How Nuvance Health's innovation drives population health, and the key tech initiatives coming next

John Murphy, MD, the CEO of Nuvance Health, a seven-hospital health system in New York and Connecticut, discusses how innovation drives population health management and care delivery for the future.

Question: What is the most interesting patient-facing innovation you are working on today?

Dr. John Murphy: One of the most important and interesting patient-facing innovation is our population health management program, particularly when it comes to mental health. We've designed and implemented strategies to improve the health of everyone in the communities we serve. This includes an increased focus on prevention by adding mental health treatment, addiction services and expanded care coordination to our primary care practices with the goal of keeping people well, in addition to caring for them when they are sick.

Through our population health management program, we are incorporating mental health screenings, early detection, relevant interventions, and community support in both the inpatient and outpatient settings as part of a 'whole health' model of care. For example, we are expanding our screening-and-intervention for substance abuse program at 10 of Nuvance Health's primary and specialty care locations in Connecticut. Another example is our Community Care Teams. CCTs are collaboration between Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital, and Norwalk Hospital healthcare providers and high-risk navigators and community-based agencies. Together, we help connect individuals who suffer from chronic medical, mental health and psychosocial issues to appropriate services — from healthcare to housing. Further, we have integrated the following systems to give people access to mental health services:

• Advocacy to ensure these services are in place in our communities and people feel supported
• Online cognitive behavioral therapy
• Progressive payment modeling that promotes additional access to psychiatric care
• Recovery coaches in our emergency departments
• Telepsychiatry

Q: What will be the most important patient experience innovation 18 months from now? How are you pivoting in that direction?

JM: The most important patient experience innovation Nuvance Health will focus on in the next 18 months will be implementing efficient and effective digital strategies, which includes expanding telehealth services. We currently have mobile health initiatives underway.

Q: How have you recruited and built your innovation team? Who are ideal candidates or team members and what are their backgrounds?

JM: We established a Center for Innovation & Research that is dedicated to cultivating and implementing new ideas. The innovation team includes talented people from all different backgrounds such as administrative, clinical and research. Our innovation and research team launched an annual innovation challenge, where everyone from our organization is encouraged to submit a new idea. In addition to this lively yearly innovation challenge, we encourage constant learning and provide an environment and infrastructure where ideas can be refined and realized in the most productive and rewarding ways.

Q: If you could make your hospital or health system more like one other company or industry, what would it be?

JM: Nuvance Health would be a hybrid bringing forward the best of the safety and reliability of the airline industry with the best consumer experience practices from hospitality.

Join us for the Becker's Hospital Review 3rd Annual Health IT + Clinical Leadership + Pharmacy Conference, May 19-21, 2020 in Chicago. Topics include artificial intelligence, telehealth, data analytics, clinician burnout, population health, pharmaceutical care and more. Learn more and register here. For more information about exhibitor and sponsorship opportunities, contact Maggie Dunne at events@beckershealthcare.com.

To participate in future Becker's IT Q&As, contact Laura Dyrda at ldyrda@beckershealthcare.com.

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