Innovation Horizons | Celebrating Community-based Innovation Projects for Person-Centered Health Care
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Celebrating Community-based Innovation Projects for Person-Centered Health Care

Celebrating Community-based Innovation Projects for Person-Centered Health Care

This week I had the fantastic opportunity to participate in two community project showcases led by incredible innovators in Boston, MA and Washington, D.C.  Often, that first step in the innovator’s journey is the toughest. What I loved about these two experiences was the focus on patient experiences, collaboration among stakeholders as active participants and the emphasis on measuring results(And, there were really smart and dedicated people working on them!). I’d like to share a brief snapshot of these two programs to highlight the fact that anyone can be an innovator and it’s always best to work in teams.

This week the Lahey Health Behavioral System held an ideation session “Transforming Tomorrow:  Innovation in Behavioral Healthcare” that also highlighted results from a recent six month pilot project that tested the impact of placing health care professionals in community hospital emergency departments to support the mental health and substance abuse social needs of patients. The project, known as the Community Hospital Acceleration, Revitalization and Transformation (CHART) program, studied results from these interventions on the impact of health care utilization and health outcomes.  Now that the study, funded by several stakeholders, has been completed, these findings have helped shape a new accountable care plan’s approach to addressing important problems such as mental health needs and addiction.  The ideation program included a diverse group of experts who drew up ideas that could be tested in the next iteration of projects.  It was gratifying to see that many of these recommendations were focused on creating better data, and applying it to testing new care delivery concepts.  This meetup was an awesome display of passion and teamwork.  I can hardly wait to hear what will come in their next innovation endeavor.

Later in the week, I participated in the Telehealth Innovations to Promote Person-Centered Care in DC sponsored by the Health Care Financing Administration for the Government of the District of Columbia.  Recently, they funded an innovation project to test the use of telehealth in primary care settings and community settings including shelters and public housing in underserved areas of Washington D.C. The results from the six sites were shared with the public and presented perspectives of patients, government program officials, and a wide range of providers. Attendees of the meeting engaged in several ideation sessions to address next steps to enhance access and quality of services and examine how telemedicine and related services can best be adopted. Important contributions from the discussion will be used to address the District of Columbia Improving Care through Innovation Strategic Plan for 2018-2023

Empowering the public, patients and providers to act on their ideas, test potential solutions and measure their effects is an important part of the health care transformation work that lies ahead.  These two teams demonstrate important use cases that other community action teams should consider when contemplating actions in their community.  Collaboration, trust, and transparency are key virtues of health care innovation pilot projects and those features were on display this week in both of these communities.  Congratulations to all involved in both of these projects on their incredible hard work in changing culture.

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