Episode 17: MedTalk, Feat. Dr. Andrew Parsons
Are you interested in digital innovations in a healthcare setting? If so, our new MedTalk series is for you.
As OST works with many health systems on their IT Infrastructure and Digital Ecosystem, we’re excited to interview experts in the medical field as part of this series. On it, we will feature health professionals to learn more about their experience with technology and digital innovations in their respective fields.
On this episode we talk with Dr. Andrew Parsons, a board certified general surgeon who has been specially trained in robotic-assisted surgery.
Dr. Parsons is interviewed by Aaron Shaver, Director of Healthcare and Life Sciences at OST.
Andrew Powell: Hey everybody. On this episode, we’re talking to Dr. Andrew Parsons. Who’s a board-certified general surgeon, specially trained in robotic-assisted surgery. Cool, right? OST works with many health systems on their IT infrastructure and digital ecosystems. And we’re so excited to bring you this first episode in our medical series. Our plan is to feature health professionals like Dr. Parsons to help you learn more about the experience they’re having with technology and digital innovations in a medical setting. So Dr. Parsons is interviewed by Erin Shaver who is OSTs director of healthcare and life sciences. Enjoy.
Aaron Shaver: All right. So I think I’m going to let you introduce yourself because I looked through your CV and it’s like five pages long. And how would you like our podcast audience to know you Dr. Andrew Parsons?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well, I just stick with that. Dr. Andrew Parsons, and I’m a general surgeon. All the rest of that stuff is—
Aaron Shaver: Stuff and things.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Stuff and things.
Aaron Shaver: Fancy doctor speaking—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well, the academic tradition is to, you know, when you put stuff on or do things, you just kind of put it on your resume and you let it sit there forever. So those are just accumulated over time. And there’s a long list of things that nobody else wanted to do that had to get done. So that’s why they ended up on there.
Aaron Shaver: And you just keep building it over time.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. Add to never take off.
Aaron Shaver: Man, I’m scrolling through it. So, The Ohio State University.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: The Ohio State University.
Aaron Shaver: Okay. So here’s the thing I did not know about you. That your bachelor’s is in zoology.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Right on.
Aaron Shaver: How?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: So, when I started undergraduate, there was no—I knew I wanted to go in medical school at that point, but there was no pre-med degree at Ohio State. The university’s opinion—
Aaron Shaver: It’s The Ohio State.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: The Ohio State
Aaron Shaver: Okay, yeah.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I forget. Cause when I started, it was just Ohio State. We added the The somewhere in the middle and it was, it got all complicated. So there wasn’t any undergraduate degree for pre-medicine and they said, what you’re going to do is you’ll get a regular undergraduate degree.
Aaron Shaver: Okay, zoology is not a regular undergraduate degree.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: You’ll get an existing undergraduate degree and you’ll get all these—what you really need are the pre-recs. And then you can go into, you know, do whatever you want to from there. And they said the reason for that is twofold. Number one is it’ll make you more interesting candidate if you have a degree that’s not quote pre-medicine. It’s in something else. And number two is if on the off chance you don’t get into medical school, then you have something to fall back on. So, brilliantly I chose zoology because, you know, there’s a lot of job opportunities there.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah. So was that like your fallback, like if you didn’t become a doctor, you were going to be a zoologist?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I had no idea what I was going to do. So here’s the thing. I didn’t get admitted to medical school until late in the admission cycle. They do a lot of rolling admissions. And so I didn’t actually get admitted until it was like to the Friday before Mother’s Day, which is just before graduation. So I had been for months absolutely just sweating bullets, dying about the fact that I wasn’t going to get in medical school. I had no job afterwards. And the zoology degree didn’t prepare me to—
Aaron Shaver: You would’ve been a barista.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Oh for sure. I would have been working in some factory somewhere with undergraduate education with honors. Yeah. Not knowing what to do. And I was already trying to figure out. Had to find uh, you know, get a master’s degree in something or try to get a job in a lab or what I was going to do. And yeah, it was, that was not a good choice. And if I was gonna do it again, I would not choose zoology, but I don’t know that I would make a better decision. I’d probably end up with—
Aaron Shaver: That there is a better one.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I’d still be like a history major or something like that, which is equally as useless. But at least it would have been fun.
Aaron Shaver: All right. So talk to me a little bit about how you got into medicine. What was your original motivation? Obviously, you wanted to become a zoologist and you got that checked off your bucket list. What led to med school?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: No, it’s a giant mistake really.
Aaron Shaver: Well, your grandfather was a physician, right?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah, I’m just joking about that. My grandfather was a physician. He actually was a small-town family practice doc. You know, small town, less than a thousand people. Small town in that kind of the middle of nowhere hills in Ohio. And his oldest son, clearly also my uncle, was was also a family practice doc and he was in Columbus, so they were great examples to me. I always looked up to them as, uh, when I was a kid, especially my grandfather. And so I decided to go to medical school. And in my mind I was thinking I was going to go be a family practice doctor in a small town in Ohio, probably where I came from.
Aaron Shaver: Look at you know.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I got about two minutes of experience doing that. And I said, nope, this is not going to happen.
Aaron Shaver: So where do you, I guess, where do you see that going, like extrapolate on that for me a little bit. There’s already like provider shortages, right? Like force multiplication of caregivers of all forms, right? But especially physicians is hard. You’ve got, you know, decades of schooling and residency. You have to go with through six, seven figures worth of debt. A lot of people have to take on really low quality of life. Like, talk to me a little bit about that. Like where are we headed? And that does not seem like a recipe for success.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: It’s not, it’s a recipe for disaster. And it’s one that’s about to get—
Aaron Shaver: It’s kinda playing out right now.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: It’s playing out right now. It’s going to get dramatically worse before it gets better. And personally, I think it’s going to come to an actual crisis. And a lot of people don’t like to hear anybody say that, but I really think you’re headed for a crisis because you have highly motivated, highly intelligent, highly trained people who just don’t want to put up with the crap anymore.
Aaron Shaver: Right.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: They just don’t want to do it.
Aaron Shaver: And we’re kicking the crap more and more onto the providers.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. And we’re just, and we keep piling on. We’re going to have to do something to alleviate that burden, to shift it off into other places. And I think the most interesting thing about it to me from my perspective is a lot of the problems that I see or I feel the most are things that are self-inflicted wounds. They’re not—
Aaron Shaver: Like?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Meaning they’re not about the care of the patient. They’re about the paperwork. They’re about the billing. They’re about the EMR. They’re about the compliance issues. They’re about the government regulation. They’re about the 50,000 different types of insurance.
Aaron Shaver: Like the bureaucracy of clinical care.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: All the bureaucracy of it. And I think that if you could snap your fingers and do two things, a lot of the shortage would go away. And those two things would be removed the bureaucracy from the physician and the nurses and the providers didn’t directly—
Aaron Shaver: The people at the point of care. Take away the bureaucracy?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yup.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And all the things that go along with that. And specifically for physicians, alleviate that burden of the 24/7 care. And if you could do those two things—
Aaron Shaver: Because that’s—that quality of life’s gotta suck being on call every—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well, yeah, cause you can’t, you drive two cars to go to dinner if you want to go out. You can’t go more than 30 minutes away from the hospital. You’re always getting phone calls and then—
Aaron Shaver: When your phone goes off when you’re on call do you get that knot in the pit of your stomach—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: For sure, yeah. You’re like ugh—
Aaron Shaver: Here we go.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And you get instantly angry too. That’s the other thing—
Aaron Shaver: Not that you don’t want to care for the people but like also life. Yeah.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And so you kind of get all those things. And so I think if we could find, we need to find ways to get rid of—and we were never gonna get rid of all of it, but at least some of it. That’s gonna make a big difference cause it’s going to keep the people that are in the workforce.
Aaron Shaver: Well, yeah, if you’re already looking for ways to not do this thing, right. Which is a common theme.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And I’m not retirement age. Think about all the people that are retirement age that like one of my partners said it just recently that if it wasn’t recall, she could see herself continuing to work well into her seventies, but—
Aaron Shaver: Very physically, emotionally, intellectually taxing pieces that you can’t sustain.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yup.
Aaron Shaver: All right. So let’s talk about technology a little bit here. You mentioned it. Sometimes the EHRs are part of the bureaucracy. You’ve been, you’ve kind of been at an interesting point where you’ve seen the adoption of electronic health records in more profound ways, right, over your career. What was it like when you started? What’s your interactions with not like Biomed technology, but like information technologies. What was that like?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: When I did my first clinical rotation at The Ohio State University hospital, the only information technology that we really had that I was aware of was the labs were on the computer.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And so when you went to look up the labs that you had to go to the computer, look up the labs and we had boxes and boxes of old computer punch cards. And since they were of no use anymore, we were using them as scrap paper. And every student, every resident, the hospital had pockets of these things with notes on them about the patients. And one of our first jobs as students in the morning, we would come in and we would quote skeletonize the note. And so what that means is we come in before the residents and we would get the notes and we would get the vitals and stuff from the night shift nurses and the ins and outs in the labs off the computer.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And we would rewrite them on the paper chart note. And then we would take those around with us when we rounded on patients. And we would write to note as we rounded on patients and sign them and walk away. And that was kind of, that was my beginning. And then, you know, of course, it just progressively chunked on from there. The first real electronic medical record that I worked on was actually at the VA hospital in Dayton. They had an electronic record. 2001 before 2001, I just know about it from 2001. Clunky, horrible, largely not useful except—
Aaron Shaver: Just for charting or were you—you weren’t doing orders or meds or?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. You were.
Aaron Shaver: You were? Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. A long time ago. Orders and meds and charting.
Aaron Shaver: So you came in, you came into the clinical setting with the expectation that you’re going to be interacting with—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: So I saw that was my first year in residency and I said, okay, so this is what’s going to happen. Cause there’s no way—now the one nice thing I will say about it is it was hard system to use, but once you figured out how to use it you could find just about anything you wanted on it. And that was, if you really think about it, that was a beautiful thing. The ability to find the information, cause it was all end up being contained in there. You just had to know how to get to it. But that said, I think in my head, the expectation, okay, this is the way we’re going, because if the VA’s already doing it and then it goes, there’s no way that we’re going to not need it. And you were hearing about, well, we got to do EMR. So then I got out into private practice and everything was on paper and there were, you know, really the beginning of the initiatives to get everybody to start moving over to EHR and it was inevitable. We just had to do it.
Aaron Shaver: How do you think that has impacted some of these bureaucratic things like—you know, I think of things like some of our experiences together, in my experience in clinical settings is just like provider effectiveness like how many patients you can see, can you get the information? And I want to frame that question for you just a little bit, you know, I’ve talked to other providers about this and the nature of the clinical interactions have changed. And healthcare was in my understanding really built around this idea of it’s an episode of care. I have appendicitis. I come see you, you take it out. We’re done, right. And now we’re moving more towards this longitudinal care of like I have interactions with the health system over my entire life, and we need to maintain records there. And that’s really somehow like changed the provider-patient relationship, especially in the family practice arena, right. Because we used to have doctors that like cradle-to-grave, right. Knew us, knew our family history or diseases. And now we move a lot as a society, we change provider relationships, our insurance changes, and we get a new one over here and we’re losing that, some of the quality of that relationship. Talk to me a little bit about that and how do you see technology playing into that, that really critical piece?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well, I think the first thing, first part of the answer I wanted to say is that I think technology is currently magnifying the bureaucratic problems. Because we’re continuing to look at our job tasks and our jobs and the way we’re doing things through the same lens of that episodic care paradigm and not through the lens that we need to, which would be a more longitudinal care model. And so what we’re doing is we keep going back to the well of well, this is what we’ve been doing. This is what the doctor patient relationship has been. And this is, we need to make these new systems fit that paradigm. And the problem is that’s not going to happen. And it’s not just the electronic record that’s changing it. Like you said, people move around, a lot more insurance companies are changing doctors, more consumers are approaching healthcare much differently and how they’re going to access it. And we keep going back to the same old, this is how we used to do it. And it provides, I think just magnifies that. I’ve been on a crusade recently and it’s one I’m going to kind of stay on for a while. I hear all the time that the EHR sucks, the EHR has problems. The EHR is horrible. It’s the bane of our existence.
Aaron Shaver: Story of my life.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. And so the first question that I’ve started asking now is, okay, well, let’s be specific about what sucks about it. Is it the programming? Because this button isn’t where I wanted it to be, or there needs to be a button for this and there isn’t, or this system doesn’t talk to that system. That’s to me, that’s the programming, that’s the infrastructure of the EHR that gets fixed by one avenue or is it because of what we have asked the EHR to do and what we are forcing ourselves sometimes because if we tell it to do dumb things, it does dumb things for us.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: A great example is I’m fighting a war right now about pre-surgical history and physicals because—
Aaron Shaver: We’ve been fighting this war for eight years now.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: It got worse. So, we have to have a policy that says what needs to be in history and physical. Oh, okay. That’s a joint commission, CMS rule. They want us to define what needs to be in there. So we defined it.
Aaron Shaver: Like, what does it complete, history?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. What does it, what does that mean, you know?
Aaron Shaver: Yes.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And then and we said, well, it has these— we kind of did a knee-jerk policy cause we needed one at a rush because we were in had an impending inspection and a fallout from that and all that stuff. And so we put in this policy and we put in these elements and it looked pretty good on paper. And we found out in the EHR world that it’s really hard to, if not impossible to follow that policy.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: And the things that we’re having problems with are the H&P note. So you come in for surgery, you need an H&P note. It has to contain certain elements based on our policy, right? And then when you sign the note, then it gets locked and you can’t edit it or attend it post. And it’s what we get kind of graded on by everyone. Well, that’s an episode of—
Aaron Shaver: That’s an episode of care.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: It’s an episode of notes, episodic note. And so they want us to have, they, us, policy wants us to have in it past surgical history, past social—
Aaron Shaver: Makes it more longitudinal a little bit. Yeah?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well, okay. So those things all make sense, right? They want us to have vital signs in it. That means since you’re coming in for surgery—
Aaron Shaver: Maybe some reconciled medications
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yup, some medicines, allergies, all those things.
Aaron Shaver: Okay, great.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I promise that all of those things exist in the EHR longitudinally, and they don’t necessarily need to be captured in that particular episode. What we need to have is that information, and we need to have that information reviewed by the physician prior to you going to surgery. I agree. I absolutely should know what meds you’re on, which past surgical history is, what allergies you have. And I should have looked at your vitals to make sure you’re not trying to, you know, have a heart attack before we go back to surgery.
Aaron Shaver: Right.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: But that does not need to be contained in that episode of just that one document. And the problem we’re having is based on the timing of when the physician opens the document, when they input the information and when they sign the document and close it, sometimes not all of those elements draw into it the way it should. Vital signs being a great example. The nurse, patient comes in, gets put in a room. Nurse sees the patient, takes the vital signs and has a whole bunch of other things she has to do. The vital signs go into the computer, but they don’t—they’re in kind of a limbo state because they’re not verified yet while she’s doing that workup I come in and I see the patient. We have a conversation, I do an exam, all those things. I come out, I open my note. I write my history and physical. I sign my note. Then the nurse verifies the vitals.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Now my note doesn’t have the vitals
Aaron Shaver: Because they weren’t, they were unverified
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Because they were unverified. So we’re—and I’ve probably spent 40 or 50 hours personally on this matter.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Why are we doing this to ourselves? This is the question I always ask because that’s something that it’s not the EHR’s fault. That’s our fault.
Aaron Shaver: No, but the EHR—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: It magnified it
Aaron Shaver: It really does. It really does. Yeah. Focuses it—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Absolutely magnified it. And the other thing is made it easier to attraction. Now we know we’re doing it wrong. And so when people—and everybody’s blaming epic, it was Epic’s fault, which is our EHR. And it’s not actually Epic’s fault. It’s not their fault. The thing to do and exactly—
Aaron Shaver: It’s a tool. And so in technology a lot, we talk about things in like four buckets, right? People process access to data in technology, right. And all four of these elements come together to make a successful outcome, right? And the tool, right, the EHR in this case is the most discreet of the four. So it’s kind of easy to pick on. But like what I’m seeing more and more, right, cause I’ve grown up, you know, similar, we have a similar time horizon with technology and our experience in healthcare. And there, there were days where we didn’t have all the right tools. So technology was about acquiring the right tool for your organization. Now we seem to have like more technical tools than what’s good for a person. And it’s the adoption of the tooling that’s the hard part. Like how do you change an organization, right. To adopt a tool that is meant to help. And when we don’t adopt it, it’s like as seen on TV products, right? Like the ThighMaster and the Sham-Wow. I’m sitting in the closet, but some of this takes some real organizational discipline and culture change.
Aaron Shaver: For sure. Yeah. And so the H&P is a version of a highlight of that. It just goes on from there. And note, those are the kinds of things that I think are burning—the people love that word for providers right now, burnout, but those are the kinds of things that do it. I actually would say to somebody today, we were adopting a new tool, a technology tool not directly for patient care.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: They actually for the more the administrative side and has all these problems with it. And they’re saying, I hate, I don’t like it for this and this. And I said, you know, this tool works. And I think it works because the people that sold it to us wouldn’t sold it to us if it didn’t work cause it’s a Microsoft tool. And not that I think Microsoft is obviously best at everything.
Aaron Shaver: Sure.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: But they’re not about to sell on a mass scale an item that just isn’t viable at all. And doesn’t do the one basic thing they sell it say it’s going to do.
Aaron Shaver: You have one job here.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: You’re supposed to be able to use your computer to talk to another. And if it’s not doing that properly, I don’t think Microsoft was sold us that product. So it’s the people and the process that we’re doing and he’s like, well, yeah, but you can’t fix that all the time. I’m like, yeah. But, oh, well we need to fix that. But that’s the part—I’m like, that’s the problem here. It’s not the technology. You want to blame the technology. You want to blame the program. You can’t blame the program. You can in a lot of in a lot of instances but you need to blame it for what it did.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah. So let me loop that back to kind of some of your earlier concerns about like providers and the challenges in healthcare. And so kind of where we’ve come with this discussion is, you know, like yeah, sure. The tooling has challenges, right? Like any of it does, whether it’s Microsoft or Epic’s there’s issues, right. It continues to grow and get better over time. But the real challenge is the adoption of the technology. And what you just said there was adoption of technology is a cultural problem.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Oh, for sure.
Aaron Shaver: Right. It’s a culture of changing and adjusting and adopting new things, which healthcare isn’t historically great at.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah, not at all.
Aaron Shaver: Right. But, and that’s a subject for a whole different podcast, but in the world of healthcare now we have organizations like CVS and their minute clinics. And some of the things Amazon’s doing in healthcare organizations that have cultures, that pre-existing cultures that know how to adopt tooling. How do you think that challenges the current health care delivery organizations today?
The medicine right now likes to talk about disruptors in medicine who’s going to come in and disrupt our business. And those are the big disruptors they’re worried about, but then they don’t know how to deal with it. Um, and that I think in part is because we don’t know how to do that kind of rapid change and rapid technology adoption
Aaron Shaver: People process adoption.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah.
Aaron Shaver: And culture of innovation. Right. So let’s talk tech for just a second. If you got to be king for a day, you had a magic wand, get into any technology you want to do what problem in healthcare would you self clinical business, otherwise patient experience? I don’t care if it’s that you want to get Netflix on your TV in the OR, like what’s a problem in healthcare that you would invent a technology for?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: If I could do one thing right away, one of the things I would really love to be able to do is invent a way to give people vaccines without having stab them with a needle every time. Oh, okay. I have a daughter who has some anxiety problems and they manifest pretty severely when she goes to get her vaccines.
Aaron Shaver: I can relate, I have a phobia from needle.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. And it’s been a real challenge, you know. It’s a real challenge just this last year with the flu shot and that’s—in a way it’s a minor issue and it’s a major issue, but it’s so many people have that problem. And it prevents so many people from getting the preventative medicine that they need. And that would be, that would affect the kind of the world. I think that would be a huge issue.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Huge deal. That’d be the pie in the sky.
Aaron Shaver: You get to work with the products that a lot of IT professionals create. You have to interact with them. If you got to talk to all of the ITt professionals out there, what would you tell them? What’s your message to them?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Well I want to, one of the things I think that we’ve been dealing with recently that I always think of is the ability to the interface, the user interface with the technological whatever it is. Yeah. Okay. So if it’s EMR it’s, you know, how do we interact directly with the system? Are we, you know, touch screening? Are we pointing and clicking? Are we typing? Are we talking? How much customization do we, you know, get over that interface? Where can we, you know, move all the little buttons and see what it is we think we need to see at any given point in time. If it’s a—oh, what did we get recently. Oh, we just got a new ultrasound machine, lovely machine. You want to do a gallbladder ultrasound? You push a button that says gallbladder. You want to do a kidney ultrasound? You push a button that says kidney. Great. Yeah, on one hand, I want more customization. On the other hand, I want it simpler, no matter what it is. So I think it’s both of those things. And then if it’s not that user interface piece of—
Aaron Shaver: Well, hang on, let me talk, let me ask you a question on the user interface piece. So let me try to synthesize what you’re saying. Is it like the, hey, come walk a mile in my shoes. Is it like, think more about the user experience than the technical wizardry in the background? What are you—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Actually come walk a mile in my shoes would be great to legitimately have people really spend more time seeing that episodic point of care that we’re still delivering and see us trying to interact with the patient and having that computer screen in the room and trying to put in order so they can get their surgery all in real time.
Aaron Shaver: So if I worked for you, I would just come hunt you down and be like, look, I’m going in the OR with you. I need to see how this works. I think a lot of IT professionals are not comfortable approaching a physician like we’re going to waste your time. Do you think, like, are you recommending that the IT professionals reach out to physicians and say, hey, will you interact with me in this way? Do you think physicians would be open to that?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah, I do. You’re definitely gonna find physicians that don’t want to have that interaction that are just they’re angry. They don’t want any part of that, but you’re going to find also a whole swath of physicians out there who that’s, what they want. They want to be able to give some input and it sounds silly, but even if the input is, guys can’t we just move this one button?
Aaron Shaver: Right.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: From this spot to this spot, or, you know, can’t I just have, you know, it show up like this, whatever in a split screen or not in a split screen or, you know, those kinds of things.
Aaron Shaver: My phone work in this particular way or whatever.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. I have my phone—I’m going to pick on Epic again for a second. There’s an app for the Android phone and there’s an app for the Apple phone. If you have the app for the apple phone, you can on inpatients, put in orders. That’s fantastic. That’s wonderful. I have an Android phone. Guess what I can’t do. Can’t put in orders on inpatients.
Aaron Shaver: Yeah. That’s a big deal.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: That’s a big deal. You know, every third day on call, at home, at the kid’s basketbal,l at the kid’s basketball games, I have two basketball players and I’m on call and I’m watching the games and I’m not supposed to give a lot of verbal orders and I’m getting a text message. So I get a text message from a nurse. Can we change this? Give this patient a diet. And I either I have to call them during the basketball game, can we get a computer and log in? And it doesn’t make any sense why you can do it on one product and not another and those little things. And then I’m trying to commiserate with my friends or providers and I go I do that all the time from my apple phone.
Aaron Shaver: Okay. So I think that’s a good message, right? To send to people that are probably deep professionals in technology that it’s like, okay to cross that clinical boundaries. It’s okay to go to the floor, to ask to go in the OR, to sit and see what like a day in the life is with the technology the tooling may create.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Many of us would be absolutely ecstatic to have somebody to come do that with us.
Aaron Shaver: Well, I think that’s a great thing. So two questions everybody has to answer. First one is you live a pretty blessed life, give us an experience that you’d recommend to our listeners. Could be place you traveled, a book, you read, a food, a drink, a workout routine, meditation, whatever you want. Like what’s relevant in your life right now that you’d recommend to people listening?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I would say travel, and you could go just about anywhere, but travel to—I think two requirements to travel. Number one is it should be outside of your comfort zone. If you just travel to somewhere else in your state that doesn’t do it right.
Aaron Shaver: Right.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Outside your comfort zone a little bit. And to someplace in there—
Aaron Shaver: Okay but give us the place. Give a specific—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: So my place, probably my favorite place of the places I’ve been was I’m going to say Munich, actually.
Aaron Shaver: Munich?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah.
Aaron Shaver: I get it. What’s the experience in Munich? You just tour? The food—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: The tour and the food, the people it was different and similar all at the same time and just some of the people we met. It was a long trip. Munich was just part of it. I can still remember the guy at the laundry mat yelling at us because we wanted to wash our clothes in cold water and he yelled that cold wasn’t clean. If we want to use cold water, we had to go down to the river and then he just punched a button on the machine and started it. And we’re like, what the heck just happened?
Aaron Shaver: So getting exposure to a different culture.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah it was a different culture and it was fun. That was the good part about it.
Aaron Shaver: Good. All right. Last question. What’s your favorite game?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Favorite game? Board game, right?
Aaron Shaver: I don’t know. Can we choose video game? We got a video gamer here. He’s a big gamer. What’s the, so what’s the game?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Alright.
Aaron Shaver: All bets are off. Could be solitaire on your phone.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I mean, yeah. All time favorite. Q*bert.
Aaron Shaver: Q*bert?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Q*bert.
Aaron Shaver: Okay. Like on a classic console?
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Yeah. Like on the way back. That was probably the first video game that I really remember playing. And my brother used to beat me at it cause he was an older and I get angry, so I practiced it.
Aaron Shaver: Okay.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Until I could crush him every time. It was great.
Aaron Shaver: Okay. All right. I think I have to answer this question too. My favorite game is monopoly. I have never been defeated in monopoly in my life. It often ends in tears.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Always ends in tears.
Aaron Shaver: Always ends in tears, generally ends in me taking possession of real world items because people run out of money to pay for the hotels. I’m happy to challenge either of you to a game or anyone who’s listening. If you want to try your hand at monopoly, just bring it. Come at me. So—
Dr. Andrew Parsons: I’m good.
Aaron Shaver: You’re good. All right. So that’s it. Well, thanks for coming on our podcast. It’s always fun to talk to you and learn a little bit more about you. I thought I knew a lot about you. The zoology thing really tripped me up.
Dr. Andrew Parsons: Thanks for having me.
Lizzie Williams: OST, changing how the world connects together. For more information, go to ostusa.com.