Episode #84 – ‘How COVID-19 is Reframing Healthcare in America’ with Sara Vaezy &. Maryam Gholami of Providence

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

Last week, I launched a limited podcast series addressing how the COVID-19 pandemic is reframing American healthcare.  You can find the introduction episode here.  In this series, I’ll be interviewing future-facing healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs – to ask two questions:

(1) How is the COVID-19 pandemic immediately changing the way you are delivering healthcare?   (2) How will COVID-19 reframe American healthcare for years to come?

In this episode, we’ll be interviewing two digital innovation superstars from Providence – Sara Vaezy & Maryam Gholami.  Providence is one of the most progressive and innovative integrated delivery systems in the country.  As a result of their long-term investments in healthcare transformation, they are incredibly well prepared for the current situation, and also well prepared to be highly adaptive and agile over the next few months and years.  Lots of lessons to learn from this organization!

What you’ll hear in this interview will include:

  • A ‘consumer hub’ which includes a chatbot “Grace” that assesses and navigates patients to appropriate care – and how that’s been adapted for COVID-19.
  • How Providence has pivoted the use of their online ‘on-demand’ platform “Express Care”, which includes ‘virtual video visit’ services that have now also been adapted to deliver chronic disease management in addition to the already existent urgent-care visit use.
  • The greater than 10-fold increase in the number of virtual visits that Providence has been able to scale up to in the past few weeks!  (A fact that is highly illustrative of the rapid shift, Providence has conducted more virtual visits in the first 3 weeks of March 2020 than in the entire year of 2019)
  • The accelerated advances Providence is deploying in home-monitoring of higher risk patients; as well as their focus on the behavioral health of patients and providers.
  • How diligently the Providence digital development and marketing teams are listening to the continuously shifting needs and expectations of their healthcare consumers/patients; and how rapidly they are iterating their products and services to accommodate.

Providence is a not-for-profit Catholic health system comprising 51 hospitals as well as 1,085 clinics and other health services, with over 119,000 caregivers serving communities across seven states.

Sara Vaezy leads the overall development of the digital strategy, digital partnerships, new business commercialization and business development.   Maryam Gholami is the Chief Product Officer for digital innovations. She leads product development, commercialization, and growth of the consumer digital portfolio. She is also responsible for leading the applications of advanced technologies such as AI and machine learning.

These are unprecedented times, so I hope you find valuable information, guidance, and inspiration in listening to these experts and entrepreneurs share how they are adapting to this pandemic (in real time); and how they’re thinking about and planning for the future.

Until next time, be safe and be well,
Zeev Neuwirth MD