Partners, collaborators, shared vision – whatever you call it, a provider/vendor dynamic is key

Yes, ‘1+1 = 3’ is totally cliché, but how do you create great relationships between your health system and your technology/service partners? The HDM KLAsroom recently shared insights from 15 systems and their partners.

This article is the third of a series providing observations, shared lessons and key learning principles from the HDM KLASroom virtual event, Traversing the Patient Experience Ecosystem.

I was taught that success is defined as a pursuit in and realization of a worthy ideal. "Pursuit in" is odd to say and may be improper grammar, but I was taught to use the "in" because it denotes a visceral pursuit, being "all in," as opposed to an outside chasing of an ideal – I can live for a moment, or I can live in the moment.

With this context, a few months ago, Health Data Management and KLAS Research brought together 15 health systems that are living in constant pursuit of improving the patient experience. Our passion and purpose to create empowering experiences for their patients and families were palpable.

Just consider the extent to which some of these organizations go. Houston Methodist, a six-hospital and academic medical center health system, has created a book club on steroids for what they call DIOPs – Digital Innovation Obsessed People. They encourage one and all to join a book club that has grown across the health system to include participants from every department, all focused on digital innovations that can improve the patient experience. 

Josh Sol from Houston Methodist and Michael Brandofino of Caregility speaking with HDM's Mitchell Josephson 

As I observed these educational sessions from these patient-obsessed pioneering institutions, they had a few attributes in common.  

1. Patient Centric Vision

Optimizing care delivery on behalf of the patient doesn’t happen unless the healthcare system first has a shared vision of what it is trying to be for patients. This vision is set from the top with an incredible amount of input from the entire organization, making sure that no department or corner of the health system is left out; everyone needs to be totally committed to a patient-centric vision.

Providence, a 52-hospital health system, has doubled down on a simple yet powerful vision, flipping the traditional father-knows-best approach and relationship with patients. With the help of The Digital Innovation Group, a health innovation center within Providence, the system has embraced a vision of Know Me, Care for Me, Ease my Way. These patient-centric principles have been key, as Providence has uncovered the need to create a unified brand to overlay digital pathways across myriad websites, apps and communications. Realizing this, leadership has worked closely with the marketing department to ensure they are creating consistent messaging, look and feel, and ease of Internet searchability so that when patients look for Providence, they find Providence.  

Sara Vaezy, Providence Digital Innovation Group, and Mitchell Josephson, HDM 

2. Newfound Partnerships

Central to executing on a vision is working with partners strategically to identify new ways to optimize, expand and grow use cases. I will admit the term "partnership" is overused, and it’s the perennial buzzword. But as organizations like Baycare Health System, a 15-hospital system, talk about successes, they are not shy about sharing the success stage with their community and technology partners. The lesson learned is to ensure that your partners truly buy into the vision.

Ed Rafalski and Craig Anderson from BayCare Health speaking with Craig Joseph of Nordic Consulting 

At BayCare, their patient-centric, clinical excellence vision takes them outside of the four walls of their hospitals to partner with the local grocery chain, Publix. Partnering with Publix, which includes a pharmacy, to extend the reach of their care to patients, has enabled them to deliver on the concept of convenience using care kiosks. And even through the pandemic, the partnership has continued to develop, much like a marriage, learning and growing together; both seek to serve the healthcare consumer in new and valuable ways.  

3. Hunger for Reinvention

Lastly, it was clear in listening to these sessions that these forward-thinking institutions were not afraid of reinvention. In fact, you could feel their desire to explore how to reinvent institutional technologies, as well as adopt new technologies to expand on and reach lofty visions of better patient care.

Deborah Heart and Lung, a specialty hospital focused on heart, lung and vascular care, aims at a lofty vision of becoming the Amazon of focused care. Matching this vision with a desire to delight their patients, Deborah has turned toward reinventing existing phone systems. One would think this has been done, but no, most health systems still struggle to interlace common phone and texting ability within the patient flow. Additionally, Deborah is looking at how they enable patients to upload documents, communicate and engage with office staff ahead of a visit via secured texts. 

Rich Temple, Deborah Heart and Lung and Emily Paxman, KLAS Research 

My conclusions

Finding success in the pursuit of better patient experiences has eluded healthcare for decades, but these pioneering institutions are starting to figure it out. Through shared vision, a renewed focus on partnership, and striving to reinvent old technologies and processes, organizations can start along a path of delighting their patients.    

The HDM KLASroom

Visit the HDM KLASroom and see the full presentations plus great supporting learning content from the series: Traversing the Patient Experience Ecosystem.

More for you

Loading data for hdm_tax_topic #patient-experience...