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POSTED June 18, 2018

HIPAA Compliance and the Cloud

Stephen Johnston is the VP of Engineering at Force

Traditionally hospitals and other large healthcare institutions managed their own physical servers and IT infrastructure in-house. Today, most of these organizations have either already moved their entire infrastructure to the cloud, are running in a hybrid configuration, or have plans to move to the cloud very soon for a variety of reasons.

Most cloud platforms, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), recognize that their clients are diverse and require that their infrastructure enable a multitude of different compliance programs to be met and they have already gone through the processes of certification to enable this for their customers. Healthcare organizations require that their infrastructure be HIPAA compliant, and other organizations that process payments require that their infrastructure is PCI compliant. There are many different compliance programs and you can see the full list which AWS supports here.

The short answer to “May a HIPAA covered entity or business associate use a cloud service to store or process protected health information?” is "yes", but there are many details to this question that have to be considered.  We will cover some of those considerations in this blog.

How does AWS enable HIPAA compliance? 

In order to run sensitive workloads in AWS regulated under HIPAA the service provider must first accept the AWS Business Associate Addendum (BAA).  The AWS BAA covers the use of a set of HIPAA Eligible Services which can be used to store, process, and transmit PHI.  In addition, AWS offers the "Creating HIPAA-Compliant Medical Data Applications with AWS" whitepaper which outlines how companies can leverage AWS services that facilitate HIPAA and HITECH compliance.

The HIPAA Security Rule includes specifications for the encryption of PHI in transmission (“in transit”) and in storage (“at rest”).  AWS offers a comprehensive set of features and services to make key management and encryption of PHI easy to manage and simple to audit. Service providers with HIPAA compliance requirements have a great deal of flexibility in how they meet encryption requirements for PHI.

What is the Shared Responsibility Model?

It is not enough that AWS itself is secure.  The service providers building the SaaS applications on top of AWS also have a responsibility to configure and use those services in a way which is secure and compliant.  This is called the “Shared Responsibility Model”. 

AWS is responsible for the Security “of” the Cloud.  The service providers have no physical access to the data centers so the security of the infrastructure falls on AWS.  AWS operates, manages, and controls all the components from the host operating system and virtualization layer down the physical servers themselves.  The infrastructure also is composed of all the hardware, networking, and facilities that run AWS Cloud services.

The service provider is responsible for Security “in” the Cloud.  The service provider’s responsibility will be determined by the AWS Cloud services that a customer uses to build out their applications. This determines the amount of configuration work the customer must perform as part of their security responsibilities.  The selected AWS services all have various different aspects which must be configured correctly by the service provider in order to ensure that their service is HIPAA compliant.

Conclusion

Security and compliance is an important, ongoing and evolving process, but AWS customers have the tools available to them to run secure HIPAA compliant workloads in the cloud.  In some cases one would argue even more secure and cost efficient than running their own on premises data centers.  There are very large reputable private organizations and government institutions who entrust their data to the AWS cloud and given the breadth and depth of the security accreditations they stand on they are second to none.


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POSTED June 8, 2018

The Importance of Creating a Virtual Care Continuum

Bill Porter is the head of bundled payment strategy at Force

As we’ve written about before, stakeholders who pay for healthcare in the US (the government, employers and now traditional consumers themselves) are demanding better care for less money.  

Orthopaedics has been a focus area given Musculoskeletal diseases’ prevalence and cost burden.  New reimbursement models (e.g. outpatient joint replacement, surgical bundled payments, condition-state bundles, etc.) are being rapidly adopted to incentivize behavior change and reduce costs. These reimbursement models give providers opportunities to share in savings and revenue by developing more efficient, evidence-based pathways.

In order to clinically and financially succeed in these opportunities, leaders are fundamentally rethinking care delivery -- working to find ways to wrap their arms around patients when they’re outside the hospital. Providers have traditionally micromanaged what happens inside the hospital, now they need to figure out how to micromanage what happens outside of it.  

Timeline of touch points across a traditional episode of care.

Managing care beyond the hospital depends on continuous care in the pre- and post-op period.  In order to create a care continuum, leaders are aiming to create a connected set of providers centered around the patient who can ensure care transitions are seamless, efficient and evidence-based.

Many organizations have leveraged analog tactics to accomplish this -- i.e. hiring care navigators, acquiring or building traditional post-acute care like SNFs, home care agencies, or PT clinics, or partnering with these post-acute providers in the community through a preferred (or narrow) network.

These methods aren’t achieving the ultimate goal of the value shift. They’re high cost and struggle to reach patients in between traditional encounters, where 99% of recovery takes place. 

As other industries are increasingly scaling through digital technology, Healthcare is the only field in the US that has added employee headcount over the last 10 years.  It’s one of the only industries who is still building traditional brick & mortar every chance it gets. 

It’s now been proven in myriad research studies that providers can successfully use technology to navigate patients, deliver rehab virtually in the home and track progress in real-time.  Digital platforms are the most efficient and effective model for creating access and continuity of care required for success in the rapidly changing healthcare landscape.

Timeline of touch points across a digital episode of care.


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POSTED May 22, 2018

Spring AAHKS 2018: Tackling Obesity in Orthopaedics

Miami, FL

The American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons -- AAHKS for short -- attracts total joint arthroplasty surgeons and hospital administrators from around the country to learn about and discuss the latest advancements in orthpaedics. Our team just returned from a productive Spring AAHKS meeting, where hot topics included strategies for same-day joint replacement and bundled payment, and how to tackle opioid and pain management. However, one of our favorite talks was about managing high BMI patients seeking joint replacement.

This is an incredibly important and complex topic, as nearly 40 percent of adult Americans are obese -- 7.7 percent of which are considered severely obese. Individuals with high BMI are naturally at greater risk for requiring joint replacement, but frequently denied the elective procedure based on procedural and complication risk. But it’s these patients who often need it most.

To improve health and lose weight, gradually increasing physical activity is critical. Yet for patients who are overweight and in pain, many are simply unable to reach suggested activity levels. This leaves patients discouraged, left with limited options, and often hope for a positive outcome.

So what can we do?

We asked Dr. Stefano Bini, Orthopaedic surgeon and digital health thought leader, what his main takeaway was from Spring AAHKS 2018. Here’s what Dr. Bini had to say:

“I think there were several takeaways but one of the most important was the new information we heard about the management of obesity, the success of the new surgical procedures performed by our bariatric surgery colleagues, and the potential to work together to improve patient success with joint replacement in the context of obesity.”

He and colleagues from the University of California San Francisco, as well as many other groups, are brainstorming collaborative approaches to tackle such issues in Orthopaedics that link back to obesity.

The methodologies discussed by Dr. Bini and other panelists suggest a teamwork approach, marrying the expertise of bariatric and orthopaedic teams, to treat the root cause of a patient’s health prior to performing joint replacement surgery. The multimodal approach aims to prepare patients who would have previously been unqualified for joint replacement, lose weight so they can undergo surgery and get back to walking with comfort, and living the lives they often never thought possible.

Value-based care and bundled payment initiatives are nudging providers to change their behavior, innovate and redesign for more affordable and accessible care. And the collaborative efforts aforementioned encourage behavior change for the most important stakeholder: the patient.

As newer surgical methods continue to advance, they no doubt yield better outcomes and speedier recovery times. But it’s the collaborative methods like this, personalizing care and putting the patient at the center, that will truly push healthcare forward.

Many providers getting an early start on bundles and outpatient joint replacement are gaining material competitive advantages, from increased volume and market share, to more scalable models for the future. They heavily leverage patient selection tools and processes to identify prime surgical candidates. Commonly, healthier patients mean lower costs, so to optimize outcomes and financial performance in the bundle, providers prioritize these candidates.

Though as we continue to see more and more providers enter bundled contracts, aiming to attract optimized patients, a growing population of patients will get left out.

The wide array of value-based care movements within orthopaedics are helping to advance towards care that is more affordable, accessible and higher quality -- but healthcare is about the patient, and we can’t leave our most vulnerable patients out. Innovative and collaborative approaches that focus the patient at the center, treating the whole patient will move us to a healthier and more sustainable healthcare system.

__________________________

Dr. Stefano Bini is widely recognized as an innovator and thought-leader of all things digitally transformative in the Orthopaedic space. Dr. Bini is a Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery specializing in hip and knee replacement at the University of California San Francisco. He is also the Founder and Chair of the Digital Orthopaedics Conference (DOCSF) and The Regenerative Orthopaedic Conference (ROCSF).


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POSTED May 17, 2018

Successful Patient-Centricity is Patient Empathy

Danielle is on the patient success team at Force.

The purpose of healthcare has always been to help people get and stay healthy. Recently though, we’ve seen a shift in the way that physicians think about their relationship to patients. Leaders are thinking of their job, less as a guardian of patient health, and more of a coach or teacher, activating and educating patients to take better care of themselves. This approach leads to more sustainable outcomes for patients but requires a new level of education and a different kind of support on the part of providers. So, everyone is looking for new and better ways to connect with patients. 

At Force, that’s our entire mission -- to use technology to bring patients and providers together, empowering patients and helping them be successful. As a member of the Force patient success team, I serve as a bridge between patients and the product, helping patients get comfortable with the technology, and answering Force-related questions throughout recovery.

We often run into the assumption that patients won’t actually use technology. Actually, 44% log in without any support and 34%  login with my help. One call from me goes a long way. Once I help a patient log in, that one interpersonal interaction becomes several digital interactions as the patient moves through their care in Force. 

Given how much time our team spends in conversation with patients, we’re in a unique position to support the product team. Our one-on-one interactions with patients give us valuable feedback daily that directly impacts and improves the platform. 

We meet with the product team weekly, to discuss patient feedback and think through solutions. This pathway to innovation ensures that our team and our product remains patient-centric and empathetically responsive.

Companies that better understand and respond to their users’ needs create the best products. Healthcare providers who understand and respond to their patients needs provide the best care.  

Empathetic solutions are a crucial element of success in a patient-centric healthcare landscape. Providers and health systems who understand how their patients think and feel between appointments will be better able to meet them where they are and provide more high-touch and effective care. 

Here at Force, we’ve seen organizations we work with experience a 26% increase in patient satisfaction and a 28% decrease in readmissions. I attribute this in large part to our company’s focus on empathy -- the work we put in to understand and be responsive to patients needs, to empower them to take an active role in their care. 


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POSTED May 8, 2018

Why Online Reputation is Important for Providers

What is the first thing you do when you’re thinking about making a big purchase? Most likely, you do an exhaustive internet search of the product, all of its pros and cons, and where you can get it for the best price. Perhaps you also consult your friends and family if you trust their opinion. Whether you want it to be this way or not, healthcare is quickly becoming commercialized in a similar way. People are increasingly going online to search for, read about, and choose their healthcare centers and providers. Just as we compare and choose our children’s schools, new televisions and phones, we want to be able to learn about and choose our healthcare. Data shows that 84% of new patients research a doctor before deciding on a physician.

With this in mind, online reputation of medical centers, doctors, and other healthcare providers is  becoming increasingly important to understand and manage. Consumers of healthcare are being asked to provide their feedback on everything from the look and feel of the doctor’s waiting room to the friendliness of the nurse and the ease of use of the online patient portal. Data collected from patient satisfaction surveys is being aggregated and used in multiple ways. Consumers are accessing the results of patient satisfaction surveys online at sites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs, U Compare Healthcare, Google, Yelp, and WebMD. The information is being used by clinical teams to improve their care delivery, and analyzed by executive teams to compare providers, workflows, revenue and cost streams, and outcomes. Lastly, the data collected from patient satisfaction surveys is being used by insurance companies and regulatory groups to advise their strategies around value-based care and bundled payment models.

In 2016, the National Research Corporation reported that 47% of consumers indicated that a doctor’s online reputation matters. This percentage is tied with the restaurant industry at #1 among all local business types. Bright Local reports that in 2017, among those who look at online reviews, 68% said a positive review makes them trust a business more. And negative reviews have almost as big of an effect in the opposite direction with 40% saying that a negative review makes them not want to use that business.

Why is this trend of increasing value being placed on online reputation in healthcare occurring? There are a variety of contributing factors. The use of technology amongst consumers of all ages has increased dramatically in recent years. We have more and more choice when it comes to how we interact with society, what we purchase, and how we portray ourselves to the rest of the world. This means that healthcare consumers have increased access to information and are generally more educated about medical care.

There has also been a shift in the broader structure of the healthcare interaction. Patients are increasingly becoming more central to the way care models are designed. Healthcare provider teams are no longer consisting of a strict, linear hierarchy in which the doctor solely dictates the plan of care and administers the intervention. Diverse, collaborative clinical teams are sharing decision-making responsibilities and using patient-centered processes to improve outcomes and patient satisfaction.

Since the Quality Payment Program (QPP) was formed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center as part of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) in 2015, bundled payment initiatives have mandated that providers collect and report quality outcome measures. The results of patient satisfaction and patient experience surveys are a part of most payment models, and results are displayed publicly by CMS. In some cases, these results affect provider and hospital reimbursement, and this trend is only likely to increase with population health management initiatives.

So how are patients interacting with online healthcare review websites right now? Some patients seek places to write reviews on their own if they feel strongly about their experience and want to share it publicly. At many medical centers, marketing teams have personnel dedicated to managing the online reputation of their providers and the organization at large. Doctors and their clinical teams are often enlisted to identify “happy” patients. These patients are subsequently contacted and encouraged to write reviews. Third party groups are also hired by healthcare centers to provide monitoring, consultation, and strategic services aimed at boosting their online reputation.

There are inevitable challenges that arise when patients are sharing their personal healthcare experiences on public websites. Examples include: people creating fake patient accounts and posting negative reviews, websites having different relative importance and score weighting systems, and one or more negative reviews occurring on the first page of a provider’s profile and affecting their overall score. Research shows that most people don’t read past the first 10 reviews before they make a decision about whether or not to visit the provider.

There are multiple ways in which providers and their teams can boost patient satisfaction and online reputation.

Factors that make patients happy/satisfied include:

  • Regular, friendly communication from all members of the healthcare team throughout the entire interaction
  • Information provided in a timely and easily understandable manner, with reference materials to take home
  • Care team expressing that they understand the individual patient’s goals and concerns
  • Intervention or procedure alleviates their symptoms and improves their function
  • Care teams and office staff going above and beyond to make sure patients feel comfortable

Factors that make patients unhappy/dissatisfied include:

  • Long wait times to see providers (with no warning of delays)
  • Inability to contact / communicate with care team or office staff when questions/concerns arise
  • Impersonal or unfriendly communication with care team or office staff (use your name and your patient’s name!)
  • Lack of response to negative feedback
  • Intervention or procedure not effectively alleviating symptoms and/or improving function

At Force, we understand the growing importance of online reputation in healthcare. According to Software Advice, about 77% of patients use online reviews as their first step in finding a new doctor. We also have the privilege of working with some of the most prestigious medical institutions and doctors in the country. Why would we not want to promote their positive online reputation when we have the data to do it? Force is currently in the first of a two-phase initiative to boost the online reputation of its doctors. In this first 90-day phase, we’re tracking the impact of a targeted email outreach to over 800 patients who reported being “very satisfied” with their procedures via a 12-week postoperative outcome form. The email outreach asked patients to review their doctors on Healthgrades.com. Based on the results gathered and workflow discovered in this phase, Force will build an automated system into its platform that will quickly identify “very satisfied” patients and refer them directly to Healthgrades.com to review their doctor.

Healthcare providers and executives cannot ignore the increasing importance of online reputation and patient satisfaction data. As the leading connective technology for valuable care, Force is dedicated to innovating with and for its clients to ensure that their online reputations are reflective of the invaluable care that they provide.


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POSTED April 30, 2018

Building Infrastructure for a Changing Healthcare Landscape

New value-driven risk models are calling on every healthcare provider, from clinics and physician groups to hospitals and health systems, to think carefully about the infrastructure of their care delivery. 

These providers have an opportunity to pivot the way they think about themselves and their project development. As Outpatient ASCs make physicians more independent, docs need to think about how to build infrastructure to function more like an enterprise. 

Meanwhile, hospitals and health systems, which often work with complex, lumbering workflows and technology,  need to figure out how to be more nimble in order to function through the ever-changing challenges of the current healthcare landscape. The future will require everyone to structure their projects differently. The more time passes, the more urgent and difficult this shift becomes. Organizations that are building thoughtful foundations now, will outmatch competition in the future. 

Ange Delgado, our head of product, applied product development methodology to rethink the challenges that healthcare organizations are facing. This is the kind of thinking they use to successfully manage and problem solve on a day to day basis. Through this framework, the solutions that organizations are building tend to fall into two broad buckets: Waterfall Development and Agile Development. 

Waterfall Development 

Waterfall is the method that technology products like electronic medical records (EMRs) have used to develop their solutions. It is a method dependent on sequentiality, rigidity and static goals. Stakeholders asses a problem, decide on a solution, and write detailed requirements and specifications for the feature. That document is passed along to a separate design team, which creates the layout and user interface. Designs are passed to a development team, which writes the code. By the time the feature makes its way back to the stakeholders, new challenges may have developed, along with a new set of goals and requirements. This often makes the feature that is delivered a wildly imperfect solution. The feature might be solving a problem that doesn’t even exist anymore.

This tends to be the way that large hospitals and health systems have managed service-line development and innovation. While this method can provide a sense of security, it becomes a liability as goals shift over the time it takes to complete a project. Today, after millions of dollars spent in their development and implementation, EMRs are plagued by a lack of both interoperability and easily usable digital patient portals.

Waterfall only works when all of the information about a problem is on hand at the beginning of the process. If any new information is gained in the middle of the process, it’s difficult to suddenly pivot and incorporate any of it because the process is phased and the different teams are siloed. In the current shifting landscape, no healthcare organization or technology company has unchanging information and requirements. 

As ever-changing policy forces organizations to maintain performance by continually adjusting their workflows,  using Waterfall development doesn’t make sense. The right solution is always a moving target. The process for building technology to support episode of care management has to be flexible, with involvement from stakeholders every step of the way.

Agile Development

That’s why modern product teams use agile methodologies. Agile is a process characterized by short, regular rhythms of building, assessing, iterating on, and releasing functionality as new information about a problem is gained. 

At Force, this means close collaboration and simultaneous processes in engineering and design, while gathering feedback from stakeholders. When new information is gained, teams can pivot and incorporate that knowledge into the next iteration. 

This method allows us to approach a problem and quickly deliver value when not everything about the problem is known at the start. 

The Ortho market is in constant flux. It is clear that the organizations that succeed in 2018 and beyond are the ones that are willing to pivot quickly and embrace innovation

Players at either end of the spectrum -- physicians managing new independence, and health systems transforming to meet new expectations -- can learn a lot from the workflows their tech partners use to stay nimble and responsive to the needs of their end-users. 


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POSTED March 21, 2018

Power User Spotlight: Rita Hall and Kelly McCrone at University Hospitals

Here at Force we are lucky to work with some pretty incredible healthcare professionals. This spotlight series serves to celebrate some of the fantastic users of the Force platform. It's a chance to learn from Force pros about favorite features, tips and tricks and learn more about them in the process.

Kelly McCrone and Rita Hall work closely together at University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio. Rita is the Total Joint Replacement Program Coordinator and Kelly is the Total Joint Replacement Patient Navigator. With over 30 years of patient care experience between them, we were excited to get their take on Force’s impact and where they think healthcare is headed. 

1. How has your day to day changed since using Force?

Rita: Playing “phone tag” with patients was tremendously time consuming prior to Force. Now we can message a patient anytime, anywhere. 

Kelly: Less phone calls overall and less time playing phone tag with patients.

2. What features do you find most useful?

Rita: Outcomes collection is a huge help, especially in my role as TJR program coordinator. PROs are a major component of the requirements for accreditation. Efficient PROs collection allows University Hospitals to maintain the Advanced Certification from The Joint Commission and submit data to the American Joint Replacement Registry. 

Kelly: I love the mass messaging. I used to call all the patients 2-3 weeks prior to surgery asking them the same set of questions: Do they have a care partner? did they take class?…etc.  Now I can send a mass message with those questions, which frees up time.

3. Do you find that Force makes you more efficient? 

Rita: Yes, the screen has all the information needed, surgery date, etc.

Kelly: Absolutely! It allows me to spend time with the patients that really need my attention and I have more time to dedicate to other responsibilities. 

4. How do you think about technology’s role on a Care Team now and in the future?

Rita:  I think technology will be at the forefront of Care Team workflows in the future. Force provides patients with a real-time connection to our team. 

Kelly: Technology is the way of the future!  We are only going to see more of these innovations in health care. I love the prompt response of the tech support when we have questions or when patients have questions.

5. What’s a fun fact about you?

Rita: I volunteer at the Kids Book bank to promote literacy in young children

Kelly:  I have been married for 15 years and am a mother of three. I swam in college at Edinboro University. 


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POSTED March 20, 2018

The Opioid Epidemic in Orthopaedics

The opioid epidemic in the United States is nothing new. It has been a persistent problem that we failed to address for many decades. At this point,the US accounts for less than 5% of the world’s population, and consumes 80% of world’s opioid supply.

Orthopaedic surgeons are the third-highest opioid prescribers among all physicians, making orthopaedic surgery a major contributor to the current epidemic. With all the media coverage over the years, there has been a rising awareness in the orthopeadics community and many surgeons have started prescribing less opioids to their patients. Despite the efforts, however, the decline in opioid use has not been fast enough to bring meaningful impacts. So what have been the roadblocks?

The first is derived from the current trend towards value-based care and its emphasis on patient satisfaction. Since hospitals are financially incentivized to obtain high scores on the HCAHPS survey, which captures key elements of patient satisfaction -- including treatment and management of pain-- providers are naturally inclined to prescribe opioids. Jena et al. have reported a significant correlation between a hospital’s rate of post-discharge opioid prescriptions and patients’ reporting of “well-managed pain” via HCAHPS.

Second, a large portion of opioids are being prescribed to patients who actually need opioids. According to Bob Twillman, PhD, executive director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, a large share of the opioid consumption in the US could be attributed to chronic high-pain patients. Many of these patients have already developed opioid-induced hyperalgesia and resistance to low-dose opiate therapies prior to their orthopedic surgeries, making it unethical to dramatically limit their access to their opioid medications.

So what can we do? The complexity of the opioid crisis requires a collaborative, systematic approach. Everyone, from medical professionals to legislators to educators, has a role to play in order for these systematic changes to come to fruition. We must strive to establish interventions that prevent new patients from developing opioid dependence while continuing to support those who are already dependent on opioids. Here are some key approaches:

  • Implementing new evidence-based prescribing practices

Physicians must consider all other non-opioid treatment options prior to any opioid prescription. Every physician should be under a strict yet easy-to-follow opioid prescribing protocol like that of Kaiser Permanente where physicians encounter a series of decision support prompts within their prescription systems before they can assign any opioid medication. In addition, there needs to be a continued effort to validate long-term efficacy of opioids at varying dose ranges. Implementing evidence-based insights would allow physicians to prescribe the right dose, at the right time, in the right way.

  • Developing predictive tools

Care teams should identify patients who are at greater risk for opioid addiction based on their baseline characteristics and medical histories. For example, patients with a history of alcohol or drug abuse and who had been on high doses of controlled substances for extended periods of time, require more attention and education.

  • Fostering clear communication

Providers should fully explain the risks of opioids to patients and their families during their visits. Also, it is crucial to understand their attitudes and concerns about postoperative pain as setting reasonable expectations would allow patients to better cope with pain, without relying too much on their opioid prescriptions. Lastly, practicing on-going and more empathetic communication, especially with patients who are at higher risks of becoming opioid dependent, is key. Patients feel more comfortable taking fewer opioids when they know their providers better. Using an online messaging platform, such as Force Therapeutics, could be an effective way for both inbound and outbound communication.

The opioid epidemic has been decades in the making. Addressing this crisis will obviously require a lot of resources and efforts from everyone involved. It will be a long, slow process requiring much patience and consistency, but we need to remind ourselves that every step counts and we need to keep going.


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POSTED March 9, 2018

Building a Culture For Innovation

Claire manages people operations at Force. 

There is no question that healthcare is about people -- and we’re smack bang in the middle of a shifting value landscape where providers are forced to do more with less. Traditionally, the approach to care has led to overutilization of costly services that sacrifice patient well-being and satisfaction. Technology is emerging as a clear solution, but making technology successful in the healthcare space is a unique challenge. It requires an empathetic and all-hands-on-deck approach. 

Que Force. We understand that successful healthcare technology is about the people who use it and the processes it can scale. Our team is dedicated to the idea that technology can connect and empower people to deliver and experience better care, at more accessible costs. In a field known for its wariness of technology, it’s critical that we form and foster a culture that is curious, determined and ready to tackle obstacles head-on. And that’s what we’ve done. 

Our culture is defined by the positive energy our team brings to their work -- we truly value the way in which things get done. When you walk off the elevator into our open office, you can feel the momentum and optimism in the air. I see it in our interactions with coworkers and the attitude with which our team responds to challenges as they arise. 

We come from many different backgrounds. We have people who bring with them formal healthcare experience, and those who bring experience from other industries, but no matter which route we’ve taken we all have a mutual respect for the knowledge our team members bring to the table. Bronwyn, our co-founder and CEO, brought other strong leaders on early. And we continue to grow with a firm belief that the best teams hire smart people who share in their mission and give them room to do what they do best. 

What I love most about Force is the genuine passion on our team. We support each other when pushing new ideas forward, and we show up for each other so we can get one step closer to achieving our goals. We have high expectations for what we can achieve and where we’re headed and we all hold each other accountable for doing what it takes to get there. 

A culture you want to be a part of, creates a company people want to work with -- a company that gets things done and has fun doing it. We are only able to produce such a dynamic platform and service because of the people who work here. Innovation is difficult. Any team looking to take on the status quo needs to be solution-oriented, aligned and optimistic. 

Our foundational values are what align us. I’m excited to kick-off a series of team spotlights over the next few months -- individual team members will share their insights into how our values drive their work:

Empathy: Successful Patient-Centricity is Patient Empathy 


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