Vision for the future of OSF Innovation

The last two years of managing a health care system through a pandemic have been intense for the industry. Many organizations have had to do more with less. Some didn’t have telehealth services in place during the peak of the virus. And several were just not ready for this type of disruption.

As a health care system that’s adopted a dual transformation framework, we’ve continually worked to optimize operations while simultaneously designing the future of health care delivery. This enabled us to weather the pandemic storm, but we’ve also made some discoveries along the way that will help us better meet the needs of the people we serve.

What we’ve learned

We’ve learned the importance of understanding the real problems our communities and Mission Partners face, solving for those and delivering value in the process. This includes working with clinicians to test a new technology that prevents inpatient falls. It also encompasses developing a Regional Performance Improvement Model that enables facilities to work together by region in identifying challenges, developing solutions and implementing best practices.

We’ve continued to build on the knowledge that we need to have a shared vision of the future in order to transform care. We expanded this to include the development of a seven to ten-year future back strategy for OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute. This approach allows us to define the future based on our dual transformation approach in tandem with our strategic vision to serve our communities. We then work backward to implement the actions needed to follow that path.

We’ve established we want to continue generating new revenue streams in service of the OSF Mission. In early 2021, Jump Simulation Medical Visualization (Med Vis) created the Medical Cart AR App, a platform to help clinicians practice using a variety of medical carts. This app is based on a pediatric Code Cart app developed in 2018 by Jump Med Vis and is now being offered to hospitals across the U.S. as a subscription service.

We’ve determined we want to build more external partnerships to help advance ideas and translate concepts into value. We most recently began a partnership with a cohort of health systems that analyzes each other’s concepts to determine whether they are ideas that can generate significant value for other health systems.

And we’ve ascertained that we need to increase our pace of technology adoption. As a result, we’ve put processes in place to apply the right level of rigor to quickly test and pilot technology.

Looking ahead

As we look to 2022, we have to navigate ongoing and new challenges like how to manage the care of our aging population, how to recruit and maintain talent and how to engage individuals in their own care as we continue to transform health care.

These problems as well as new disruptions brought on by the pandemic require a multiyear strategy. Over the next year, we will develop a future back plan that will guide our future endeavors. A large part of that plan will be identifying or producing solutions in five areas serving the most important needs of the communities OSF serves. These include:

  1. Next Generation Business/Care Models: We develop and deploy business and care models that best serve the unique needs of patients and ensure a connected experience across the Ministry
  2. Community Health and Social Determinant of Health: We engage groups that have been economically and socially marginalized to improve health outcomes for all
  3. Radical Efficiency: We leverage emerging technologies to automate activities that are repeatable and repetitive.
  4. Big Data and the Internet of Medical Things: We tap into the power of the internet of things, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies to deliver “smart” solutions for our communities and Mission Partners
  5. Genomics and Precision Medicine: We support knowing patients with digital certainty, employing ancestry, genetics and biology to drive personalized care that will result in improved disease management and decreased mortality

We are equipping our Mission Partners with the competencies to respond to health care transformation to build out our future back strategy. We are building capabilities to embrace our gaps and challenges, vetting the root cause to deliver solutions that ensure we solve the right problems. We are growing our pilot approach for a quick understanding of how the solution behaves and future sustainability. And we embrace failure because we know it leads to the best solution.

Excited for the next year

As I think about our roots as a Catholic health care system and coming out of a pandemic, I think of the Bible verse, Isaiah 43:18-19, which says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”

We, of course, will never forget how COVID-19 has impacted and continues to impact the world. Instead, we can take what we’ve learned from the past two years and apply it to the future. I look forward to seeing what we can achieve next year as we continue our imperative of transforming care for all.

Last Updated: February 1, 2023

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About Author: Becky Buchen

Becky Buchen has served as the Senior Vice President of Innovation Operations for OSF HealthCare since 2018. In this role, Becky oversees the OSF Innovation Studio and Performance Improvement.
This includes oversight of Intellectual Property Policy management, the Performance Improvement portfolio across the Ministry and the innovation process that supports idea generation, solution discovery and pilot testing. She is also responsible for the development of the operational infrastructure needed to support innovation and assures innovation results are measured and achieved.
Becky works collaboratively with executive leadership to drive the OSF Innovation agenda, including engaging Mission Partners in the process, educating them on innovation and creating an innovation competency at OSF HealthCare.

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Categories: Innovation