Wellstar’s Chief Information and Digital Officer Weighs In on AI

June 5, 2022

// By Jane Weber Brubaker //

jane-brubakerDr. Hank Capps doesn’t think AI is going to become your doctor, but it will be a part of the technology that will be part of your care in the future.

When Dr. Hank Capps joined Wellstar in January 2021 as executive vice president and chief information and digital officer, Candice L. Saunders, president and CEO, said, “As both healthcare delivery and technology continue to evolve at a rapid pace, Wellstar is focused on how to accelerate and leverage the intersection of these two industries to improve patient care and outcomes. Dr. Capps is the experienced and visionary leader we need to define the path forward for our system and the communities we serve.”

A family medicine physician, Capps is no stranger to innovative uses of technology. He cut his teeth on what he describes as a “massive Epic rollout.” When we reached out to him, we discovered that our paths had already crossed. In his former role as senior vice president and chief digital health and engagement officer at Novant Health, he led the organization’s implementation of Zipline, a story we covered in eHST in October 2020, North Carolina Is First in Flight — Again. Zipline is a drone delivery service, and during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, Novant Health was the first U.S. health system to use it to deliver critical medical supplies to its hospitals.


Hank Capps, MD, FAAFP, executive vice president and chief information and digital officer, Wellstar

For this story, our conversation with Capps focuses on artificial intelligence (AI) and some of the ways it is transforming care delivery at Wellstar. “We think of artificial intelligence and machine learning, and any of that kind of decision augmentation support as just a part of the core of how we’re going to build out our technology platforms,” he says.

He cautions that the maturity level of AI varies depending on the use case. Here, we’ll look at the four “buckets” he identifies — how AI is being used now, and some of the innovations Wellstar is working on.

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