Ask Me Anything

Compliance and health with Jeffrey Tang, CTO of Contra Costa Health

IT Budgets & Strategy

February 12, 2020
min read
An image of Jeffrey Tang, CTO of Contra Costa Health

IT in healthcare comes with its own compliance minefields. In this interview, CTO Jeffrey Tang of Contra Costa Health talks to Pulse about the biggest compliance hurdles in healthcare as well as the major changes it has seen over the last two decades.

Why the move to healthcare?

I previously worked in the biopharm space and saw the changes where healthcare was needing a monumental shift in how they adopted and worked on bringing technology into the space. It has been an interesting move.

Could you describe this shift in healthcare a little bit more?

The shift really involves a couple of things. There’s the shift in mindset of providers of healthcare. I think one of the largest moments was when Kaiser announced that they would go into EMR systems during the 2000’s. That gave a lot of other providers and companies notice.

The policies were changing healthcare records and gave vital importance in the way they want to do things in order to scale up. It was very difficult for smaller clinics to provide the kind of care that their patients want, especially in the 21st century. In order to do that, they needed to understand and implement the technology that previously wasn’t done at this scale.

The change came in terms of how people were utilizing technology in their daily lives. When mass adoption takes place, it usually comes from consumers or the government trying to push the initiatives. One of them was the digitization of healthcare records from paper records. Paper records were the basis of how errors can happen; unreadable records, errors, etc.

Finding accurate points in health records, curating, and how to utilize that information in other areas have been a game changer. The next stage is utilizing AI/ML to provide insight.

What are the biggest compliance hurdles you face in your day-to-day?

Legal compliance is across the board. Every hospital has to abide in accordance with HIPAA regulations: ie ensuring healthcare records are secure. A lot of it now has to do with FedRAMP and government entities pushing industry initiatives to take care of patient data while at the same time opening the potential to share patient data.

Other initiatives for us in the technology sector would be the promotion of cybersecurity and mitigating attacks.

How easy is it for vendors to persuade an IT exec in healthcare to buy a product?

The vendors typically have a hard time, because we tend to be a little conservative. We want to make sure that the vendors abide by certain regulations and laws: HIPAA, PCI, FDA, etc.

I believe most vendors have to really look into the security aspect of their products. Does it provide the compliance and regulations that we need?

Secondly, if it doesn’t really fit into our business model or goals, I don’t see a reason to bring a vendor to the table. Whenever you change systems inside the healthcare industry, the labor in redesigning workflows can be a monumental challenge. Even an otherwise excellent product would fail if it doesn’t resolve my immediate need and is quickly adopted.

What was your most formative customer service experience?

The change occurred when we went live with our EMR systems as well as how we took note of the different challenges for the team and how to properly route the issues to the correct teams, which is again, a workflow issue. Providing proper care for the patients with simple things such as providing free WiFi goes a long way to alleviating worries.

Those are two distinct customer service experiences, but goes to show that a business model must target the proper clientele as well as understand the service or product that’s being rendered.

Access data and intelligence from thousands of verified technology CxOs, VPS, and Directors, while engaging in compelling conversations about what's top-of-mind for tech leaders today.

Join the Pulse Community

Join the executive community

Make and shape business decisions with tried-and-true advice and benchmarks from technology leaders

Executives powering Pulse

“With its survey data, Pulse skips the anecdotes and provides deep context and real numbers for the topics that are top of mind for my organization.”
Julie Cullivan photo
Julie Cullivan
Chief Technology and People Officer, Forescout
“Pulse beats any other platform, research company, Slack groups, etc. at getting me the most relevant advice and content. I rely on Pulse for all knowledge and insights. The answers are consistently exactly what I need.”
Roberto Torres photo
Roberto Torres
CTO, Taimingo
“What the IT community has needed is a vendor free, agenda free platform which encourages discussion and debate amongst peers. Pulse has nailed that in both their Q&A and timely reports.”
Lee's headshot
Lee Vorthman
CSO, Oracle
“I love that Pulse is a one-stop shop for all the peer conversations and insights that are presently super scattered and disconnected among various Slack channels and other CIO groups.”
Enrique Jenkins photo
Enrique Jenkins
Head of IT, DoorDash
“Being able to drive discussions on new tech with my peers and getting immediate feedback is exactly what has been missing until Pulse.”
Manjit Singh photo
Manjit Singh
CIO, Toyota
“For the past two weeks, the first news source I check [every morning] is Pulse. I look at Focused Five everyday. Pulse first, then Twitter, etc. You're that good.”
Miguel Borbolla Olea photo
Miguel Borbolla Olea
Director of IT, OCESA
“I’m excited for what the Pulse team have built to better connect the CIO community. It’s been exceptional for many of us in the community to get clarity and aid decision making as we develop our strategy.”
Yusuf Khan image
Yousuf Khan
CIO, Automation Anywhere
"Transformative change and real-time insights can only come from the people who are doing it day to day in an innovative way. I get a wide variety of that insight from Pulse."
Malcolm Harkins photo
Malcolm Harkins
Chief Security and Trust Officer, Cymatic