How Providence is 'deconstructing the health system'

At Renton, Wash.-based Providence, "there's nothing that is not changing," according to Mike Butler, the health system's president of strategy and operations.

During a keynote address to open the Becker's Hospital Review 8th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable on Nov. 11 in Chicago, Mr. Butler discussed Providence's drive to "deconstruct the health system," the guiding principle of the health system's ongoing transformation across nearly every aspect of the organization.

That idea of deconstruction, he explained, "is to take everything we do and deconstruct it in a way that we thought would best serve our customers, make it a great place for physicians to practice medicine and have each one of our ministries and businesses be successful."

He continued, "When we say 'deconstructed,' it's literally taking everything that we do in primary care, urgent care clinics, express care within Walgreens, ambulatory care networks — the whole nine yards — and deconstruct it in such a way that we have access within 15 minutes for 15 million people, which is the general size of our primary markets. It's been really remarkable."

In recent months, Providence has partnered with Microsoft, rebranded from its decades-old moniker of Providence St. Joseph Health and launched an "Optum-like" services and solutions company. The health system has also opened around 40 new care sites so far in 2019, with another 30 planned for the final quarter of the year.

This near-constant stream of change is integral to the health system's DNA: "As a community-based organization, we have the opportunity to not just be advocates, but catalysts for change," Mr. Butler said.

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