We’re thankful for the ability to innovate in difficult times

Despite the peaks and valleys of COVID-19. The efforts to get people vaccinated. Upticks in hospitalizations. And another transition of full and hybrid work locations – our OSF Innovation teams continued to combine their strengths and talents to solve difficult problems and routine challenges.

And we couldn’t be more thankful. We’re thankful that we have a great team. That we’ve remained cohesive and productive. That we’ve learned and adopted the necessary skills for how to work in this new environment. And that innovation never stopped.

Here are just a few of the things we’re thankful for this year.

Embracing new approaches

We are thankful for a talented group of individuals who are dedicated to the Mission of serving people with the greatest care and love. As a result, they continually work to advance their knowledge and experience to solve complex problems in health care.

Over the past years, this has included gaining the agility skills set, finding creative ways to brainstorm and honing listening skills. Recently the team collaborated with OSF HealthCare Illinois Neurological Institute to build a plan for the future.

This included listening to stakeholders and patients. They then applied what they heard to mindfully set in motion the path to achieving the future experiences our patients and care teams desire.

Adapting to change

We are thankful for our Mission Partners’ ability to pivot in order to serve individuals and communities through these challenging times. To meet the dynamics of the environment COVID-19 created, our Mission Partners created Community Connect (OCC), a platform developed to reduce exposures and support and monitor those recovering from COVID-19 at home.

With the number of cases coming down, we’ve transitioned the tool to improve access to health care, education and chronic disease prevention in under-resourced neighborhoods around OSF HealthCare Little Company of Mary Medical Center in Evergreen Park. It will also be used as part of the Medicaid Innovation Collaborative to create solutions that improve access and quality of care for those insured by Medicaid throughout the state.

These are just a couple of the projects our Mission Partners are working on. We have dozens of teams collaborating on many more concepts that will positively impact the patients we serve. We celebrate the many accomplishments they have achieved over the past year.

Thankful for our team

If we think about the transformation of health care and what is required for that, it’s agility, flexibility and creativity. There is also a strong focus on listening to the problems we’re trying to solve and then recognizing the need to build the skills necessary to realize new solutions.

We are thankful our Mission Partners embraced and developed these abilities and more to serve our patients and communities in these challenging times. Whether we are working in a hybrid fashion or completely working from home, our Mission Partners have quickly learned how to innovate in a virtual environment and are finding unique ways to connect. We are excited for the day when we can convene again in person to communicate and make decisions faster.

In the meantime, we are thankful for a passionate and dedicated team. We still have the same Mission. And we still have the same vision for a future of health care where we making a difference for the people we serve in new and exciting ways.

Have a very blessed Thanksgiving!

Last Updated: February 10, 2022

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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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About Author: John Vozenilek

Dr. John Vozenilek, MD works primarily across two wonderful entities in central Illinois; University of Illinois College of Engineering (BioEng) and Health Care Systems Engineering Center and as Chief Medical Officer for Digital Health and Innovation, leading OSF Innovation and the OSF Jump Center. At OSF, the work began as proper training for clinicians, now the center leads the charge to incorporate design and engineering into our healthcare work. Currently, the simulation center allows designers and engineers to observe and characterize “work as performed” for their creative efforts.

As Chief Medical Officer for Digital Health and Innovation, Dr. Vozenilek leads efforts to improve health outcomes; in particular via physician and provider workforce development, in telehealth applications, human centered design work to address disparities in health outcomes due to non-clinical determinants of health, and in the design of interventions addressing cost, quality, patient and provider experience. Under his remit, the “Innovation Discovery Labs” have established key focus areas for healthcare innovation at OSF.

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Categories: Innovation