inventor, he holds a patent for blockchain technology.

B.J. holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Business Administration, Finance/Marketing, from Colorado State University.


Narrator [00:00:48]:
From healthcare it leaders, you’re listening to leader to leader with Ben Hilmes on today’s episode. Our guest is BJ Moore, an award winning CIO and EVP of real estate operations at Providence. As a CIO, BJ draws upon deep technological expertise from his years at Microsoft to advocate for a better patient experience by utilizing cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Ben Hilmes [00:01:11]:
BJ, welcome to the show. Thanks so much for joining. I really, really appreciate your time because I know you’re one of the busiest people. I actually know your calendar, I can’t imagine what that looks like. But you play a really significant leadership role, not only from an execution level, but a strategy level at one of the largest health systems in the country. I think it’d be good for our listeners just to get a perspective of the scale of the organization and really your span of control and what you think about when you wake up every day. From a scope standpoint, sure.

BJ Moore [00:01:48]:
So let me start with my name and title. That’ll give your listeners some context. So, BJ Moore, I’m the chief information officer and also responsible for real estate strategy and operations here at Providence. So kind of a unique scope with both it as well as real estate. Providence is one of the largest health systems in the United States. As you mentioned, we’re primarily here in the west coast. In seven states, we’ve got 120,000 caregivers. We do about $27 billion in revenue.

BJ Moore [00:02:17]:
We have 52 hospitals and over 1000 clinics. So very large, diverse health system here on the west coast.

Ben Hilmes [00:02:24]:
Wow. The real estate aspect is kind of unique. There’s a couple of partners we work with that have spun off some technology companies that have included the whole real estate concept from a growth m and a perspective. So I’m starting to see more and more of that in your space. So you’re a pioneer for sure there. Every conversation I’ve had with technology leaders over seems like the past year, the first thing out of their mouth is artificial intelligence. I heard you talk at the Oracle world conference, and you distinctly separated classical or classic AI versus generative AI. And I found that pretty intriguing, I think.

Ben Hilmes [00:03:05]:
Can you help our listeners kind of understand your kind of position on that and how you think about that?

BJ Moore [00:03:11]:
Well, let me give some context of why I kind of have the two nomenclatures. So we went to our board of directors about six months ago to talk about generative AI, and the feedback immediately was like, my gosh, this sounds amazing, but this sounds risky as well. This is this new, unproven technology. How are we going to deploy it? And I immediately thought, well, no, we’ve been doing AI for a while. We’ve been doing classical artificial intelligence, machine learning. And so I educated the board. What that looked like over the last five years, that’s predictive scheduling. It’s predictive forecasts.

BJ Moore [00:03:47]:
It’s looking at supplies. It’s kind of these classical mathematical models that we’ve been using AI for a while. So it gave my board a lot of assurance that although generative AI is new, we’ve been doing AI for a while. So from then on, I kind of talk about it in two camps. There’s classical AI, which has still a lot of value, kind of the mathematical model, predictive things that we’ve been using for years, and kind of fine tune. And now generative AI, this new kind of tool in our toolbox moving forward. And just as it gave my board confidence that although it’s a new technology, we’ve had experience with AI, I find as I talk about it, it also creates a nice framework for people.

Ben Hilmes [00:04:26]:
Now, that’s great. That’s actually a really good distinction. And I assume you’ve got a full agenda on the classic side, you’re going to continue to drive. It’d be interesting to have you talk about specifically at Providence when you think about generative. Where are you guys focused right now? Because like you say, there’s lots of hype about it. People want to believe there’s massive upside, but there’s also risk components, there’s timing components, et cetera. Would love to hear what your agenda is on the generative side.

BJ Moore [00:04:59]:
I don’t mean to pick on IBM, but I’ll use that as kind of a cautionary know. When IBM came out with Watson, they immediately tried to solve cures for cancer. And so kind of learning from that mistake, doing something similar, kind of doing the opposite with generative AI, how do we start to experiment with it? How do we begin to get value out of it, but do it in a lower risk way? And so we think about generative AI in two buckets. One is the bespoke bucket where we partner with folks like Microsoft and their Azure OpenAI to build our own solutions. So inbox management as an example, something that we have in production, it’s, I think, read 70,000 messages. And what it is is it’s generative AI that reads the inbox of our clinicians within epic and triages those messages. This message is for scheduling, this message is for side effects. This is for a pharmacy reorder.

BJ Moore [00:05:54]:
And we’ve already seen huge value in it. We had somebody that used to be first and first out, so it could be three days before a doctor could get to your message, generative AI, we actually had to read the message and it alerted us that somebody was having suicidal ideation. So instead of waiting three days, first in, first out, for our doctors to get to that, we were able to put that at the top of the mailbox. So it’s not only a productivity tool for our doctors working on the messages that have the highest importance, but it’s also patient safety. In this example, we’re also using it as our chat bot. So our chat bot kind of uses classical AI for a while. Her name is Grace, and we’ve introduced generative AI with grace. And so the messages I mentioned earlier, we’ve been able to reduce those by 20% is through the discussions with grace, patients are able to get the answers that they need without ever going to a clinician or one of our caregivers.

BJ Moore [00:06:49]:
So those are examples of things that we’re doing on the bespoke side of things where we’re custom building solutions. And you can see they have clinical benefits, but we’re not asking it to make clinical decisions. How do we help our doctors or our patients become more effective? And then the other thing is partnerships, and it’s what I’m calling the easy button. I need to come up with a better framework. So we’ve got bespoke, which are a custom solution, and the easy button, which is where we’re working with partners like Microsoft and adopting their copilot technology in Office 365. We’re partnering with Epic. Epic is building a lot of great new AI capabilities integrated within their product. We’re working with Oracle.

BJ Moore [00:07:27]:
That’s why I was at Cloud world. They’re implementing a lot of great AI features into their cloud fusion product. And so I’d call that the easy button, because we can decide as a health system, do we want to turn those features on or off, tune those features, focus on the change management. So it’s easy in that we didn’t have to engineer it and we can just focus on the adoption business impact. So we’re making sure to do both, leverage our partnerships and do the easy button solutions. But also we’ve got great engineering talent. There’s things that we think we can do with this emerging technology to build bespoke solutions.

Ben Hilmes [00:07:59]:
That’s great. We’re actually going to talk about that engineering town a little later relative to competitiveness, et cetera. But before we do that, when I was with the adventist health, I walked into that health system and we had 1700 different applications across the enterprise, and we’re like, holy cow, we want to get more out of the data center business, more into our cloud journey, get some rationalization going on. I know you’ve been a proponent of simplification is a better way to go. You’re ahead of most people in the industry on that front. Talk to our listeners about how you kind of approach that coming from big tech into healthcare, and you’ve made tremendous strides there over the past several years.

BJ Moore [00:08:46]:
Yeah. So I was at Microsoft for 27 years. My last role there was in the azure division, and I helped move their commercial business from on premise to the cloud. So I had that experience firsthand. And when I joined Providence four years ago, came up with this strategic mantra around simplify, modernize and innovate. Ben, I hear you had 1700 apps at Adventist. God bless you. When I joined, we had 4000 here at Providence.

BJ Moore [00:09:11]:
I wish we only had 1700.

Ben Hilmes [00:09:12]:

BJ Moore [00:09:13]:
So that’s where simplify became our core pillar. Right? I’m not going to create 4000 great experiences. I’m not going to secure 4000 apps. I’m not going to move 4000 applications to the cloud. So how do we just retire those? And as part of that, we also standardize on platforms. So we had ten ERP systems, we moved to Oracle cloud, we had multiple instance of epic, we had Meditech, and we had all scripts. So we moved to a single instance of epic. We had multiple communications platforms, we had Zoom, we had Webex, we had teams, we standardized on teams.

BJ Moore [00:09:45]:
So that simplify was kind of a core tenant of ours. I almost think of it as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, where simplify is kind of eating, breathing, sleeping of Maslow’s if you don’t take care of those, you can’t do the more advanced things like modernize. Right? How do you, as you mentioned, how do you get out of the data center business? I always joked with my team. I don’t know that they appreciated the joke, but we’re not going to out data center our competition. People don’t come to Providence because I run a better data center. And so how do know, in this case, we leverage Microsoft Azure, leverage somebody else’s expertise to manage the data centers, to manage the workflow, the compute, the storage, the backup, those capabilities, and we can focus on our differentiation, which is providing great health care to our communities. And so that’s kind of the middle layer of Mazel’s hierarchy of needs. Maybe sending the kids to school.

BJ Moore [00:10:32]:
Right. You got to have the basics first and then you can do the modern stuff. And that really sets us up for innovation, which is really like the self actualization part of Maslow’s hierarchy of the needs. And so because we’ve been able to simplify our application ecosystem, because we’re know modern cloud platforms like Azure or Oracle’s cloud fusion, we can do that innovation. So I would like to say a year ago I saw generative AI coming. I didn’t. If we were doing this a year ago, I would have said we were still five years away. But because we had the foresight to make these investments over the last three or four years, we’re uniquely set up to really take advantage of this wave of innovation because all this innovation is happening in the cloud.

BJ Moore [00:11:15]:
You can do some of the generative AI on Prem, but if you’re not on cloud, you’re not cloud native, not leveraging partners that are in the cloud. You really can’t take advantage of these new ways of technology. So we’re very fortunate to have the insight or foresight to execute on the strategy.

Ben Hilmes [00:11:32]:
Yeah, I mean, it’s kind of ironic to think an organization your size, with your scale is actually very nimble, and it’s largely pivoted on because you’ve simplified your infrastructure. And I talked to a lot of cios and they are just dead set on having a data center and managing. What do you say to those naysayers? Because there’s still a lot of resistance out there.

BJ Moore [00:11:57]:
Again, it’s not a strategic differentiator, it’s not how you’re going to know. So for me, it was partly pragmatic. Right. Our headquarters are here in Seattle, Washington. I’m competing with Microsoft and Amazon and Google for network and data center talent. If you’re a great data center person, do you come to work for Providence, or do you go to work for Amazon? Or know, that’s a no brainer. So part of it was just, you know, obviously, I worked at Microsoft. I worked in the.

BJ Moore [00:12:28]:
So, you know, I have a strong cloud bias. But now that you see all this wave of innovation, AI requires massive compute, and that compute can’t happen on Prem. I would tell my CIO peers, on premise data centers are not differentiating. You’re painting yourself in a corner where you can only work on legacy applications. You can’t take advantage of this new wave of technology. And also, I’ll use a moving metaphor. When you move, you don’t take all the contents of your garage and just pack it up and move it to your new house. Same thing when you get out of the data center business and move to the cloud.

BJ Moore [00:13:03]:
That’s how we retired a lot of our applications. We looked at that application and said, is the usage there or the usefulness there to move it? And about 40% of the time, the answer was no. And so we use that as an opportunity to archive the data, migrate the data, and turn the application off. And we never moved that to the cloud. So that was a really strong tool of us to simplify our environment before we moved to the cloud.

Ben Hilmes [00:13:26]:
Got it. Yeah. I assume, though, you would take your cars. I know you’re a car guy. Knowing that about you.

BJ Moore [00:13:34]:
Boxes that you haven’t unpacked.

Ben Hilmes [00:13:36]:
Exactly right.

BJ Moore [00:13:37]:
Like you test ten years, I haven’t unpacked this box. It’s time to get rid of that box.

Ben Hilmes [00:13:42]:
That’s right. That is exactly right. I love that analogy. It’s really good. And you mentioned big tech. So Amazon, Microsoft, Google. I’d even throw some of the larger retailers in there. Cvs, Walmart, all of them are at some point have or are continuing to have strategies to get into healthcare.

Ben Hilmes [00:14:02]:
We’ve seen enter and leave. Enter and leave. How does Providence think about the big tech, the big retail, and relative to will they ever make a major inroad? And do you guys see them as competitor? Do you think about them as a partner?

BJ Moore [00:14:20]:
What’s the. Yeah, yeah, I think they will make know taking Amazon. Amazon has success in many, many different verticals and sectors. They’ve had a lot of starts and stops, and they’ll eventually get it right. And that’s one of the decisions why we chose not to choose AWS for our hosting. Similar to retail. When I worked at Microsoft, Walmart used to be on AWS. And they realized, you know what? Amazon is our competitor in retail.

BJ Moore [00:14:48]:
It’s maybe not the best place to host our cloud. So we were similar. We see Amazon eventually becoming a competitor, and so we chose a cloud platform that was more agnostic, but a cvs. And some of these other partners that are going to, they’re going to succeed. At some point in time, they are going to come in. So partnership can be a key to that. We provide some really big capital assets like our acute hospitals, that they’re never going to replicate or they’re never going to invest in. And so how can there be a partnership where as a consumer, you maybe get the best of both worlds? But, yeah, so far the success has not been there, but it’ll come.

BJ Moore [00:15:29]:
I’m confident it’ll come eventually.

Ben Hilmes [00:15:30]:
I think you’re right. And I think we’d be naive not to think that at some point they get it right.

BJ Moore [00:15:34]:
And we can’t let disintermediate us and just give us all the low margin, high capital business and they’re taking all the high margin, profitable business. That would be disastrous for the industry. So that’s where having the foresight and having the opportunity to partner with these partners is going to be critical.

Ben Hilmes [00:15:52]:
Yeah, I think that’s right. So staying on that line, but going to a different path here. You guys are big enough, have enough scale to hire engineering. You mentioned the strength of your engineering teams. How do you think about where do I partner? Where do know, just do it myself. And how do you differentiate between what delineates.

BJ Moore [00:16:15]:
You know, it’s case by case, but the feedback know, you take a partner like Epic. If epic isn’t going to be investing in an area, they’re actually doing really good. In the partnership with Microsoft run AI, we’re looking at the domains that they’re doing. Hey, let’s hit the easy button. Let’s partner with Epic, be early, easy, early influencers of that technology, and just adopt it. And then we look for white space where, know, Epic or Microsoft or others aren’t investing in that space. Or maybe even if eventually they’re going to invest in that space, we can have some immediate benefit. The inbox management is an example of that.

BJ Moore [00:16:53]:
Then that’s where we’ll apply our precious engineering resources. But we can never be in a competitive situation as good as my engineers are, as capable as we are here at Providence, can’t compete with Microsoft, can’t compete with Epic, can’t compete with the oracles of the world. So definitely being smart about that white space and the opportunities that we can create.

Ben Hilmes [00:17:14]:
Well, it sounds like you’ve created really rich partnerships with many of them. So I think as you identify needs, you can pull on many of those partnerships and get real important and meaningful work done.

BJ Moore [00:17:28]:
It’s all about caregiver experience. It’s all about productivity. It’s all about patient experience, patient outcomes. And so what is the most expedient way to achieve those goals? One thing I found at Microsoft, we like to custom engineer everything. If you’re an engineer, you want to engineer things, and that’s a good culture to have, especially if you’re Microsoft. But at Providence, we just don’t have that luxury. And so partnerships come first, and then custom engineering, custom development definitely comes second.

Ben Hilmes [00:17:58]:
I think that’s a great way to think about it. So, going to pivot a little bit here on just leadership. So every one of these leader to leader programs, we like to talk a little bit about just leadership in general. And I know you spend a lot of time thinking about your team, and your team is really important to get that right, and you’re probably still building that to some extent. But as you’re amassing your kind of direct team, talk to me about the kind of, how do you think about that? Different skill sets, different styles, different broad diversity, all of those things help me understand your philosophy around building a team.

BJ Moore [00:18:39]:
Yeah, and admittedly, I’ve got some subjectivity here because I have a tech background, and so diversity comes in many forms. One level of diversity that we’ve really looked at is getting non healthcare experience into these engineering roles. My observation being in healthcare for the last four years is about 20% of what we do in healthcare is unique to healthcare. But that means 80% is not unique, right? So I told partners early on, if you came in and said, hey, I’ve got this amazing healthcare network expert, the qualifier of healthcare immediately turned me off. I want a healthcare network expert. I want a network expert, I want a cyber expert. These are things that other industries are doing better. And so when I look to build up my leadership team, the type of talent I track for, those kind of roles where other industries are doing better, I actively recruit from those industries.

BJ Moore [00:19:36]:
And then things like epic. My clinical informatics, clearly, they need to have deep expertise, maybe have a background of a nurse or a doctor, that’s that differentiating 20%. They need to have great clinical experience as well as technical experience. And so that’s the balance. I look there, that’s maybe 20%. The other 80% really is unique. And maybe you’ll ask later. I’ll interject it here.

BJ Moore [00:20:04]:
That’s where we really look to India to bring in talent.

Ben Hilmes [00:20:07]:

BJ Moore [00:20:08]:
When I came four years ago, we were 100% us based workforce. And at Microsoft, we had a global workforce for the entire 27 years I worked there. And that’s something we did early on, three years ago. We now have 1300 providence employees in India.

Ben Hilmes [00:20:24]:

BJ Moore [00:20:25]:
And people immediately think it’s outsourcing or it’s labor arbitrage. It’s neither. If the price of the resources in India were exactly the same as the US, I’d still do it. Because a couple of things. You get the 24 x seven coverage, right? While we sleep, India is working and vice versa. Things like cyber and network operations are 24 x seven. As we engineer solutions. It’s great to hand a problem off to the team in India and wake up in the morning and have the problem solved.

BJ Moore [00:20:53]:
And then, as I mentioned, our headquarters are here in Seattle. I can’t afford a data scientist that could just as easily go to Amazon or Microsoft. But in India, I compete for that talent. I can pay that premium for that talent. So I’d say about 40% of my workforce comes from tech. So there are ex Microsoft employees, ex Google, Amazon, Facebook. We really get the product group engineering talent in India that I couldn’t get here in the US. So that’s been another form of diversity.

BJ Moore [00:21:25]:
Diversity of location, diversity of a talent pool, and has really upped our game.

Ben Hilmes [00:21:31]:
I love that. I mean, and part of it is by having them be associates, they get to be ingrained in your culture, and they get to know you. They’re not just somebody you don’t know. So they’re part of your team. Yeah.

BJ Moore [00:21:41]:
Outsourcing just for these kind of critical roles just wouldn’t be.

Ben Hilmes [00:21:44]:
Doesn’t work.

BJ Moore [00:21:45]:
And kids today, if you listen to kids today, they want to graduate and have purpose. So the example I have is, you’re a data scientist. You can go work for Amazon and help make the single click from 25 milliseconds to 23 milliseconds. And what level of life satisfaction do you get out of that? Or do you take your same data scientist and have insights into diabetes or cancer diagnosis these other things, so you can use your talent for good and have that community impact. And so we’re finding the ability to attract that talent is really good because we have the high quality engineers where from an engineering perspective, they can be challenged. But we offer the mission that, no offense to Microsoft or Amazon, they just can’t offer. It’s a different kind of mission that doesn’t resonate as much with kids coming out of school.

Ben Hilmes [00:22:35]:
No, I think that’s excellent. I mean, I think next to maybe the clergy, healthcare has a calling. Right. It’s one of these things that just at some point is very personal for every person on the face of the earth. And we’re all going to.

BJ Moore [00:22:51]:
Pandemic made it more personal.

Ben Hilmes [00:22:52]:
It did.

BJ Moore [00:22:53]:
The average 20 year old before the pandemic didn’t think about their health. They didn’t have to.

Ben Hilmes [00:22:58]:

BJ Moore [00:22:58]:
They were invincible. But the pandemic reminded all of us that we know fragile or life could be fragile. And so it kind of engaged everybody. There’s a lot of negative that came out of the pandemic, but mission and focus is one of the positive things that came out of the pandemic.

Ben Hilmes [00:23:13]:
I think that’s great. So you spent a lot of years at Microsoft and you’re on the finance side and then you’re in the cloud side. How does somebody from Microsoft in the finance world, who moved to the cloud world make their way to healthcare? Talk to us about that journey.

BJ Moore [00:23:31]:
Yeah. So for your listeners, my degree is actually in finance and marketing. My aspirations when I was graduating from school was to go in investment banking, never became an investment banker. My second job out of college was for Microsoft. I was actually the controller of our publishing business at Microsoft. It was before the Internet, I’m embarrassed to say. I started Microsoft before the Internet. And you learned how to write software by reading books.

BJ Moore [00:23:56]:
And I was the financial controller for that publishing business. I eventually became a revenue accountant at Microsoft doing the core revenue reporting. And the way I shifted from finance, which was my clear background, to more of an engineering, was at the time, this is in the early ninety s, the core financial systems at Microsoft were very poor and I was seen as somebody that knew finance and could teach themselves engineering. So I actually taught myself programming in the built some of the core financial systems for Microsoft. Those systems are still in use today. And so I ended up getting on more of an engineering or technical track. So my team wrote the core sales and marketing systems, core operations systems. Then my last role, although as in the Azure team, vice president of engineering and Azure team, my team was responsible for all the commercial financial systems.

BJ Moore [00:24:47]:
So the $80 billion business of selling to commercial entities, my team owned the systems that supported it. So kind of went from being the finance subject matter expert, the guy that wore both hats and did finance and wrote financial systems to my last ten years, 15 years at Microsoft. Was 100% engineering. And then after 27 years, Microsoft is an amazing company. I was too young to retire. I looked around, what could I do next? And similar to the kids that are coming out of school, wanted that purpose. I wanted that purpose as well. And I saw healthcare is ripe for digital transformation.

BJ Moore [00:25:23]:
So I saw it taking my 27 years at Microsoft, my tech experience, and bring it to healthcare, and helping healthcare be part of that digital transformation seemed exciting. If I would have known what was coming with generative AI, I would have been even more excited. I mean, I think this is going to truly transform healthcare, but that was kind of the impetus.

Ben Hilmes [00:25:44]:
I spent a lot of years, two decades in a highly competitive high tech space as well. And when I made the transition over to healthcare for very similar reasons or to the provider side, I just found the competitiveness to be sub standard or subpar from what I had experienced in the high tech space. And I took that as an opportunity. How do I challenge the to move faster, build a more competitive culture? How are you using what you learned in your 27 years in Microsoft and bringing that to your culture inside of Providence?

BJ Moore [00:26:22]:
Yeah. One thing that big tech and Microsoft is a good example is they have this concept of failing fast, right? How do you experiment, how do you do a b sampling in production? How do you bring that kind of concept to healthcare? Because healthcare, by definition, which is a good thing, is very risk adverse, right? You don’t want to fail fast on heart surgeries. How do I experiment on heart surgery? So things like that should be very tried and true and risk adverse. Unfortunately, I think that culture kind of ebbed into the core systems of health systems. And so how do you bifurcate? There’s some areas where you can’t take risk, there are areas you can take risk. And how do we take the best practices from technology companies? In this case, my knowledge at Microsoft, to fail fast, experiment, move quickly, move from waterfall, where you’re releasing something every twelve months, to agile, where you’re getting things in production every two weeks. And so far the team has adapted well. So far the benefits of the organization have been fantastic.

BJ Moore [00:27:26]:
It’s a lifetime journey. We’ll never catch up to tech, right. But at least we’re now chasing tech’s taillights versus when I came here four years ago, there was zero interest in even looking to tech for motivation or inspiration.

Ben Hilmes [00:27:42]:
That’s great. So a couple of last things here and then we can wrap. But you have a lot of things that are on your plate. But what would you say is the biggest challenge or opportunity in front of you right now. Where do you spend your time?

BJ Moore [00:27:58]:
Yeah, I think the biggest opportunities. I’m so proud that we’re on a single instance of epic. I’m so proud we’re on a single ERP and cloud fusion. But as I remind my team, even though that may have been multiple year journey, multiple hundreds of millions to get there, that’s really step one. Now that we’re on those standard platforms, how do we simplify things massively, right? How do we simplify the policy? How do we simplify the business processes? How do we make it so that those systems are truly force multipliers? I’ve said in other interviews right now in healthcare, specifically technology, one plus one equals 1.5. Our caregivers, our patients put more into a system than they get out. So my focus, my biggest challenge is how do those systems become force multipliers where one plus one equals five? Clinicians willing to put a little information into epic, because the amount of information they get out, I think generative AI is going to be a key tool of. This is huge.

BJ Moore [00:28:57]:
Right? Summarize my visit, write my case notes, analyze the blood results from the last visit to this visit. And now, all of a sudden, instead of technology being this burden, oh, my gosh, I got to spend my night at home entering into epic now. It’s like, oh, my gosh, how did I live before without this tech? So that’s my biggest challenge, is how do we make technology a force multiplier versus today it’s a burden for most of our patients and caregivers.

Ben Hilmes [00:29:26]:
So you’re going to bring back the joy of care providers? No, I love that.

BJ Moore [00:29:33]:
That’s a big mission. 50%, we estimate, of their work today is administrative and nobody went to medical school or nursing school. So 50% of their job can be administration. If they did, then they’re in the wrong profession.

Ben Hilmes [00:29:44]:
That’s right. I mean, it’s crazy. We take the most highly educated, skilled people in healthcare and we force them to the keyboard and it makes no sense. We’ve got to solve that. So, sounds like you’re well on your way in helping solve that big, big problem.

BJ Moore [00:30:00]:
And I like the language that Microsoft is using with generative AI. If you notice, their branding is copilot. It’s office 365 copilot. It’s nuanced. Dax copilot. And copilot has this very specific thing. Hey, I’m here to help you. I’m here to take some complexity out.

BJ Moore [00:30:16]:
Right. You’re not a lone pilot in the cockpit that’s trying to manage everything. You’ve got a copilot that can work the radios, put in navigation, help you look for traffic. They’re here to help. You’re ultimately still the pilot in command. You’re ultimately the person that’s responsible for the health and safety of the passengers in the plane. But now you have a copilot to help you out. And so that’s why I like to see technology, either our bespoke solutions or what we’re doing with partners.

BJ Moore [00:30:42]:
How do we have that copilot, that helper, that administrator, that person that helps our caregivers be, as you said, practice their art of medicine versus administration?

Ben Hilmes [00:30:54]:
Yeah, that’s right. One last thing. So you said you moved after 27 years from Microsoft. You’re too young to retire. You want to find something that’s given you purpose. Healthcare was kind of that choice for you. Is it paying off? Are you happy doing what you’re doing?

BJ Moore [00:31:12]:
Most of the time, I’m happy.

Ben Hilmes [00:31:13]:

BJ Moore [00:31:14]:
There’s some tough days, for sure, but if you’re doing your job right, you’re going to have some tough days. But, yeah, overall, and so proud of what we’ve done here at Providence over the last four years. And as you know, we had to simplify, modernize, innovate. We had a very specific strategy, but I had no idea how well that was going to set us up for this new thing called generative AI. Ben, maybe you knew a year ago this was coming. I didn’t. And now that it’s here, it’s like, oh, my God, thank goodness we had the foresight. So now we can really focus on adopting this new technology versus, oh, crap, we got to clean up the garage before we can take advantage of all this new tech.

Ben Hilmes [00:31:51]:
Well, for the record, I did not know it was coming a year ago.

BJ Moore [00:31:54]:
But I felt really dumb when I first saw know in January. I’m like, this thing is, did. How did they keep this a secret for me?

Ben Hilmes [00:32:01]:
Yeah, that’s right. Well, BJ, thank you so, you know, as a lifetime healthcare guy, having people like you in roles like you’re in with health systems like Providence gollies, we just need more of you. So keep doing what you’re doing. Thank you for the partnership with healthcare it leaders. We value that immensely, and we just look forward to many more years of your continued success. So thank you for being part of the program.

BJ Moore [00:32:30]:
Thank you, Ben, thanks for having me on your show, and thank you for giving us a voice to share the great work we’re doing. Here at Providence.

Ben Hilmes [00:32:41]:
I could talk to BJ for hours.

Ben Hilmes [00:32:43]:
He’s one of the leading minds in.

Ben Hilmes [00:32:44]:
Our industry and has a real vision for healthcare modernization. Here are my top takeaways from our conversation. One, artificial intelligence can make healthcare more efficient and improve outcomes. Providence already has compelling proof that AI driven workflows can save lives. Two, hospitals should get out of the data center business. Moving to a cloud based infrastructure as soon as possible is critical for scale and innovation. Three, an important part of the cloud journey is app rationalization. That means retiring underused applications and consolidating around the best of breed solutions.

Ben Hilmes [00:33:18]:
The end result is more efficiency and improved service levels. Four, a diverse workforce can come from anywhere. BJ isn’t afraid to hire engineers from other industries and from outside the US. His own background proves you don’t always need healthcare experience to succeed in healthcare. It so what did you think? What were your big takeaways from this episode? I’d love to hear from you on our social media channels or drop me an email from our Until next time, I’m Ben Hilmes.

Narrator [00:33:49]:
Thanks for joining us. For Leader to Leader. To learn more about how to fuel your own personal leadership journey through the healthcare industry, visit Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss any insights and we’ll see you on the next episode. Channel.

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