EP283: Your Telehealth Success May Be a Launchpad for Health System Innovation and Human-centered Health Care, With Sylvia Romm, MD, MPH, Chief Innovation Officer at Atlantic Health System

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At the end of the day, health care should be about helping patients find their way to health while doctors, nurses, and other clinicians don’t burn out in the process. It’s becoming increasingly indisputable that the way to get to this North Star efficiently is through human-centered health care.

Human-centered health care is a term coined by Dr. Sylvia Romm, and it’s a play on the term customer-centered design. How do we innovate? How do we use technology to intensify the human experience for both provider and patient? How do we rid ourselves of friction points and create a continuum of care that is sticky and makes getting healthy as enjoyable as Instagram?

In this health care podcast, I speak with Sylvia Romm. She’s an MD and an MPH with a background as a researcher and a telemedicine entrepreneur prior to coming to Atlantic Health System as their chief innovation officer. We talk in this podcast about human-centered health care—what this means, what the success factors are, and how to make it happen. We also take into account the assorted challenges to overcome on the way there.

This interview was recorded moments before COVID-19, and I say that as a good thing. Dr. Romm brings up telehealth as, let’s just say, a first step toward actuating human-centered design in health care. Clearly in the past, that was quite a hurdle. No longer.

So, those health systems or you other stakeholders in the mix who have gotten the telehealth thing nailed, listen on for ways that you can leverage your success. And for those of you who haven’t, well, here’s a little extra motivation.

You can learn more by connecting with Dr. Romm on Twitter at @sylvia_romm.

Sylvia Romm, MD, MPH, is driven by a passion for transforming health care delivery to patients and communities. She brings her background and expertise as a clinician and an entrepreneur to her role as chief innovation officer for Atlantic Health System. Firmly believing that a patient-centered focus is vital to health care innovation, Dr. Romm works with Atlantic Health System’s team members and physicians to find new ways to improve access to high-quality, affordable care. She also forges relationships with local and national innovation partners and works to expand the organization’s research profile.

Dr. Romm is an avid author and speaker in the areas of health care, technology, and health information technology (IT) policy. She has written articles for various publications—including NEJM Catalyst, Forbes, KevinMD, and the Huffington Post—and was named one of Fierce Healthcare’s 8 Influential Women Reshaping Health IT and Becker’s Women in Health IT to Watch in 2020.

A board-certified pediatrician, Dr. Romm has served in a variety of clinical leadership roles throughout her residency and as a hospitalist. Before joining Atlantic Health System, she was vice president of clinical transformation for American Well, the largest video-based telemedicine company in the United States. In addition, she was the founder of MilkOnTap, the nation’s first telehealth company focused on the needs of nursing mothers and lactation support. Dr. Romm earned her Master of Public Health in global health from Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. She holds a medical degree from the University of Arizona College of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics at Massachusetts General Hospital.

02:18 How Dr. Romm’s background in research, public policy, and being a pediatric hospitalist intertwine to create great innovation strategies. 03:22 “How do we look at populations?” 03:31 “It’s really about affecting the system in its entirety.” 04:33 What human-centered health care means. 06:36 “You’re only as effective as the rapport that you build with [this] person.” 08:05 “What do people really need … but also, what do they find valuable?” 09:42 How data are folded into human-centered health care. 11:55 “The endgame is to figure out … how to have a better experience.” 12:39 How this fits into the quadruple aim. 17:19 “We are going to have to earn and learn agility.” 19:38 What has the most promise in deepening the connection between patients and providers. 20:32 “Is this about you, and how do we know … how people outside feel about creating a relationship?” 23:29 Is there a best practice for furthering the patient/doctor relationship from afar? 24:24 The need for a variety of approaches to patient/doctor connections. 27:30 What innovation initiatives need to be successful. 28:07 “People have to understand the ‘why.’” 29:38 The classic tenets of change management. 30:02 A challenge Dr. Romm is proud of having solved. 31:56 Secret weapon: collaboration.

You can learn more by connecting with Dr. Romm on Twitter at @sylvia_romm.

Check out our newest #healthcarepodcast with @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth as she discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation

“How do we look at populations?” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“It’s really about affecting the system in its entirety.” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

What does human-centered #healthcare mean? @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“You’re only as effective as the rapport that you build with [this] person.” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“What do people really need … but also, what do they find valuable?” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

How are data folded into human-centered #healthcare? @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“The endgame is to figure out … how to have a better experience.” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“We are going to have to earn and learn agility.” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“Is this about you, and how do we know … how people outside feel about creating a relationship?” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

What do innovation initiatives need to be successful? @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

“People have to understand the ‘why.’” @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

What are the classic tenets of change management? @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

Why collaboration is the secret weapon to innovation in health care. @sylvia_romm of @SonderHealth and @AtlanticHealth discusses human-centered #healthcare. #podcast #digitalhealth #healthtech #healthinnovation #healthcarepodcast

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