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Episode 3: Albert Marinez + Key Takeaways

When you’re in the business of saving lives, particularly during the pandemic, you better know what you’re doing, both medically and operationally. Albert Marinez recently took over Intermountain Medical Center’s highly developed data and analytics capability, and faced his first real test this year during the pandemic. He’ll share how one of the country’s leading hospitals is also a standout high-performer when it comes to analytics.

Key Takeaways

Describe your title and role.

As Chief Analytics Officer, I lead the data and analytics strategy for Intermountain Healthcare. My responsibility revolves around taking all of the different teams and initiatives and making sure that we're bringing them together into a cohesive group and organizational structure that allows us to accelerate value creation at Intermountain.

Where does the analytics function report in the organization and who does it report into?

I report through the COO. The closer our analytics function is to the business and our operational leaders, the more effective and responsive we can be.

Is that the right place for the analytics function to report?

I've reported into the Chief Medical Officer. I've also reported into IT. If you're collaborating effectively across the organization, analytics can be successful in alignment to a number of different areas. However, there are times when the means through which we want to drive operational efficiency has to be in close partnership with our operational leaders. What I've seen in the past is different organizations—certainly IT is the classic case—viewed as being too unwieldy and unable to move at the pace that's necessary for operations.

Describe the organizational model you have adopted for analytics.

We have about 150 analytic caregivers that are aligned under my role as the Chief Analytics Officer. We also have a number of teams that are aligned to different organizational units. This includes parts of our other business lines. We keep a close connection in what we're doing as an overall organization so that our investments and our strategies are complementary to each other. All in all, we have about 300 data analytic professionals at Intermountain Healthcare.

What are four or five important qualities and behaviors of analytics leaders?

  1. Collaboration. One of the challenges that we have is the fact that this is very much a team sport. It is not an individual entity that can function independent of other activities that are going on in the organization. This requires a high level of collaboration.
  2. Emotional intelligence. We engage in the communication and partnership with different leaders, and we also show up as trusted advisors for the business problems that exist so we can have the biggest impact. Empathy is necessary when dealing with sticky situations.
  3. Storytelling. We create thousands of reports, but what's the story that you're trying to tell? Whether we're dealing with a particular initiative or talking about strategy, we've got to tell the story and use examples as we're walking through that.
  4. Problem-solving. This also rises to the top for me in terms of leadership qualities for this role.

How do you measure performance and success when it comes to analytics?

We are relentlessly focused on our operational partners and delivering on what their needs are, and ensuring those needs are in alignment with our strategic objectives. We look at the percentage of work that is aligned directly to a strategic pillar. Over time, we want to reduce the amount of work that is routine and maintenance-oriented so that we can dedicate more time to strategic initiatives. So, we measure the percent strategic time that we spend. We also measure the value that we're creating or the benefit that we are enabling. If an initiative could only be accomplished with our work as an enabling solution, then we count that as a benefit.

Also, how engaged are customers? What's our Net Promoter Score? We want to ensure that the services we provide are exceptional, and I'm proud that our Net Promoter Score is in the nineties. And finally, we look at the engagement of our caregivers overall. Like I said, it's a team sport, not only externally facing with our operational partners, but internally as well. We need all of our analytic caregivers to be engaged and excited about what they're doing, and to contribute to our overall success.

Because of our aligned structure and engaged caregivers, I'm very proud of how quickly we moved in response to COVID. Within a weekend, we had a half dozen new dashboards. Within a week, that ballooned to 20, and in the next four to six weeks, we developed content around every dimension that you could imagine. We developed over 120 dashboard solutions in about eight weeks. There was no analytic vendor that could match the speed by which we were able to execute.

For more insights from Albert, listen to the full podcast.