Connect Live

Connect Live @ Adventist Health | October 7, 2021
Story 49

This week, join host Joyce Newmyer to learn about the legacy of Frank Dupper and explore exciting changes in healthcare delivery with special guests Lead Customer Care Associate for Behavioral Health at Adventist Health Ukiah Valley Jimmy Pineda, Chief Consumer & Innovation Officer Jason Wells and Consumer Digital Strategy Executive Jennifer Stemmler.

How do we talk to and with each other? How do we maybe do less telling? Because communication isn't just about sharing information. It's a two-way street. How do we ask more questions?

Joyce:

Welcome to Connect Live at Adventist Health. I'm Joyce Newmyer, the Chief Culture Officer at Adventist Health, and your host for Connect Live. Live this week, we'll be talking about Frank F. Dupper, the digital consumer engagement initiatives at Adventist Health and a story about getting answers. Frank Dupper was one of the founders of Adventist Health, and served for over three decades with us. Last weekend, the Granite Bay Adventist Church hosted the celebration of life for Frank Dupper.

Joyce:

Frank was an innovator, and he helped establish many of our current system-wide services. Frank was an embodiment of integrity and servant leadership. He was a servant leader who also set a high bar with his expectations. His handwritten notes are still treasured to this day. His signature line, "Big thanks, Frank," was often pinned in the first page of a book sent as a gift to his team. One of Frank's most frequently recited quotes was, "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care." To his family, many friends, church members and colleagues, Frank remains a hero for whom we cared very much. To one of our founders and a much beloved leader, big thanks, Frank. Today, I'm delighted to welcome our guests, Jennifer Stemmler, Jimmy Pineda and Jason Wells. Thank you all for joining me.

Jason:

Hi, Joyce.

Jimmy:

Thank you. Thank you.

Jennifer:

Hi, Joyce.

Joyce:

Hi. So, Jason, you're the Chief Strategy Consumer and Innovation Officer of Adventist Health. Please tell our audience how our consumer vision will help pave the way for us to achieve our 2030 strategy.

Jason:

Absolutely, Joyce. One of our top strategies is this consumer journey. We've experienced it with most industries, banking. You can now take a picture of your check and get it right into your account. Healthcare? We're probably last in line when you start thinking about consumer tools. It's the digital tools. It's the high-tech, but it's also the high touch. We have to do a better job.

Jason:

And so patient makes you think we're doing things to someone, but consumer is a little different. It's the decision-maker. It's the member and the health plan. It's that well-being partner that may not be in a hospital but is certainly a partner of ours on a well-being journey. The whole consumer team is organizing around those digital tools, the virtual digital health, the innovations like Hospital@Home, but it's also those high-touch experiences.

Joyce:

Well, that sounds like a much warmer way to approach relationships with those we serve. Jennifer, as the executive responsible for Consumer Digital Strategy, why is this work important to you and what excites you about the journey?

Jennifer:

Thank you, Joyce. I am so excited about the journey ahead. I love the work that we get to do, and we come in every day thinking about, how can we better serve the communities that we're in? How can we better serve those consumers that we don't know, and the patients that we do know and need to love on? I think with my background in technology and my love for consumer, being able to develop solutions that really can scale and can provide that touch and that digital nudge, followed by that really important human touch that already exists in our health system today. How can we provide things like online scheduling to our most rural markets and our most urban markets? So that as consumers, I'm dreaming up and thinking of with all of our teams together the ability for a consumer to sit in their home and use their phone to do just about everything that they need to get access to our healthcare solutions.

Jennifer:

At the same time that we're providing associates, just like Jimmy and all of our communities, the ability to relieve some of that burden that consumers can actually feel empowered to do themselves using the technology that we're providing. Implementing it one time, and being able to give access to all of our communities with those same toolsets. Primary care, online scheduling going live November 1st is a great example of that. Right now, we have a handful of providers live, and the data has shown that 23 percent of the appointments being booked online from a consumer – who feels empowered doing that on their own without having to call – they're booking those appointments after hours. Our associates like Jimmy and others, while they're at home spending time with their family, their books are getting filled up. We're able to fill their schedules with times that really meet the needs of our consumers. I'm excited about that, and excited about the work ahead.

Joyce:

It sounds like exciting work. Jimmy, share with us what your role is at Adventist Health.

Jimmy:

Yeah. My name is Jimmy Pineda. I am the Lead Customer Care Associate for Behavioral Health here at Adventist Health Ukiah, and I handle the scheduling and referrals that come into our office for therapy and psychiatry.

Joyce:

Jimmy, you have direct connections to the patients that we serve. What is one of your biggest operational challenges at our clinic in Ukiah?

Jimmy:

One of the big challenges that we have, Joyce, is a high no-show rate. I believe that we have a high no-show rate because a lot of our patients do come from rural areas outside of the Ukiah area and just are not able to make it in to the office.

Joyce:

Jennifer, how can your work help Jimmy with that problem?

Jennifer:

We're very excited. When I spoke with Jimmy, I was so excited to tell him. I was coming out of the phone trying to explain to him that starting November 9th, we are rolling out in partnership a small sliver of our GetWell partnership. It's directly tied to smart SMS texting with our consumers. Just like all of us through the pandemic probably received an SMS text, it felt curated for us. That's because that's what most industries are doing.

Jennifer:

We have the ability to go live with our GetWell partnership to really impact markets where we have no-show rates, especially in our rural communities, where we really have a no-show rate of anywhere between 16, 18 percent. And by implementing this solution with curated experiences, we're able to help provide those clinic associates the help that they need with this digital consumer SMS texting solution. So, very excited about that, Jimmy. We can't wait to partner with you, and to hear how this goes, and how we can continue to help provide those digital nudges to reduce that burden.

Joyce:

Jimmy, sounds like help is on the way. I'm sure this isn't the only challenge you face in the clinic. Is there another frustration that you hear about frequently? One that you're hoping that we can also help solve for you and your patients?

Jimmy:

Yes, Joyce. As a matter of fact, I do. There's a lot of questions that come in almost daily about billing. A lot of patients aren't clear what was being paid for ... and a lot of times, I don't have answers. So, I have to research that for them or help them.

Joyce:

Jennifer, how can you help Jimmy with this? Billing for healthcare is complicated.

Jennifer:

Absolutely, Joyce. This is one solution that really ... I am so excited. I'm thrilled to be partnering with and really embodying the β€œand” in our 2030 strategy, partnering with our revenue cycle friends and consumer. So, it's not either one. We don't have to have great payment collection or a great consumer experience. We want those both to be in line together and working together. Jimmy, what we're doing ... we're getting ready to go live with a strategic solution coming soon to the entire enterprise. Even our patients in our rural markets that is called Consumer Financial Experience.

Jennifer:

So, what is that? That's really the ability for the patients that you're serving in that psychiatry clinic today being able to send based on their appointment all of their forms, the ability to sign those consent forms from the comfort of their home. So, they'll get an SMS text that says, "Hi, Jimmy. We're looking forward to seeing you in our Ukiah Clinic. Please click here and sign your consent forms," right from their phone before they even come into the clinic.

Jennifer:

Oh, and if you've got a co-pay, then if you pay that here using your Apple Wallet that you already have saved on your phone, we'd love to take care of that for you. Being able to curate these digital solutions, partnered with a great consumer experience team and nudge, is just like a dream. And so when that patient arrives at your clinic, Jimmy, there'll be ready for their visit and be ready to see you, which with behavioral health is so critical. So critical that we get the billing experience out of the way, so that our patients can really receive the type of human touch and human service that we all are striving for. We're looking forward to that.

Joyce:

Wow. This sounds like really important work, and I'm so grateful. Thank you all for joining us today. It's exciting to hear more about how we're creating a better experience for all of our patients. So, thank you again.

Jennifer:

Thank you, Joyce.

Jason:

Thank you, Joyce.

Jimmy:

Thank you.

Joyce:

Our final story today is about getting answers. Michael O'Neil has made it his life's pursuit to improve healthcare, and he knows what it feels like to be on the receiving end of healthcare at life's most vulnerable moments. In this week story, Michael shares about the moments that have shaped him, and how the GetWellNetwork started on a bedside tray: a napkin in the hospital. You read this story and many others at adventisthealth.org/story. Friends, thank you for connecting live. And we'll see you here again next week. Until then, let's be a force for good.