Innovation drives digital health advancements and improved patient outcomes

In the ever-evolving landscape of health care, the challenges we face seem to multiply by the day. It can be incredibly challenging to provide high-quality health care while keeping up with rapidly advancing technology and ensuring equal access for everyone.

Yet, in the face of these challenges, OSF HealthCare is driving change in health care research and innovation. With a legacy spanning over a century, we have emerged as leaders in the pursuit of transformative health care solutions. As we navigate the complexities of modern health care, we aren’t merely confronting these challenges but actively shaping the future of health care delivery. We remain committed to our innovation strategy and focused on improving experiences for both patients and their heath care providers.


OSF HealthCare is an integrated health system founded by The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis. For over 145 years, OSF HealthCare has been committed to its Mission: to serve with the greatest care and love. Headquartered in Peoria, Illinois, our faith-based health care system employs almost 24,000 Mission Partners in 159 locations, including 16 hospitals, with 2,134 licensed beds, 39 urgent care locations and two colleges of nursing throughout Illinois and Michigan.

Commitment to innovation

In 1877, The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis began serving their communities with compassion and humility, unafraid of taking on the most difficult challenges to provide care to all those who needed it.

The same is true today. The rapid change of health care along with emerging technological and scientific advances have only spurred the Sisters to examine how we can leverage these developments for the benefit of our patients. Their commitment to innovation challenges us to transform care through strategic solutions that connect everyday care needs with inventive approaches and bold advances.

OSF Innovation was launched by OSF HealthCare in 2016 to collaborate and generate ideas, problem-solve and adopt health care solutions quickly. We concentrate our innovation partnerships and activities in five areas:

  • Next-generation business and care models
  • Community health and social drivers of health
  • Radical efficiency
  • Big data and the internet of medical things
  • Genomics and precision medicine

In 2023, OSF HealthCare was recognized by Forbes as one of America’s Most Innovative Companies. We are the only health care system headquartered in Illinois to earn the distinction.

Innovation in action: Digital health

We innovate to meet our patients with exceptional care wherever they are and create the connected experiences patients and providers need – within and beyond hospital walls. In that spirit, OSF OnCall was created in 2020 as the digital health arm of OSF HealthCare.

Our care teams go beyond advanced technology and offer a human connection, delivering the highest quality care in a variety of settings, often 24/7. OSF OnCall is focused on providing improved access to care to our communities – when and where it’s needed.

Not only are we expanding access, but we’re also reducing costs to both patients and the health care system. Our services offer providers new opportunities to expand their capabilities without significant infrastructure or staffing investments. We leverage an expanded resource pool to fill gaps in patient care more cost-effectively. That means high-quality care is always available and more accessible.

How we partner

Collaboration is key to health care innovation. It leads to the development of more effective solutions that address real problems and result in better outcomes for patients. Innovation thrives when minds converge and resources are shared. We provide customized solutions for health care providers, employers and innovators to improve efficiency, control costs and advance health care.

OSF Innovation can help you explore, pilot and implement the next big advancement in health care. We collaborate with start-ups,  academic institutions, hospital systems and our own Mission Partners to build the future of health care.

OSF OnCall can help you meet the challenges of increased demand and limited resources. We recognize that every organization’s needs are different, so we work with you closely to gain understanding and offer unique solutions.

Our innovative digital health services provide you with expanded resources and better patient outcomes.

  • Virtual Intensive Care – We combine critical care doctors and nurses, digital technology, predictive analytics and compassionate care to provide real-time support 24/7.
  • Virtual Hospitalists – We can expand your hospitalist coverage with our digital solutions to provide high-quality inpatient care, all while maintaining effective resource stewardship.
  • Remote Patient Monitoring – Our clinical remote monitoring team and tools are an excellent option for patients with chronic conditions. With flexible engagement options, you can select modules most targeted to your patient demographics.
  • Physician Answering Service – We offer after-hours coverage for physician offices through our phone answering service. This provides peace of mind for patients and convenience for you.
  • Nurse Triage – Gain access to high-quality nurse triage using national, evidence-based practice protocol guidelines. This dedicated team is available 24/7.
  • Digital Hospital – We offer a hospital-at-home program that provides hospital-level care through a combination of technology and in-person visits from the care team. Doctors, nurses and other health care professionals are available 24/7.
  • Virtual Acute Nursing – Our virtual nurses can assist your in-person care team with admissions, discharges and patient education, freeing up your staff to focus on critical needs.

Employee health is important to your productivity and impacts your health care costs. At the same time, today’s workforce expects more wellness benefits.

OSF OnCall offers convenient digital health solutions that can help you control health care costs and increase employee satisfaction.

  • Urgent Care – Virtual care and walk-in options make it easy for your employees to get 24/7 medical advice and care for minor illnesses and health conditions.
  • Digital Wellness & Monitoring – We offer digital wellness and monitoring programs to help your employees proactively manage their health. We have options tailored specifically for your business, your employees and your goals.

The innovation of digital care doesn’t stop here. We are continually working to meet the needs of the communities we serve. Check out a comprehensive list of our digital care offerings here.

Empowering better outcomes

The Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis have long prioritized compassionate care, continuously adapting to leverage emerging technologies and scientific advancements for the benefit of patients. Their commitment to innovation drives strategic solutions that connect everyday care needs with inventive approaches, like OSF OnCall. Through collaboration and partnership, we want to work alongside you to achieve better outcomes for patients.

Last Updated: April 25, 2024

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About Author: Rachel Sprenkle

Rachel Sprenkle is a writing coordinator for OSF HealthCare. Before joining OSF, she worked in non-profit fundraising and B2B software marketing and client services. She has a bachelor of arts degree in communication from Bradley University.
Rachel lives in Washington with her husband and daughter. During her free time, she enjoys supporting her daughter's extracurricular activities and spending quality time with her family and friends. She is also an avid reader and loves rooting for the Cubs.

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Categories: Innovation