Getting innovative ideas off the ground
March 18, 2015 in Medical Technology
How do you get innovative ideas off the ground and into the hands of busy providers? At Texas Health Resources, one of the nation’s largest faith-based, non-profit health systems, it’s a balancing act of securing buy-in from the executive level while encouraging concepts to spring forth from the front lines of care.
Later this year, that philosophy will bear fruit in the form of an online scheduling system to be used by the 800-provider Texas Health Physicians Group within THR.
“This project has been the most interesting rollout I’ve ever worked on,” said Barbara Adams, THR’s vice president for Innovative Technology Services, who is responsible for ensuring alignment between operational and clinical strategic plans.
“I’ve never done a pilot where so many people wanted to be part of it,” Adams continued. “To me, that’s very exciting because appointment scheduling is really the last bit of autonomy that physicians have over their operations.”
The system will show real-time availability for doctors within a practice. For busy practitioners, the technology will help them fit patients into open slots — and keep them from going to competing practices. And it will help slower-paced practices attract new patients, according to Adams.
“We as an organization are investing in a connected health strategy, charged with keeping up with the age of consumerism. The new definition of quality is convenience,” Adams explained. “It has to be easier to do business with our staff, our interns, our payers … everybody in our ecosystem.”
The initiative comes on the heels of a separate opportunity identified by a front-line staffer: completing medication reconciliation for patients at discharge. “It seems like such a simple idea,” Adams said, “but it has made a huge difference in reducing readmissions.”
Adams and Tricia Nguyen, MD, executive vice president for population health at THR, will jointly present “Shaping a Culture of Innovation from Idea to Execution” at HIMSS15.
The session will discuss steps taken to create an innovation culture and the infrastructure needed to support it.
Adams, whose background includes co-founding a healthcare technology company that sold systems to 80 hospitals before it was acquired by Owens Minor, will lend her experience from the entrepreneurial side. She also won a pitch competition while completing her MBA degree that landed her a consulting job with Deloitte before she joined THR.
Nguyen heads THR’s Population Health, Education Innovation Center. She previously served as chief medical officer of Banner Health Network in Arizona where she was responsible for accountable care organization strategies and clinical integration and population health work across the physician network.
Their session, “Shaping a Culture of Innovation from Idea to Execution,” will take place Wednesday, April 15 at 10 a.m in Room N426.