In healthcare, it seems like the only constant is change. Whether it’s patient experience or employee expectations, the pendulum is always going to be swinging. For leaders, it means being willing – and able – to pivot, said Sonney Sapra, SVP and CIO at Samaritan Health Services and Samaritan Health Plan, during a recent interview.
One of the biggest adjustments has been the transition to remote and hybrid work models. With IT talent at an all-time premium, it’s imperative for leaders to find ways to stay connected with their teams, and make sure they feel fulfilled. “They can get a paycheck anywhere; we have to be able to look at what they need in their day-to-day life,” he said.
During the discussion, Sapra talked about his team’s core objectives – which include becoming a data-driven organization and moving to 100 percent virtual; the “leap of faith” that brought him across the country; the culture of “systemness” that permeates throughout the organization; and why he became involved in ACHE’s Executive Diversity Program.
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- With team members being lured away not just by other healthcare organizations, but tech companies as well, leaders need to dig deeper to stay competitive. “We have to create an environment where we can adjust to their lifestyles and what they need.”
- Changes don’t have to be drastic to be effective; Samaritan has established standards such as reducing meeting times to 45 minutes and limiting calls after 5 p.m. to help increase employee satisfaction and productivity.
- The reason Sapra chose to come to Samaritan? “I feel like IS is valued. I feel like we are a partner in the organization. I feel like my opinion matters. I’m part of a leadership team that really does talk about everything.”
- Through his participation in ACHE’s Executive Diversity Program, Sapra is able to discuss challenges with leaders across the country and gain new perspectives. “There’s no better time to focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.”
Q&A with Sonney Sapra, CIO, Samaritan Health Services, Part 2 [Click here to view Part 1]