Collaboration = Success

It’s been a little over a year since the OSF Innovation space opened on the third and fourth floors of the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center. The co-collaborationworking environment was meant to house a variety of disciplines within OSF HealthCare and act as a central hub for creating solutions to health care’s most complex problems. The idea was that placing these teams under one roof would promote collaboration to generate ideas, test them and rapidly deliver solutions.

Leaders of Performance Improvement, Healthcare Analytics, TeleHealth, Jump Simulation and Education, Innovation Partnerships and OSF Ventures had a large task ahead of them. That was to determine the best ways to work together in an efficient and effective manner to truly transform health care for the benefit of the patients and communities we serve.

What’s been learned is that change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to transition from working within a single department to being part of a multidisciplinary team. But individuals within the OSF Innovation space have embraced challenges along the way and have succeeded in realizing a number of solutions. Department leaders have also defined four focus areas that encompass all of our innovation efforts: Advancing Simulation, More for Those With Less, Aging in Place and Radical Access to Care. These areas guide our investments and activities in innovation.

Eight OSF Innovation leaders share some of their greatest successes over the last year and visions for the future.

Jeffry Tillery, MD, Chief Executive Officer of OSF Medical Group; former Senior Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer for OSF Innovation

Starting from the basics, I believe all of the innovation leaders have done a great job of managing change with our Mission Partners, getting them to understand the “why” of us coming together and working collectively towards bigger areas of focus.

Our Sisters’ Vision and executive cabinet worked with an innovation partner to internally evaluate our goals and approach to innovation and then helped us define the opportunity spaces (Advancing Simulation, More for Those With Less, Aging in Place and Radical Access to Care) for our focus throughout OSF Innovation in the next five years. Defining the focus areas gives us long-range goals.

Modern Healthcare recently recognized OSF Innovation as one of the top 10 innovation centers in the U.S. as it applies to incubating startups and accelerating innovations. There’s a variety of solutions that have come out of this space that are now operational.

I’m also proud of the fact that we originally set to fully roll out Care Transformation, a program that aims to expand access to care within primary care clinics by October 2019. But through the work of clinical education, Performance Improvement, simulation and training—we’ve been able to accelerate that implementation model. We now expect for the program to be at all of our primary care sites by May 2018.

Vision for the Future

This past year was really about organizing ourselves and laying the foundation for collaboration. We next want to spread the innovation competency to all of our Mission Partners. We want to engage them in identifying issues and potential solutions.

We’re working on some very creative virtual health care applications. As we get these built and functional, we think that will have a huge positive impact on the patients and communities we serve as well as the Ministry. We expect our collaboration with the University of Illinois to augment our work in the technology and engineering space.

Becky Buchen, Vice President of Performance Improvement

Before moving into the OSF Innovation space, team leaders discussed how we could provide meaningful experiences that helped staff understand the importance of collaboration. This opportunity came in defining metrics for Care Transformation. We assembled a large group of individuals from Information Technology, Healthcare Analytics, Performance Improvement and different business partners to come together as a multidisciplinary team in a room for a day and a half to outline possible measurements and how to measure and report outcomes for the Care Transformation program.

Innovation leaders set the stage for what needed to be accomplished and left the team to design creative solutions. Although some indicated hesitancy in the new approach, the group ended up employing a divide and conquer approach to collecting the information they needed to define metrics for the program. By the end of the day, the group had met its goal and noted this work in the past would take six weeks if they had done it in their respective silos. We learned that we could, in fact, bring different disciplines together to solve certain health care problems and increase the speed to value. This has led to us successfully applying this approach to nearly 10 projects over the past year.

Vision for the Future

It’s my hope that we continue to advance collective efforts around innovation. That includes understanding how we build a culture of innovation across the Ministry. I think if you were to scan the environment of our Mission Partners, the word innovation is still a bit of a mystery in how we connect. So it’s my goal to help other Mission Partners understand that our innovation hub is meant to support the entire organization in efforts to solve health care problems.

Sarah de Ramirez, Vice President of Transformation Innovation

When everyone initially moved into the OSF Innovation space, there was a learning curve for each discipline to determine how they would innovate within their divisions. The launch of Care Transformation in June 2016 began to bring the vision of how a collaborative could transform health care.

Changing the way our primary care clinics operate as part of Care Transformation proved to be a task that couldn’t be carried out by one group. Every single discipline within OSF Innovation had to join forces to develop a process for how the initiative would roll out, how and what metrics would be collected to measure whether it was working and how clinicians within every primary care clinic would be trained. We put together a structure to harness all of our competencies in innovation and bring them together to successfully carry out the transformation.

The four focus areas we’ve defined to guide our activities in innovation are spaces where health care systems traditionally underperform. Using the effective implementation of Care Transformation as a model, we built upon the strengths to create a multidisciplinary collaborative innovation process to address these opportunities. A team called, “Complex Solution Innovation (CSI),” did just that and we now have a standard in place for how a multidisciplinary team will approach, collaborate and innovate around the toughest problems in health care, centered around our 4 focus areas.

Vision for the Future

In the future, I see us being able to leverage our process of multidisciplinary innovation to the point where it becomes our stamp for how innovation works in a Mission-driven culture. It’s my hope that we use this process to take on some of the biggest challenges our disadvantaged populations face so that health care outcomes and access are no longer based on how much money a patient has, their age or distance to a health care facility. We have a great opportunity ahead, and I believe it’s one we can achieve through a unified vision, Mission and a collaborative culture.

Suzanne Hinderliter, Vice President of TeleHealth Services

In the last year, OSF TeleHealth partnered for the first time with an outside community hospital to provide two TeleHealth programs. We implemented eICU ConstantCare and TeleNeurology to Katherine Shaw Bethea Hospital in Dixon, Illinois. In addition to that, we implemented nine projects this year with four more on the way. These include the development of the TeleSleep, TeleNeonatology, TeleNeonatology transfers and Telelactation programs. We also kicked off a Ministry sepsis project that has increased compliance of best practices around blood draws and antibiotic administration. The team is now working to roll out a predictive model utilizing historical and current patient data that aids clinicians with early identification of sepsis.

We also completed and presented a virtual care strategy that outlines our goals for the next three years.

Vision for the Future

We intend to build a new virtual care program that caters to critical complex patients who are high risk for hospital readmissions and high utilizers of health care resources and dollars. This new virtual care program is a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team supported by data, analytics and technology to deliver health care to patients when and where they need it.  This service has been shown to improve outcomes, reduce costs and increase patient engagement and satisfaction. The remote, multi-disciplinary team would include physicians, APNs, nurses, care managers, health coaches, pharmacists, social workers and dietitians. The new program will essentially allow care teams to stay connected and closely monitor patients with the greatest needs at their home to prevent complications and intervene sooner if needed.

Mark Hohulin, Senior Vice President of Healthcare Analytics

Since we’ve been in the Innovation space, we’ve had the ability to partner and collaborate with not only the Mission Partners in this building but other Mission Partners outside of this environment to develop analytic models, dashboards and explorers in support of OSF Strategic Goals and Initiatives. This has helped to make advancements and improvements easier as we have been able to bring key subject matter experts into the Innovation space to accomplish this work.  We’ve also had the opportunity this summer to work with interns in collaboration efforts with Jump Simulation and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Vision for the Future

Our team looks forward to collaborating and supporting Innovation that will improve patient care with Mission Partners across OSF.  As analytics and predictive modeling continues to advance, we will be able to provide actionable and useful insights from the data to identify operational and patient care improvement opportunities to transform care delivery.

Stan Lynall, Vice President of Venture Investments

Our venture program has matured and that has been at least partially due to the opportunity for collaboration with other Innovation leaders and teams at Jump. Our team has been able to get greater access to thought leaders who can give us informal feedback and input on opportunities we are evaluating.  We also have more visibility and line of sight into major initiatives which enables us to further understand the challenges that OSF is facing and better positions us to identify new technology solutions. It’s been a great experience so far. There is no doubt in my mind that our venture work would not have progressed to this stage without the collaborative focus our environment encourages.

Vision for the Future

We see the need for further collaboration, and our team has been challenged to understand what our fellow innovators are up to and how it can guide our work. For example, as the work around our four focus areas matures, we see our venture work as being a link to new and unique technologies that can be a part of the strategies and solutions in these areas.

John Vozenilek, MD, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Simulation

The fundamental focus of Jump Simulation, with the partnership of the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, has been on the efficient and effective training of medical trainees and tenured professionals. However, we did not have a framework to measure the success of the many educational programs we offer. Over the past year, the curriculum team at Jump sought out a number of different theories and models around Return on Investment in health care and education. It landed on a concept called “Measuring ROI in Healthcare.” Jump Simulation is the first center to apply this method to its curriculum.

The system was developed by a group of authors, led by Jack Phillips, the Chairman of the ROI Institute and aims to help health care systems determine the value of programs that were previously deemed more challenging to measure. For example, the model found a positive return on investment for the Advanced Care Planning simulation program which trains advance care planners to help patients document their wishes for end-of-life care. We refined that model through collaboration with other members of OSF Innovation including Performance Improvement and OSF Ventures.  It’s our hope that this model will increase the type of high-quality education and simulation that Jump Simulation learners have come to expect. That will lead to improved care for all of the patients OSF HealthCare serves.

Jump Sim is also proud it’s been able to demonstrate the benefits of merging clinicians with engineers within the unique environment of our simulation center to hypothesize, test and redesign tools, techniques and processes used by caregivers every day. More than 15 projects have been awarded Jump ARCHES (Applied Research for Community Health through Engineering and Simulation) funding from $50k to $150K. A couple of these projects have gone on to receive national recognition through funding from the National Science Foundation and the Carver Charitable Trust.

As OSF transitions to offer more innovative technologies and services to serve our patients better, Jump Simulation has collaborated with various departments to ensure proper implementation. We’ve seen expanded telepresence types of technologies, we’ve seen novel technologies that require new training and most significantly — we’ve seen Care Transformation. Jump Sim has led in situ (on-site) training at a variety of clinical facilities to ready the staff that will implement these new endeavors.

Jump Sim was also chosen this year to develop a curriculum that trains hospitals in Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin how to use simulation to find quality and safety issues within their systems. The programming targets four areas that Illinois hospitals have the highest risk for hospital-acquired infections and readmissions. This is the first time the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is funding this type of project across the U.S. Some of the curriculum developed by Jump Sim has involved the creation of augmented reality applications as well as serious gaming.

We expanded our annual summer engineering intern program to include Healthcare Analytics and social innovation. This internship program attracts the best and brightest across the U.S.

The Advanced Imaging and Modeling program at Jump also began partnering with the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association to create accuracy and quality standards for the Jump Sim-curated 3D Heart Library, an open source digital repository of hearts with congenital defects on the NIH 3D Print Exchange.

Vision for the Future

I would love it if we could come together to create Life Labs, an idea taken from MIT. I think for each of the four focus areas, we should have a technology-focused lab where clinicians and engineers are developing technologies within a domain. The idea is to accelerate health care performance in these discipline areas.

I would also like to see an expansion of the STEAM programming Jump Sim offers by partnering with Peoria area schools to offer entry-level positions into health care. This combined with our programs that expose students to different types of medical careers will fast-track young people into a situation where they can use their gifts and talents. This would continue until these students choose their path into a medical discipline.

Matthew Warrens, Vice President of Innovation Partnerships

As health care continues to change, OSF remains a leader in innovation while always providing compassionate care to every patient, every day. Our team over the past year has done a great job of identifying partners with opportunities that will improve patient outcomes, enhance patient experience and reduce the cost of health care.

We made it our goal to increase speed to value for both our providers and our solution partners. To do so, OSF dedicated a budget for the Innovation Partnerships team and resources to test and pilot new solutions. In the past 18 months, we have executed over a dozen contracts with digital solution providers.

One of the reasons we developed the Jump facility was to help OSF improve how it chooses and tests technology solutions. One of the first of those we tested in our simulation center was Care Innovations, a home monitoring technology for some of our most at-risk patients.  Through those developments and in collaboration with the Innovation Partnerships team, Care Innovations is now the vendor of choice for our home care agency, giving OSF the ability to monitor about 200 patients.

This year, we launched Cancer IQ, a genetic screening tool that helps identify patients at high risk for breast cancer. The first year alone, we screened 14,000 women. 20 percent were referred on to further screening. 20 percent of those patients were recommended for additional imaging or counseling. Two were diagnosed with cancer and we believe this technology saved their lives. We intend to expand this program across the Ministry and will add colon cancer as a possible diagnosis.

Another success from the OSF Innovation Partnerships team was the implementation of HealthLoop within the OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute. HealthLoop is an application that’s designed to guide and educate patients before and after a procedure and for the duration of recovery. It tracks progress along the way and allows patients to easily ask questions and receive prompt responses from their care providers. The first 25 patients who utilized HealthLoop completed their 30-day interaction with the tool. Not a single one had any further complications. We plan to expand the use of this app with patients undergoing orthopedic and coronary artery bypass graft surgeries.

Vision for the Future

It’s my team’s goal to get the various applications we’ve implemented integrated with OSF MyChart, an application that allows patients to easily manage their health care online. That way patients will only be required to have a single log-in for all of these separate tools. I envision a day where OSF MyChart is similar to the Google or iTunes app stores where OSF patients can pick what tools they want to use.

The Partnership team has mostly been focused on behavioral health, patient engagement and care management. I see us shifting toward looking for signs of prevention such as precision medicine type solutions.

A View from the Outside

A recent visit from Janet Guptill, the Executive Director of the Scottsdale Institute, provided an external view of the first year.

“It was invigorating to see the setting and hear the stories of how you are re-inventing the health care delivery system of the future! You have great minds working together to solve the puzzles of rural health access, standardized skill sets across markets and care settings, leveraging technology to extend critical clinical expertise and the use of analytics and tools to identify social determinants of health and implement targeted interventions to yield improvements. It was great to see this interdisciplinary work in action and to feel the energy and enthusiasm of your team. What a difference you are all making in transforming the future of heath care.”

For more information about OSF Innovation, visit

Last Updated: December 23, 2022

About Author: Denise Molina-Weiger

Denise Molina-Weiger is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since March 2015. She initially came to OSF to write about the work taking place at the Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, one of the world’s largest simulation and innovation centers and went on to become the Media Relations Coordinator for OSF Innovation which was developed to help the hospital system lead the way in transforming care.

Before joining the OSF HealthCare team, Denise was a reporter for Peoria Public Radio for ten years, writing on everything from politics, housing and transportation issues to hospital care in the region. She earned her bachelor’s degree in radio broadcasting from Western Illinois University in 2003 and received her master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield in 2004.

Denise lives in West Peoria with her husband, son and two crazy dogs. In her spare time, she likes to snuggle on the couch with her family and watch cooking shows on Netflix. She loves taking road trips with her family and then complaining about it when they are over.

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Categories: Innovation