Northeast Georgia Health System Improves Health Outcomes and Drives Mobility Innovation with Mist AI
NGHS improves community health with Juniper Mist.
A not-for-profit community hospital, Northeast Georgia Health System (NGHS) is an ambitious innovator in improving clinical and business outcomes. After working with Juniper for many years for its enterprise core, campus, and data center networking, NGHS is now shifting to Juniper’s wireless network for its hospitals and clinics. Get the full story in this interview with CIO Chris Paravate.
How Juniper’s wireless network helped NGHS respond to the COVID crisis
How technology helps health providers communicate with patients and save lives
How Juniper Mist helps improve mobility
Who is this for?
0:07 Hello everyone.
0:08 My name is Sujai Hajela and I'm the senior vice president
0:11 and general manager at Juniper Networks.
0:14 And joining me today is a special guest Chris Paravate,
0:18 Chief Information Officer at Northeast Georgia Health System.
0:22 Chris, welcome and thank you for joining us today.
0:27 Thank you, Sujai.
0:28 Glad I can join.
0:30 Really excited to talk today.
0:33 So Chris,
0:34 tell us a bit about Northeast Georgia Health System and your role there.
0:39 So, Northeast Georgia Health System, just as the title says,
0:43 is the health system for the Northeast quadrant of the state of Georgia.
0:48 We have four hospitals and over 120 care locations,
0:53 which represents roughly $1.6 billion in gross revenue.
0:59 And for IT, I'm responsible for everything IT,
1:03 that includes, 304 staff and 16,000 users.
1:13 Wow. That is impressive.
1:16 And Chris, of course we thank you and your team and the system to do what it does,
1:21 especially more amplified in the unfortunate pandemic.
1:26 We all are navigating, but today,
1:28 but I'm sure like other healthcare providers
1:32 COVID presented a number of challenges for you and your team.
1:37 Could you, if you don't mind speak a bit about
1:39 how you and your team met these challenges
1:42 and how your network helped you approach these challenges?
1:47 Yeah. So first of all, we were in a very good posture for COVID.
1:51 While a lot of IT organizations,
1:55 went remote RIT system actually got more onsite.
1:59 We completed over 134 projects,
2:02 everything from setting up a pandemic, virtual triaged tents,
2:07 in each of our facilities, standing up additional units,
2:12 we actually moved a state sponsored,
2:15 mobile COVID unit, inpatient unit, all of that, right?
2:20 And on our Juniper network,
2:21 all of it on top of our Mist wireless, we expanded our users.
2:27 The devices, our users are leveraging as well as medical devices.
2:33 And we had the scale and the capability, to respond not only to our facility,
2:39 but to other facilities in our community.
2:41 So some of our non for profit indigent care sites,
2:45 we were able to stand up with our electronic medical record,
2:49 leveraging our Juniper network to facilitate that care.
2:55 So really proud of the response that we've had to COVID
3:00 and I'm happy to see the numbers coming down.
3:04 Well, we all are,
3:05 and we all are eagerly awaiting to see when a whole country and frankly,
3:10 the globe is able to not only get the vaccines distributor,
3:14 but of course enough later.
3:17 Chris, you know, we've been speaking about this quite a bit,
3:21 as we deal with what I call the new norm,
3:25 I also, I'm aware of just the strong viewpoint on technology and how it can aid
3:34 the Northeast Georgia Health System that you're involved in.
3:38 May I request you to share how you are bringing transformation
3:41 in driving these outcomes and IT?
3:44 If you don't mind, I'd also like you to speak a bit about your mobility strategy.
3:50 Yeah, so, Sujai.
3:54 IT has the ability.
3:56 A single employee and IT
3:58 can touch more patients than a physician can touch in a lifetime.
4:02 The technology that we're implementing not only saves lives,
4:06 it also provides safety for our employees and all of our clinicians,
4:12 and so vitally important.
4:14 One of the things that we work on right now is our mobility strategy.
4:19 And at the fundamental it's communication,
4:21 how to our providers and our clinicians
4:24 communicate effectively about what's going on our patients timely.
4:28 So on top of our Mist network,
4:31 we are implementing a mobility device that is both
4:37 bring your own as well as a physical device.
4:39 We're converging that with an alerting system,
4:43 a phone directory and application delivery,
4:46 mobile device management solution,
4:49 and what that will enable
4:50 if I you could picture that for a moment,
4:54 is that a physician would be walking in from the parking lot,
4:57 we would recognize and geo-locate that provider is now in the building.
5:02 We would send that individual message,
5:04 they would log in using their credentials,
5:08 which would be a badge
5:11 when they do that phone would automatically be provisioned into the network.
5:16 Given wireless priority, download applications,
5:20 add them in the phone directory,
5:22 tie them to their patients and alert them about what's going on.
5:25 It also enables the nursing staff and the clinical staff to see that
5:30 that provider is now in the building and is responsible for these patients.
5:35 And they can simply say, yes, let me have the physician for
5:40 patient Smith, and it'll automatically connect that physician.
5:45 When that physician leaves the building,
5:48 we also deprivation that device clinically
5:52 and then work for the next assignment.
5:54 So it's incredibly innovative and it's converging several technologies,
6:01 but at the base of that technology is our Mist solution.
6:06 As you think about that communication, it has to be built on a stable platform.
6:13 That's dynamic that can work through the challenges of an aging
6:17 hospital system that has built it on buildings and configure different components.
6:23 We find that the Mist solution
6:25 is leveraging a lot of the same things we're doing in the clinical domain,
6:29 leveraging AI,
6:31 simplifying the technology stack
6:34 so that we can deliver that solution and do it in a very cohesive way.
6:40 That is definitely inspirational.
6:42 So if I want to do better phrase for my own understanding.
6:46 First of all, you are solving a big problem about the persona of the device, right?
6:52 None of us want two devices in our hands all the time, one for some stuff in second,
6:59 which is work-related by bringing the confluence of these two personalized
7:03 into one based on where you are.
7:06 That is definitely exciting.
7:09 And I would request you to also speak to our CIO Juniper Sharon Mandell about that.
7:16 You know, what I really liked
7:19 as you were shedding and morbidity strategy
7:21 and gave us an example of how you are really simplifying
7:25 the lives of the staff at your hospital,
7:29 you also mentioned making it simple.
7:32 You know, you mentioned leveraging AI to enable your mobility strategy.
7:39 And as you know, Chris,
7:40 when you and I started talking it was exciting
7:44 to see that common vision of client to cloud.
7:48 What did I even like more was when we spoke about AI,
7:52 you were very clear about it is an enabler.
7:55 It is an enabler in simplifying the operations of the network.
8:00 Could you please share how we at Juniper can support you further
8:05 in transforming the enterprise as you bring
8:09 this vision to Northeast Georgia Health System?
8:13 Sure, Sujai.
8:14 You can tell I'm super excited about this
8:17 and it speaks to where technology is changing in healthcare.
8:22 As I shared, we have 300 people in the IT division.
8:26 They're terrific people.
8:27 I have amazing staff,
8:29 but more and more technology is embedded in the business operations.
8:35 And the technical solutions changes our care delivery.
8:39 You know, a year ago we didn't do visual or video visits.
8:43 Today, we do them all day long.
8:45 It's on people's schedules, they connect.
8:47 It's one click.
8:48 It's simple.
8:49 It's a good experience for our patients and our clinicians.
8:53 It's the same thing in our technology.
8:56 Many, many years ago, Sujai, when you and I worked on technology,
9:02 we had to know programming languages.
9:04 We needed to know technical protocols,
9:07 things didn't plug in and play and work, right?
9:11 But it took an army of people to support that with an incredible amount of
9:17 intelligence and skills and technology
9:20 as you flatten and make that experience easier through AI,
9:24 through that cloud delivery.
9:25 Instead of having an army of very advanced network engineers
9:31 and partners that I need in order to run that operations,
9:34 I'm able to run it with a team.
9:37 That is then able to focus on more advanced things.
9:40 And I couldn't do that mobility, solution as an example,
9:45 if I had all my engineers focused on just configuring networks
9:49 and wireless solutions and controllers and so that using that AI,
9:55 using that cloud hosted solution
9:57 allows me to allocate those resources in more productive ways
10:03 and simply be more responsive to the business.
10:07 Thank you, Chris.
10:08 It's about the responsiveness to the business.
10:10 So, Chris, I hear you were recently named by
10:13 College of Healthcare Information Management Executives "CHIME"
10:17 as one of the nation's most wired hospitals.
10:21 Well, our wired slash Wi-Fi,
10:23 but I understand that the hospital
10:26 and the only hospital in Georgia to receive level nine certification,
10:32 that is just amazing recognition for the transformation
10:36 you're bringing to the Northeast Georgia Health System.
10:40 Could you speak to what this means to you?
10:44 So the, the CHIME recognition of most wired, it's not anything like what you described.
10:51 It is a measure of the adoption of technology into our healthcare practice.
10:57 And so what I would tell you is it's an award for the health system
11:02 in its adoption of technology.
11:04 It means nothing to stand up hardware and data centers.
11:09 It means nothing to provide technical solutions,
11:12 unless they're fully adopted into the operations.
11:16 In order to do that, you have to provide solutions that are simple and easy to adopt,
11:22 make the organization more nimble,
11:25 take away the things that are a hassle in our everyday lives,
11:29 so that people can focus on the most important work.
11:31 And so that the HIMSS Stage 7 survey is a representation of that.
11:37 We've got more work to do.
11:39 I want to be 10.
11:40 I want to be 11.
11:41 I want to be 12.
11:42 But most importantly, as you get back to the core of everything that we do,
11:50 the ability to take care of patients and be responsive
11:54 and to provide an extraordinary experience in whatever phase of life individuals are,
12:00 is the core of what our mission is.
12:02 And we cannot do that without technology,
12:07 Chris, it's really an inspiring conversation and level nine certification is no mean feat.
12:15 You know that, and I know that.
12:16 So definitely,
12:19 we would love to partner with you as you extend those certifications to higher levels.
12:24 It's always exciting when I speak with you and the mobility strategy was quite exciting.
12:32 I also feel that the insights you shared today
12:36 definitely would be of help to your peers in the industry.
12:41 As all of us are trying to understand how we can leverage technology to drive outcomes.
12:49 Thank you, Chris.
12:50 We appreciate you joining us today and sharing your insights.
12:54 Thank you, Sujai.
12:55 Good to talk to you again.