Health IT Veteran Scott Whyte recently made the transition from Dignity Health where he served as the VP IT Connectivity to his current role as the SVP for Growth and Innovation at ClearDATA, a leading supplier of cloud services to the healthcare sector. Scott has previously shared his insights from the provider perspective on solving complex interoperability challenges and implementing applications for coordinated care amongst multiple ACO participants. Healthcare IT Connect’s Rob Waters sat down with Scott to discuss his transition, how he came to work with ClearDATA during his tenure at Dignity Health and the challenges and opportunities CIOs face when they consider moving IT services to the cloud.

Rob Waters: Scott, you’ve recently made the transition from your role with Dignity Health as the VP of IT Connectivity to your current role with ClearDATA, how has the transition been so far?
Scott Whyte: It’s been a great transition. The care provider and solution provider roles are very complimentary. While at Dignity Health, I worked with ClearDATA on many innovative projects. Now that I’ve joined the ClearDATA team, I enjoy collaborating and working with healthcare executives in organizations of all types and sizes. I listen to their concerns, delve into their challenges and then share my experiences successfully achieving similar objectives. I’ve been in their shoes, there’s no substitute for that.

RW: In what capacity did you work with the ClearDATA platform at Dignity Health? How did this support your ability to support new care delivery models?
SW: Similar to most providers, I chose the ClearDATA cloud platform because it supported our focus on agility, security, and cost containment. It was my role to work with the hospitals and physicians at Dignity Health to quickly adopt new technologies and processes that would improve care in the community, guard patient data, reduce costs and establish a strong strategic position.
A great example of my work with ClearDATA related to the Clinical Integration of independent caregivers with the hospitals, enabling them to collaborate more effectively, measure care improvements and reduce cost.

RW: What are some of the common questions providers ask you when they are considering moving their data/services to the cloud?
SW: A few of the most common question are:
Where do we start?
What does it cost?
What are the benefits?
What are the challenges?
We’ve developed a consulting methodology that provides meaningful insight into a healthcare organization’s IT infrastructure, delivers pragmatic recommendations, and most importantly a roadmap for moving to the cloud. The complexities and costs of moving to the secure cloud are much less than most think. ClearDATA’s intense focus on healthcare and cloud technology has resulted in significant economies of scale.

RW: How do you see the cloud services segment evolving over the next five years and how do you envisage vendors services evolving to meet those needs?
SW: The healthcare cloud segment is exciting because we’re in the middle of rapid adoption and evolution. The demand is driven by a need to improve patient outcomes while containing or reducing costs. Moving to the cloud reduces healthcare IT costs (hardware, support, maintenance, etc.) while simultaneously improving infrastructure agility, performance and reliability. Initially we’ve seen EMR, billing and web apps move to the cloud. Over time, we’ll see imaging, big data, patient monitoring and genomics will move to the cloud to reduce implementation times and expensive upfront hardware costs.

RW: In terms of lessons learned during your time at Dignity Health what would be your one piece of advise to a CIO looking to migrate IT services to the cloud?
SW: Find the right project and the right partner and get started! It is a big win when a CIO can deliver improved speed to market, improved security and reduced cost.