When Terry Shaw’s wife was the victim of a car accident in 2016, it completely changed his outlook on care delivery. Even as president and CEO of AdventHealth, one of the nation’s largest faith-based health systems with 50 hospitals across nine states, Terry had a difficult time navigating his wife’s recovery. He spent six months calling in favors to find the right physicians and coordinate care in the out-patient setting. And that’s with a lifetime of healthcare knowledge and the connections to match.
If the road was so steep for Terry and his family, how is the average person supposed to handle similar circumstances?
That question hit home and continues to be a key catalyst for improvements in care delivery that AdventHealth is pioneering under Terry’s leadership. He understands that 95% of contact with patients takes place in the out-patient setting, but knows from first-hand experience just how disaggregated, complex, and difficult to navigate it can be for patients.
In this episode of the Healthcare Is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders, Terry recounts the expansion and evolution of AdventHealth, including its growth from a $2 billion to a $12 billion system over the past 20 years. He also talks to Keith Figlioli about the initiatives underway at AdventHealth to revolutionize the future of patient care, including:
- Reinventing the Consumer Experience – In most other industries, it’s been essential to build a business around customers, but according to Terry, healthcare is just on the cusp of being required to figure out how to design care around the consumer. This includes processes for making sure people have the right care at the right time – especially after a patient is discharged – and making out-patient care just as efficient as in-patient care. It involves rethinking the whole care process, including the social determinants of health, and putting people in the right environment so that mentally, physically, spiritually and socially they have a better opportunity in life than they had before.
- Focusing on “Never” Events. As part of its initiative to rethink the consumer experience, AdventHealth has defined 20 “never events” – situations that it’s working hard to help patients avoid. For example, a patient should never be unable to tell how much a procedure will cost, and should never have to work hard to find care. If they want to make an appointment with their doctor, have someone come to their home, stop by a clinic, or seek care on an iPad, those events may not be traditional primary care, but should be recognized and recorded as such if it works for the individual. To support this, AdventHealth is in the process of rolling out a new app that will enable patients to text their doctor, schedule appointments, access their health records and take a number of other actions that allow them to direct their healthcare in a way that’s convenient for them.
- Looking at Patients as More Than a Diagnoses. Do you have someone at home who loves you? Do you have a sense of peace today? Do you have a source of joy in your life? AdventHealth now asks these questions when patients enter their facilities. If the answers are not what a physician would expect to hear, they’ll work to understand what is going on and refer the patient for additional treatment, therapy and/or care. Terry talks a lot about how a person is more than the sum of their diagnoses, but rather should be looked at as a sum of their thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. As a faith-based organization, engaging patients in this way is extremely important to AdventHealth.
- Partnerships – a Help or Hindrance? The continuum of care is changing and Terry knows that a health system cannot be effective on its own. But he’s focused on finding the right partners in the right places so a patient’s life can be managed in a way they want it to be managed, bringing continuity of care to themselves in a rationalized process for them and their family. Terry understands that it’s not realistic for AdventHealth to offer everything a patient needs in every market. But what it can do is successfully navigate each patient to the right type of care – even if AdventHealth doesn’t offer the service – and then navigate these patients back to understand where they are in the care continuum and further support them.
To hear Terry talk about these topics and more, listen to this episode of Healthcare is Hard: A Podcast for Insiders.