Sutter Health Invites Public to Join Unique End-of-Life Conversation

Posted on May 12, 2016 in Transformation

Sutter Health and OpenIDEO challenge logo

Today, Sutter Health announced its involvement with a unique online forum for the public to share ideas on how to further enhance end-of-life care.

Through OpenIDEO’s homepage, an open innovation platform, Sutter Health, a not-for-profit health system, asks the community to join an end-of-life conversation by visiting Sutter Health and OpenIDEO challenge webpage webpage and answering the question “How might we reimagine the end-of-life experience for ourselves and our loved ones?” The platform offers a place to share thoughts, collectively improve ideas, receive feedback and potentially launch a fresh idea. Sutter Health clinical leaders with experience in patient health management, palliative care and digital health helped shape this opportunity to engage the public in conversation. Funding for this project came from Better Health East Bay, one of Sutter Health’s philanthropic foundations; Shoshana Ungerleider, M.D., a California Pacific Medical Center-aligned physician and philanthropist; and other community donors.

This sponsorship is the first of its kind for Sutter Health. The healthcare network embraces feedback from patients and families through many traditional channels, including patient satisfaction surveys and patient advisory councils. This new platform further opens the discussion, allowing those with different personal experiences to share their perspectives in an ongoing, super-charged brainstorming session.

“Listening is an essential part of thoughtful dialogue. Throughout this process, we have great potential to discover ways to better serve our patients nearing the end of their life,” said Chris Waugh, Sutter Health’s chief innovation officer. “We value how this innovative forum gives us an opportunity to hear ideas from unexpected places on a topic that has such deep, personal meaning for all of us.”

According to a 2014 World Health Organization Report, each year around 20 million people need end-of-life palliative care. In the U.S., only 30 percent of people have ever talked about their wishes around death. “We think the unmet needs behind these numbers offer a tremendous opportunity for design,” said Jason Rissman, managing director of OpenIDEO. “We’re excited to explore this opportunity with Sutter Health and look forward to broadening the discussion and exploring innovative solutions.”

About the process

The project is a three- to five- month process that contains six phases:

  1. Inspiration: Invite public to share stories, interviews and tools on the topic
  2. Ideas: Participants share new or existing ideas and refine them based on learnings from the research phase
  3. Refinement: A shortlist of ideas are tested and prototyped, and refined with feedback from a global community
  4. Feedback: Participants share comments and insights on the shortlisted ideas.
  5. Top Ideas: A set of top ideas emerge based on potential for impact, level of engagement and relevance to the topic and evaluation criteria
  6. Impact: Share learnings, find collaborators and share updates.

Sutter Health End-of-Life Program Earns National Recognition

Sutter Health currently supports patients and families with end-of-life care through a series of nationally recognized programs. Sutter Care at Home specializes in home health, hospice and palliative care, and Advanced Illness Management (AIM)®. AIM is a method of delivering care that focuses on the patient’s personal goals, values and preferences for care.  People with advancing conditions have, on average, nine different doctors and juggle multiple prescriptions. They have a more than 60 percent chance of dying in a hospital—even if that’s not what they want. Most patients don’t want to visit the hospital every time their symptoms flare. AIM helps patients better manage their condition so they can remain at home. Sutter Health’s latest data shows that the AIM program achieved:

  • A 69 percent reduction in days spent in an intensive care unit and a 58 percent reduction in hospitalizations for patients
  • Extremely high patient and family satisfaction (greater than 94 percent)
  • More than 52 percent reduction in the total cost of care. Since 2012, AIM has saved more than $60 million for payers.

Often regarded as a national best practice, AIM most recently earned a spot in CAPG’s 2015 Case Studies in Excellence report publication. CAPG’s annual report features case studies from among the country’s most innovative healthcare organizations.

Posted by on May 12, 2016 in Transformation | Comments Off on Sutter Health Invites Public to Join Unique End-of-Life Conversation