How former Disney exec Tony Ambrozie is leading digital transformation at Baptist Health South Florida

Tony Ambrozie brings a unique, customer-focused perspective to his new role as senior vice president and chief digital officer at Baptist Health South Florida.

Having joined the Miami-based health system Oct. 1 most recently from his position as senior vice president of technology and digital for The Walt Disney Co., Mr. Ambrozie is now leading BHSF’s digital transformation efforts and consumerism initiatives.

“Both Disney and BHSF are companies with great missions: one to make magic happen for guests, the other to make life better for customers and patients. And necessarily, both have a singular focus on customers at their core,” he told Becker’s Hospital Review. “My focus at Baptist Heath is to channel that customer-centric view into the digital experiences and interactions for our customers and patients to ensure ease of use, access and convenience.”

Here, Mr. Ambrozie discusses how his experience at Walt Disney will help inform his strategic initiatives at BHSF.  

Editor’s note: Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.  

Question: How will your experience at Walt Disney help influence your new position as Chief Digital Officer at BHSF?

Tony Ambrozie: Both Disney and Baptist are companies with great missions: one to make magic happen for guests, the other to make life better for customers and patients. And necessarily, both have a singular focus on customers at their core. My focus at Baptist Heath is to channel that customer-centric view into the digital experiences and interactions for our customers and patients to ensure ease of use, access and convenience. This focus, built on top of sophisticated underlying technology foundations, help us achieve meaningful interactions with our customers and patients as well as with our employees.

Q: What technologies do you see being critical to the digital transformation in healthcare? 

TA: Obviously we will expand the by-now traditional set of mobile and web technologies for user interfaces, modernizing as needed at the technology stack level. In addition, I see two other important layers. First and foremost is advanced machine learning that can be introduced at a multitude of points in the business and user flow, with the result of simplifying the customer’s experience – by offering personalized recommendations – and improving (think voice) mobile and web interactions. Second, the acceleration of using Internet of Things sensors, both for in-hospital and at-home care, by using both commercial devices such as Apple Watch as well as specialized medical devices. 

Q: As BHSF’s first chief digital officer, what is your No. 1 priority? 

TA: Baptist Health has an ambitious overarching digital transformation vision. So, first and foremost, the priority is sharpening that vision into a strategy and roadmap – defining what to do but equally important what not to do, while building up the technology execution capabilities. Profound digital transformation, not just digitization, is a relatively new phenomenon across healthcare, which makes it that much more interesting but also full of lessons to be learned in an iterative fashion.  

Q: What advice do you have for other hospital chief digital officers looking to ramp up digital engagement with consumers?

TA: My advice is applicable to any customer-facing industry. Technology must work for our customers, not the other way around. Start with the customer – needs, services, experiences and interactions – and walk back to what the technology needs to be and how it would work and work well. Customer engagement really requires being where the customer is and wants to be. 

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