WHCC20 | Interviews

Sherri Zink
Senior Vice President, Chief Data and Engagement Officer
BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee

What is the top challenge or obstacle facing health care today?
A lot of new technology requires a huge culture shift in how we deliver health care. We have to help people understand the art of the possible with the new tech. Our data science Center of Excellence will evangelize within the organization about how the tech can drive use cases – and when they meet with business line leaders, they have had “a-ha moments.”

How are you preparing your organization for an uncertain future?

From a data and analytics perspective, we just completed a 3-year strategy roadmap. We looked at the technology and pain points that we see for our business partners and what we need to do to address them. With the modern technology stack that we’re bringing in, we have to bring in education and training as well.

What has you most optimistic about the future of health care?
As we open up data interoperability and transparency through value-based care initiatives, there is a much greater opportunity to collaborate with all the constituents involved in the health care delivery – including providers, plans, consumers and pharmacists – to make decisions holistically instead of in silos.

What is your biggest goal, personal or professional, for the end of 2020?
We have been on a journey to modernize our data warehouse platform, which gives us an opportunity to move to the cloud. We’ll see more use cases and increased adoptions in 2020, and it’s exciting to see that technology being used for business value. I’m also looking forward to our data warehouse consolidation that is launching in April.

What’s the one piece of advice you would give to an aspiring health care leader?
It’s really important to develop relationships. We are driving change and innovation, and making that work within organizations requires a real cultural shift. You can implement all the technology or predictive models that you want, but if business partners can’t operationalize them or don’t see how they will benefit, then you are wasting your time. You need to figure out how technology can drive real change that benefits the people we serve.

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