6 big ideas in healthcare innovation

From their thoughts on how to improve healthcare equity to ensuring telehealth remains a key part of care delivery after the pandemic, here are six key quotes about the role of innovation in healthcare that executives from hospitals and health systems across the country recently shared with Becker's Hospital Review:

Sara Vaezy, chief digital strategy and business development officer, Providence (Renton, Wash.): It’s less about adapting to the pandemic and more about leveraging our learnings to further the health systems mission to serve all patients in a more effective, scalable and equitable way. For instance, now that so many patients have had exposure to virtual visits, can we create new products with new payment models — like subscriptions — or even new communication or health education models, to serve patients in different, more relevant ways. The degrees of freedom are opening up and it’s incumbent upon us to seize them.

John Brownstein, PhD, chief innovation officer, Boston Children's Hospital: We don't have a great connection between public health data and clinical practice. That's something that's been an issue for a long time, but how do we leverage population health data and bring that into clinical decision making in a more integrated way?

Zafar Chaudry, MD, senior vice president and CIO, Seattle Children's: Some medical specialties work better than others for telehealth, such as telepsychiatry. Data collected on visits should be analyzed by healthcare systems to determine what specialties are best suited for telehealth moving forward.

Lisa Prasad, vice president and chief innovation officer, Henry Ford Health System (Detroit): I would like to see increased leveraging of technology and analytics to enhance remote care and education, and to promote healthcare equity across our community. This requires us to think critically not only about creating new products, services and payment models, but also about implementing them in a way that promotes inclusion and access.

Heather Nelson, senior vice president and CIO, UChicago Medicine: From my perspective, the best way to ensure telehealth remains a key part of healthcare delivery is to ensure the reimbursement and payment methods stay in place and even be enhanced as more and more patients want to have access to this model of care. We need those blanket waivers issued by CMS during the public health emergency to be made permanent. If we keep extending a few months at a time, it does not allow healthcare systems the confidence that we can continue this delivery of care, as well as invest in supporting technologies and operations.

Ash Goel, MD, senior vice president and CIO, Bronson Healthcare (Kalamazoo, Mich.): Integration of telehealth technologies into a broad spectrum of offerings such as acute care, chronic care management, remote monitoring, social management, employee and employer-based services with a business model that supports this is essential. The technical platforms have to evolve to become flexible and yet integrated into existing EMRs to minimize friction, understand the patient experience and be UX design-centric.

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