WHCC21 | Jeff Terry

Jeff Terry
Chief Executive Officer
GE Clinical Command Centers

1. What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?

Top challenge facing healthcare systems is the post-covid rebound.  As each region of the world opens up, providers face three compounding challenges:  1) staff are already stress and strained; with many having delayed vacations and other important personal matters, 2) an influx of volume as people catch up on the millions of missed mammograms, colonoscopies and other screening, a percentage of which lead to follow-on care, and 3) patients who present are on average more acute than “normal” because the cancer or other disease was caught later due to the disrupted primary care and screening.  This leads to gridlock and overcrowding.  New proactive approaches to patient flow are needed now more than ever.

2. What motivates you to keep doing the work that you do?

The payoff for our team is making a difference for caregivers; meaning nurses, doctors, care managers, allied health.  Saving them time, seeing them smile, getting a “wow” reaction when they use our software… it’s priceless.  Caregivers are a lot like Navy SEALs.  They talk fast, move fast, think fast.  They’re loaded with communications tools and every decision has real world implications.  The big difference is Navy SEALs conduct a few missions a year whereas nursing units never stop.  Huddles, handoff, rounds… the pace and precision of caregivers is amazing.  We love helping them.

3. How have you helped your employees manage stress caused by the pandemic?

This is a big issue.  My recent reflection is that the biggest lose is watercooler conversations.  Virtual was fine for a little while.  Relationships were strong. We took steps to bolster them; support in stress; bond as best we could.  The biggest gap we’ve not been able to close is informal communication.  The quick question or introduction or clarification or joke in the coffee line, the stairwell, the parking lot, the Uber.  And let’s face it:  there are questions people don’t want to ask over Skype.  And we can’t have enough 1:1 conversations to get to them all.  As some in person meetings have resumed we’ve fielded many “trivial” questions that had become stressful for people.  Why did we make this decision?  Why did we merge team A with team B?  How did we win that client?  We’re trying harder than ever to address this but one thing is clear.  The “watercooler” is priceless.