Cheryl Dilley is the senior director of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and has been with Blue Shield of California for three years. Cheryl and her team are driving change through both process and people to transform Blue Shield of California into a healthcare technology company. They are building a culture of collaboration, innovation and agility, and helping translate technology to the business and business to IT.
What brought you to Blue Shield?
After two years working in retail with a degree in fashion merchandising in the beginning of my career, I had an opportunity to work at a high-tech company where I drove several large-scale, global transformations. I found that having non-technical skills in a technical world was a strength because of the different perspectives I bring to the table. Fast forward to three years ago when I was looking to work for a nonprofit organization where I could tangibly improve my local community. I recognized that Blue Shield’s leaders shared my passion, and I was confident that together we could affect change in the most important industry to humankind — health care. What I could not have foreseen was, two years into my tenure, someone very dear to me was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. At that moment, health care became even more personal, which has since propelled me to help in any way I can, so that we can do better as a company, as an industry and as a species.
What is your leadership style?
The code I’ve always lived by as a leader is to support and empower individuals to unleash their strengths and unrealized powers. I hire people who are smarter than I am and get out of their way, because I’m only as effective as the team that works with me — we’re stronger together. Finally, I believe it’s important to be kind, celebrate the small wins and learn from failure.
What is a recent, transformative accomplishment by your team?
My team has been instrumental in Blue Shield’s move to the cloud, helping to create new programs that proactively engage members in managing their own care. This capability brings together a member’s holistic health information in one place and enables near real-time processing of medical claims. My amazing team ensures that when we launch any new technology, those who use and rely on the new systems are ready from day one.
How does technology transformation affect Blue Shield members?
Health care should not be so hard for our members. By investing in modern technologies, we enable our front-line employees to focus on doing their work — rather than navigating systems — to help our family and friends have seamless access to quality care. Our strategy is to leverage the latest innovations in cloud technology to create more retail-like, simplified experiences for members and providers. When I first started at Blue Shield in June 2020, during the start of the pandemic, you could buy a house, a car, or clothing with a better digital, real-time experience than was available to manage your health. The industry has since started to move forward exponentially to catch up.
At Blue Shield, we are modernizing every aspect of what we do. The key to better serving our members and ensuring our providers have minimal friction is to improve these experiences by replacing old systems and connecting our data.
What is the most important thing your team will do to transform health care?
Today, we can practically run our lives from our cell phones. We do this with banking, with retail. Yet, we cannot say the same for managing our health. Blue Shield’s vision is to use technology to bring together a member’s holistic picture of health in one accessible place. When people can access and make meaning of their comprehensive health data, they are empowered to be decision-makers who can improve the course of their lives in partnership with their providers. The most important thing my team can do to transform health care is twofold — to remove any process barriers, and to ensure we are all working together to achieve higher quality and faster results. Health is important to every person on the planet. We are starting in California to transform a broken system into the most innovative industry that every human depends on to thrive.