Eric Scoggins is one of only two data architects at WellStar Health System who can pull reports for the organization’s 15,000 employees. It gets overwhelming. For the past two years, he’s been working on a tool enabling WellStar staff to run reports themselves; but he’s had trouble achieving buy-in. Through coursework in Robinson’s Graduate Certificate in Artificial Intelligence Business Innovation, Scoggins not only built the technology back-end to make this happen but also developed a strategic plan to get colleagues on board.
“It’s definitely a huge culture change,” he said. “Healthcare is an old industry, and people are used to having their data curated for them.”
As part of his Innovation Studio course, Scoggins generated self-reporting dashboards that WellStar’s billing team and emergency department are currently testing. Before the semester even started, the required pre-reading helped Scoggins wrap his head around the best approach for developing the prototype. But the design thinking sessions are what enabled him to move forward with organizational change. Through conversations with Elizabeth Strickler, director of media entrepreneurship and innovation programs in Georgia State’s Creative Media Industries Institute, he transformed his style of working, and learned to relate everything back to the customer.
“Before I would just give people the tool and turn them loose, but now we conduct weekly meetings that are making a huge difference,” Scoggins said.
Scoggins earned MBA and M.S. in Health Administration degrees at Robinson in 2007 and 2011, respectively. The graduate certificate has offered him an opportunity to keep his skill set fresh and relevant. In his Introduction to Programming & Predictive Analytics for Business class, Scoggins is tackling Python and predictive analytics.
“The idea is to find out which medical procedures on which insurance plans need to be handled differently. With that knowledge, we can tweak our contracts, and improve performance and variability,” Scoggins said. “I’m excited to get into the cloud, apply new skills, and make a bigger difference.”