HIGH FIVE! Shirlee Sharkey sits down with IntelligentCare™Architech Barry Billings
Saint Elizabeth is no ordinary 110-year-old company, and Shirlee Sharkey is no ordinary CEO. For the past 25 years, Shirlee has championed an agenda for her team that focuses on unleashing the power of people, families and communities. Using technology and innovation as enablers, she has opened the door to new care experiences and attracted diverse talent to join the organization’s flourishing hope and happiness movement. For the first ‘High Five’, Shirlee sits down with Barry Billings, Saint Elizabeth’s IntelligentCare Architech.
SS: I love your title – IntelligentCare Architech. How did you come up with that?
BB: We wanted something that was unique and captured the broader scope of my role. My primary focus, the Intelligent Care platform, combines elements of design, digital health and of course, people-powered care. The word ‘architech’ represents the fusion of technology and architecture in fun way. As the first person at Saint Elizabeth to have this title, I hope I can live up to the hype!
SS: It is such an exciting time for health care – the needs of people, technology and a growing readiness in the sector has created the environment for change. Tell me about your flagship project -- Intelligent Care?
BB: It’s a new way to approach care in the future – digital transformation at Saint Elizabeth means changing the way we work in response to a digital age and acknowledging the empowered care recipient. It means providing care when, where and how people would like to receive it. To do that, we are implementing omni-channel communication between the patient, family caregiver and health care team. Our goal is to deliver amazing human experiences with a technologies that enable on-demand health care where you are and when you need it.
SS: You’ve got an interesting background – and it is one of my core beliefs that diverse talent adds tremendous depth and insight to our work. Tell me about your career path.
BB: It has been a long and winding road! Along the way I’ve worked with start-ups, which gave me a deep understanding of the health care market, particularly the speed and risk associated with entrepreneurial pursuits and new technology. I graduated as an engineer, so I continue to approach challenges from that perspective. Since joining Saint Elizabeth, I’ve experienced a culture of innovation, where new thinking and great ideas are supported at all levels of the organization.
SS: What do you see as the strengths and opportunities in the health space?
BB: The biggest strength and opportunity is the public’s demand for their health care to be handled the way other sensitive information and activities are – like banking. People want convenience and access to information, combined with the peace of mind of knowing it is secure. Innovative technologies can play a crucial role in efficiency, simplicity and faster delivery of care that is close to home.
SS: Fast forward 5 years – what do you think Intelligent Care will look like?
BB: First, I don’t think the name will remain the same, or it won’t mean what it means today. It will still be about health care, but it will be more intuitive; and it will incorporate all of the elements patients and consumers demand. For perspective, Saint Elizabeth blazed a trail 17 years ago with e-learning, and 10 years ago we tackled mobile health. In five years, Intelligent Care will be predictive, on-demand, accessible, holistic and span across health care settings to provide a seamless and amazing client experience.