Exploring Patient-Centered Digital Health Solutions


Our latest podcast episode features Jessica Chastain, the CTO and director of IT at Clouth Health Partners, discussing the importance of leveraging technology to provide patient-centered care in healthcare, emphasizing the need for data security and privacy.

Jessica Chastain shared her experience in managing IT at Clouth Health Partners, focusing on leveraging technology for patient care. She emphasized the importance of ensuring data security and privacy in healthcare to protect patient information. Jessica discussed the role of emerging technologies like AI, VR, and AR reshaping patient-centered care and improving healthcare delivery.

Key Moments


  • Emphasizes the importance of collaboration and governance in healthcare, especially in light of recent cyber threats.
  • Discusses the need for a holistic approach when dealing with critical infrastructures like the Colonial Pipeline.
  • Highlights the significance of looking at healthcare from a broader perspective to ensure patient care and safety.

Professional Journey and Challenges

  • Jessica Chastain shares the challenges she has faced in staying relevant in the rapidly evolving IT field.
  • Discusses the need to constantly update skills and knowledge to keep up with cybersecurity threats.
  • Mentions the importance of ongoing education, including pursuing a second Master’s degree in cybersecurity.

Role of IT in Healthcare

  • Describes Jessica’s involvement in cybersecurity initiatives and partnerships at the state and federal level.
  • Highlights the critical role of governance and collaboration in addressing cyber threats in healthcare.
  • Discusses the impact of recent cyber incidents on healthcare operations and patient care.

Patient-Centered Care

  • Explores how healthcare practices prioritize patient requirements to ensure optimal care.
  • Discusses the diverse patient population served by Clam Health Partners and their focus on preventative and primary care.
  • Emphasizes the importance of advocating for patients and meeting their needs through personalized services.

Implementing Emerging Technologies

  • Discusses the potential benefits of leveraging AI and VR technologies in healthcare for improved diagnosis and patient care.
  • Highlights the importance of research, policy implementation, and data security when integrating new technologies.
  • Shares insights on utilizing technology to enhance patient-provider interactions and deliver more timely care.

Future Trends in Healthcare

  • Explores the impact of wearable devices, telemedicine, and RPM technology on reshaping patient-centered care delivery.
  • Discusses the role of technology in providing real-time health data to providers for better monitoring and decision-making.
  • Highlights the shift towards instant gratification and increased patient engagement through technology-driven healthcare solutions.

Data Security and Privacy

  • Addresses the balance between leveraging patient data for personalized care and ensuring privacy and data security.
  • Emphasizes the importance of strong security measures, policy implementation, and vendor vetting to safeguard patient information.
  • Discusses the potential risks of data breaches and the critical need to protect patient privacy in the healthcare sector.



Welcome to Digital Health Transformers, a podcast series. This podcast explores the dynamic world of healthcare innovation, one conversation at a time. I’m your host, Bryce Barger, and today, we have an all-inspiring guest at the forefront of transforming the healthcare landscape.

We are thrilled to welcome our guest, the CTO and director, Jessica Chastain, to today’s podcast. Hold on, I’m sorry. Say the name of it again to me. Now I’m going to say Klamath.




Klamath, okay. We are thrilled to welcome our guest on today’s podcast, Jessica Chastain: Jessica, CTO and director of IT at Klamath Health Partnership. Holds a vast experience of nearly a decade in information technology. With multiple certifications to her credit, Jessica is proficient at managing the various IT domains in her department. She has a clear vision of leveraging robust and cutting-edge technology in Klamath Health Partnership to ensure seamless operations and help the practice achieve its goals.

Jessica also values collaboration and innovation, which drive successful outcomes in her IT domain. Her work at Klamath Health Partners includes managing IT budgets, vendors, and staff and ensuring compliance with IT standards and protocols. Klamath Health Partnerships is known for providing care to underserved communities, including individuals from low-income families, the elderly, disabled children, developmentally disabled immigrants, the working poor, and the mentally ill.

They also aim to provide preventative and primary care to these communities. Join us today in this discussion with Jessica as we delve into her journey and explore her perspective on patient-centered services. Thank you so much today for joining us. How are you today, Jessica?


I’m doing great; thank you for having me.


Yeah, I appreciate your time. I appreciate you bearing with me. It’s always a challenge to get through these intros.

Everyone I interview has a fantastic and distinguished background, and you are no different. So, we appreciate your time and look forward to delving into this journey. As always, we like to start with a professional and personal story.

With almost a decade of experience in the IT field, Jessica, what are the most complicated challenges you face in your professional journey? That’s a cool start, and I jump right into it.


There are quite a few things and challenges that I’ve faced. The first is staying relevant. It’s so hard.

When I first started in IT, IT was just IT. You had your computers and basic networks, and there weren’t as many threats in the landscape as today. So, I originally went to school, got a dual degree in accounting and management information systems, and immediately went into doing my MBA with a computer science emphasis.

I’m finding myself returning to school, getting a second master’s in cybersecurity just because of how the threat landscape is, and trying to remain relevant. It’s, you know, it’s exploded. The IT field has, and instead of, like I said, just being IT, you now have all these specialties that are critical due to everything that’s going on in the cyber world.


Yeah, and speaking to that, that cybersecurity threat and that journey, how has that journey been to you briefly? I briefly know what it has been like getting into that field. It’s always something that’s interested me as well. Just recently, not to go off on a tangent, we recently watched a kind of documentary describing zero days and all of these different threats, and I was so intrigued by that. What has that journey been like, briefly?


So, it’s been really rewarding. I started as the IT director for Klamath County, our government sector, for about eight years. I also started building many relationships at the state and federal levels, along with other local localities.

And a lot of those partnerships had to do with cyber. And that’s where I got interested. I have been involved in different cyber attacks due to the length of time I’ve been in IT because it’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.

And I know some people still like to stick their heads in the sand or believe in that siloed mentality. But truly, there has to be a full governance of looking at things as a whole, with other entities that also have your best interest. One of the initiatives I’ve been working on on the cyber side is that I’m part of the Oregon Cyber Disruption Planning Work Group.

I’m the local chair for that. And that’s a holistic approach to cyber throughout the state of Oregon. And then, I also was appointed by the governor to be on the Center for Cyber Excellence Council for the state. We also look at different training initiatives for localities around Oregon.


You know, what happened with Change Healthcare recently was eye-opening to my… I don’t know what went down in that recent attack. Still, I know that one thing that had hit least close to home or my household was my wife’s pharmacist. She said that they had many challenges with getting people, their pharmacist, and checking in, like running the insurance or being able to process the medications, which was a huge deal. And it was down for weeks and weeks at a time.

So, it was very scary. So, hearing, hearing, I always- I don’t know if it was a small tangent- I’m always very interested when I hear people who are interested in cybersecurity. Hearing that background, you have a very impressive background. That’s fantastic to hear.


Yeah, no, it’s important. Yeah, you know, you have things like the Change Healthcare incident, but you also have other critical infrastructures, such as the Colonial Pipeline. So, looking at it from the perspective, especially in the healthcare arena, is critical. And it’s, you know, it’s needed.


Yeah, for sure. Please share with us any, I know maybe some, that pivotal moment or any pivotal moment in your healthcare IT career with Klamath or with the kind of that pivotal moment that shifted your vision of healthcare in the IT field.


So, when I came on to Klamath Health Partnership, it was, what I have found is that the healthcare sector tends to, they want to be on the, you know, edge of technology, but in some ways, especially in a rural setting like I’m in, we’re a little bit behind. And so, trying to, what’s been pivotal at this agency is getting us back to what I would consider normal operating, you know, operating and then progressing forward so that we can better meet our patient needs, especially since we have such a diverse patient population and the type of people that we serve.


Getting into the perfect little segue, getting into the patient’s needs and kind of healthcare delivery, how do healthcare practices prioritize patients’ patients’ requirements? How does all of that impact this kind of healthcare delivery?


Well, healthcare, of course, prioritizes patient requirements because we’re ultimately responsible for patient care. You know, our goal is to work alongside patients to ensure they’re getting what they need to remain healthy or address whatever type of issue they have. And I believe, and I have found that here at this organization, our healthcare delivery, we look at it more holistically.

In our agency, we do primary care, dental, behavioral health, and pharmacy, delivering medications to those who cannot come to pick them up. We provide patient services, get patients rides to their appointments, and try to ensure we meet them wherever they are. We ensure they are a priority because they need people who will advocate for them. And we want to advocate for those.


Yeah, that’s such a huge need to be able to serve the underserved population. That is such a need in America alone, little on the world, but just here in our own country that is so often overlooked. That’s such fantastic work. What is- It is. Yeah, yeah.


It is, and that’s why this agency has been such a fulfilling role for me. I take pride in my work, and my goal has always been to help others. This has driven my personal goals and missions by helping others who otherwise wouldn’t get the help they need.


For sure. Yeah, it’s weird. When we were all six or seven years old, if you went back, and many of us, I’d at least speak for myself. I was so interested. I wanted to be a nurse. I was like, I want to help people. And then, I got diagnosed with diabetes when I was 10. And I was like, I’m going to go into medicine. This is my life now. I want this.

And then, whenever I got to school, I realized it was not. I was like, I want to make a difference in people’s lives. It gets me out of bed in the morning. That’s what I want to do with a job.

Eventually, after not becoming a nurse, I got into the sales role because I didn’t think it was meant for me, but I still wanted to do that. And I still wanted to focus on healthcare. No matter how small, whether it be connecting a patient with a mental health provider or addiction provider, or whether it be creating a solution like with OSP to help local urgent care, healthcare efficiency tenfold and be able to serve more and more of their community is what a lot of us get into it.

But a lot of it gets lost where once you get into the field, it’s easy to get lost and go different routes where you lose that aspect of the patient and the patient first. And seeing your guys’ journey and what you focus on is so rewarding. And I can see it in your face whenever you say that. It’s rewarding to hear.

And I urge everybody to take a step back. If you’re in this healthcare world and maybe think about the patient again, make sure that’s a bullet point on your list because it is really important. And surely, what all of us are here for is that we’re all here to make money and to be a business, and we understand that.

But honestly, we’re here to make a difference in these people’s lives and take ownership of everything. So, I love that approach from you guys. And the role of IT in that, right?

Like the role of IT and technology and patient-centric care, what are your views about implementing current emerging technologies like AI or VR and AR to boost more patient-centric care? In the last podcast, we spoke with Northstar Care, who did addiction and mental health with VR. They have VR goggles that they’ll send out to the client instead of them having to come to their AA meetings, right?

They do them over VR. So what are some of those? What are your views about implementing current emerging technologies like that?


I’m currently researching how we can utilize AI more within our agency. There are a lot of use cases for it. However, you have to make sure before you do that, of course, that you do the research and put appropriate policies in place because some of you want to ensure that your patient’s data is safe. You want to avoid opening Pandora’s box because AI constantly learns.

And so if it’s learning the correct information, it will be very helpful. But if it starts to get poisoned per se, it could take a drastic turn for your agency.


As well.


And so we are looking more and more into that, though, because it would help providers. You know, it used to be that you would tell provider symptoms, and they may bring out a book and try to see what those symptoms would fit with. With AI, you can use those symptoms to determine the diagnosis immediately.

You know, just ideas. And then going from there, the doctor being able to vet that or using AI for, you know, patients to look at symptoms to see if it’s urgent that they need to see a provider for. VR and AR could also play an important role.

Like you said, we haven’t implemented anything like that. We offer some telehealth, but it’s not because of the patient population we see. We have yet to start to utilize those kinds of resources.

But we want to make sure that we’re boosting patient care, being timely with them, and meeting their expectations and goals. And there are those technologies that really can drive that. In the past, society was a little slower-paced, and people wanted that face-to-face time.

But as we’ve progressed, people want more instant gratification. Especially after COVID, only sometimes seeing people face-to-face is more driving towards telehealth and not necessarily being in the office. Therefore, utilizing emerging technologies will be critical in those roles moving forward.


Yeah, for sure. You’re the second person I’ve even heard talk about COVID today, as those technologies, telehealth, the RPM, and many of these technologies, have been there. But since COVID, it has shone that light and given them, whether it be the infrastructure or the funding or whatever it might be, even the eyeballs on the technology to say, hey, this is so useful. And you’re right; we haven’t looked back since.


And I know- Yeah, you took, you know, when things started to shut down, you almost overnight had to have solutions in place. And so yeah, it’s driven and shifted everything from the first shutdown day.


Yeah. Another thing that I think is very interesting is what you’re starting to see now, and this speaks to your point about how things were a lot slower; we can even say pre-COVID, but even before then, of course, right? Where it’s very, I’m coming to my doctor’s appointment, I’m going to sit down for 20 minutes or 15 minutes, and he’s going to feed me with a fire hose, and I’m going to get out of there.

And with now, with the population that’s continuing to grow, and even in the future of kids and kids like myself and adults, younger adults who have all this experience using all these technologies, that there’s not this learning curve that has to take place, that I’m so excited to see what the future holds for kind of the future of technology in healthcare. Because, you know, even I’ve been a, I think I might’ve mentioned earlier, I’ve been a diabetic since I was ten years old and had, was on an insulin pump when I was a child and then went back to the needles and kind of have seen my endocrinologist every three months. So it’s like a normal, good diabetic, right?

A good diabetic. And I consider myself well-controlled. And then I met my wife, a pharmacist, and she’s like, hey, if you’ve not heard about that, why are you not on an insulin pump?

Why are you not on X, Y, and Z with all these technologies? It got me on a closed-loop system with Dexcom and all of these things. And it’s just like incredible how much better my care has been using these technologies where I thought I was, I thought I was fine, but it’s like, I’m now taking a whole other step without, I didn’t know it was possible.


So it’s so- Well, you know, to go with that, you know, for example, you can even get, you know, where you can record your blood pressure with blood pressure monitors on, you know, through Bluetooth and so that way it makes it easier for you to share with your provider. And so you have a lot of different technologies that will shape healthcare moving forward.


Yeah, for sure, for sure. And getting into that, the digital health and kind of the other future trends for patient care, what, I know we have more adoption of these technologies, just like the Dexcom, just like what you’re talking about with the blood pressure cuffs and the Bluetooth technologies and then being able to communicate. What technologies, like telemedicine and wearable devices, will these innovations reshape the delivery of patient-centric care, and how will that process look?


It definitely will. It’s going to, for example, Fitbit or Garmin, which record your sleeping patterns, heart rate, and activity. That will be technology that will be leveraged and shared with providers so that they can keep more of an eye on what’s going on or have a record.

The wind you go through can help you with whatever kind of issue you are having. And it’s going to, especially since we have generations coming up that are familiar with technology and love technology. I remember when I was in, we didn’t have cell phones.

It would be exciting if you had a computer in your home. Now, technology is in everybody’s hands and being utilized to shape and change how healthcare is provided and offered. It will help with telemedicine because instead of having, like I said, if you have a blood pressure monitor that has Bluetooth, they will have applications that can feed that to your provider. You could even take your blood pressure for them while seeing them through telemedicine and then provide different statistics.


Yeah, it’s wild to be able almost to provide what used to be hands, hands procedures now over truly over the web completely where it’s like, well, no, I have, I have an RPM device. I will do it myself. Send you the information, and tell me. It’s so weird because it seems so like, duh.

But it’s just like, it was never, it’s just something we’ve never, it’s never really been implemented until now until COVID forced our hands. It did. It wasn’t because that technology was there in 2019 or a lot of it, you know, it’s funny how that happens.

As healthcare becomes more data-driven, how do you balance the benefits of leveraging patient data for personalized care with ensuring privacy and data security?


Well, things need to be data-driven. That’s how you can tell if you’re being successful as an organization. And so there are ways to be data-driven and ensure privacy and data security, and that’s having your policies in place and ensuring that if you’re looking at statistical data, it’s not pulling in any identifiers to have that security and privacy.

Along with that, you need to make sure that you have applications and products that have been vetted and have a strong security focus in place. You know, it’s no longer the days when you can buy something off the shelf and expect it to work. You need to take a look at the security posture of the application, of the IOT device, of the vendor to ensure that things are safeguarded as much as you can and make sure that you aren’t, you know, also making sure you have proper security in place within your data center and your environment so that you aren’t risking patient privacy and data security because that’s critical.

If data about a patient gets out, that could be life-altering. You have access to what they’re being seen, what kind of possible diseases they have, or what kind of issues, and that can change someone’s life if it is exposed.


For sure, yeah. Many people don’t realize that when they say, “Okay, well, you get my medical records, ” Oh, okay, it’s not the end of the world. But a lot of people don’t look at it in the same light as if you had a chronic illness or an illness that has such terrible stigmas or any of these things that are very important to people and very private. Yeah, it’s the type of data. Yeah, it goes over their heads.


Data can be weaponized and utilized to blackmail or change and greatly impact people.


Yeah, which is why, you know, I think, which is why you see these attacks, which is why I think you see a lot of these attacks on these, I think some of them might be infrastructural based, right? To try to disrupt it, but many of them could be malicious and very information-driven where, you know, with these bad actors.


Are there kind of- I was going to say, you know, there’s going to be huge cyber components and more going forward. So, you know, healthcare is a major target, and on the dark web, healthcare data is very lucrative, and it’s getting sold for large sums of money.


Yeah, yeah, definitely, definitely scary. And just like as you started the podcast where it’s not a matter of if, it’s when. It’s especially with the infrastructure that a lot of these companies, current companies, whether they be healthcare, whether they be direct, you know, as far as like water sources or any of these like kind of, well, looking for necessary and important systems around the country, whether it be lighting, all of these things, power, the power grid, all these things, the way our infrastructure is currently is so far behind that it’s terrifying and that it truly is a matter of when we’re hit and having, at least having, you know, our healthcare, so people having their eyes open and being, you know, diligent about these things is very important.

And, you know, and it’s, unfortunately, one of those things where, you know, people’s eyes are going to be opened when something happens. Truly, unfortunately, as far as many of us are being preventative and trying to spread awareness, it’s just an interesting path. Yes. I always like to end the call, and this is the last question I had for you, but getting kind of the future of Klamath and kind of what you guys, maybe any interesting visions you guys are currently looking to implement kind of in the next couple of years or anything you can share with us as that’s a lasting, living bullet point.


Our goal for the next couple of years is to ensure we have an up-to-date environment and, if not, a future-forward environment. And that will include dashboards that provide data so that we can make better business decisions and ensure that we’re meeting our patients’ needs. We can also utilize technologies like AI to ensure we can shape our organization for the future.


Yeah, for sure. Yeah, thank you so much for that. Thank you, Jessica, for really sharing your perspective on patient-centered care.

And it’s always a pleasure to explore. These different specific areas and learning more about Klamath Health and what you guys are doing to provide care to underserved communities and promote health equity are really important. It’s just an important thing that I’m happy that I could help share light on, and I appreciate you shining that light and allowing us to share that with the listeners today. Because of your expertise and vision in the IT field, it’s inspiring. It’s always inspiring to meet people who do this for the right reasons. And you’re one of those people. So, we look forward to seeing your continued impact on the community and learning more about Klamath here in the future. All right.


Thank you for having me. Yeah.

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About the Guest


Jessica Chastain linkedin

Jessica Chastain, a seasoned veteran of the entertainment industry, boasts a career spanning over a decade. Known for her versatile roles and captivating performances, she has garnered widespread acclaim and numerous accolades. With a repertoire that spans various genres, Chastain has established herself as one of Hollywood’s most talented and sought-after actresses, captivating audiences with her depth and range.

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