Trailblazer Challenge: Interactive after-visit summary

OSF Innovation is developing hospital-based Innovation Hubs where anyone across the Ministry can learn to engage in improvement, creative thinking and executing solutions.

The first hub launched at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota, Illinois. This included the kickoff of an OSF Trailblazer Challenge, where Mission Partners could submit their ideas, collaborate with others and be selected as a winner to develop solutions that can improve the hospital discharge process.

The competition resulted in 39 ideas, with four selected to go before leaders for either further development or implementation. This is the third blog in a series highlighting the finalists.

An easy way to interact with discharge instructions 

Whether you are leaving your doctor’s office, urgent care or the emergency room, you will more than likely receive an “after-visit summary.” This piece of paper details your diagnosis, treatment and steps to take for you to remain healthy.

But it’s not always the most straightforward document to understand, and some people have issues navigating what to do after they leave a medical facility. Zackary Vankeulen, director of emergency services at OSF Saint Paul, hopes to make the “after-visit summary” more useful for patients.

“Our goal was to come up with a solution that makes it easier for patients to manage their health care journeys, so they don’t have to worry about how to schedule their next appointment, memorize care instructions or search the internet for education,” said Zackary. “We believe this could help decrease re-hospitalizations, visits to the emergency room and the number of phone calls our call centers receive trying to help patients with these types of issues.”

He and his team, which includes Ellen Vogel and Itzhel Qadri, pitched the idea of building out the OSF MyChart app to have an interactive version of the “after-visit summary.” The vision is to give patients the opportunity to schedule follow-up appointments, obtain education on their illness and initiate two-way communication with providers – all in one place.

Zackary and his team are meeting with OSF IT and Epic, which runs OSF MyChart, to discuss options for development.

“The OSF Innovation Studio and our leaders have been super supportive of this project,” said Zackary. “This experience has been a great way to see how new ideas are developed, and we’ve learned how to pivot when a concept isn’t going where you want it to. From the time we had our initial sit down as a group to where we’re at now, our project looks completely different and it’s exciting to see it grow.”

We are all innovators

The development of Innovation Hubs and Trailblazer Challenges is just one way OSF Innovation is working to dispel the idea that innovation only happens in Peoria, and that everyone can harness their gifts toward creating solutions to transform health care.

“It’s very important our Mission Partners know how to get their ideas out there because if they don’t, they’ll just stay ideas that will never become a reality and make a difference,” said Zackary. “By doing challenges like these and having support from our leadership teams, this inspires the confidence of our Mission Partners to submit and advance concepts.”

Mission Partners like Zackary are critical to the Mission of OSF. They have firsthand knowledge of problems at the front lines of care and operations and can courageously make their voice heard, impacting health care delivery for patients across the organization.

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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