Leaders representing the three entities of Stanford Medicine—Stanford Health Care (SHC), Stanford School of Medicine (SOM), and Stanford Children’s Health (SCH)—gathered in San Francisco on May 14 for an all-day session to learn about the current state of the integrated strategic plan (ISP) and the progress being made on its 25 key initiatives.
“We launched Stanford Medicine’s first integrated strategic plan in January 2018, and it was just about a year ago at this retreat that we began the work of establishing our key strategic initiatives and priorities,” said Priya Singh, chief strategy officer at SHC and senior associate dean for strategy and communications at SOM. Singh moderated a panel discussion of the ISP in Action. “The integrated strategic plan has been instrumental in bringing our organizations together,” she said. “It has made us more aligned.”
To kick off the retreat, the three leaders of Stanford Medicine—David Entwistle, president & CEO of SHC; Lloyd Minor, MD, dean of the School of Medicine; and Paul King, president & CEO of Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford and SCH—each spoke about the progress being made on the three tenets of the ISP: to be value-focused, digitally driven and uniquely Stanford. During breakout sessions in the afternoon, attendees got a chance to “strengthen their strategic muscle” through hands-on strategic planning, marketing and industry relations/digital health workshops.
“Strategic planning is a fundamental process that must be practiced regularly to build and maintain organizational strength,” said Sean Hennessey, chief planning officer for the SOM. It requires regular environmental analysis; a periodic vision refresh; internal analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats; setting key priorities and implementing and tracking progress.
“It was just two years ago we were literally sitting in this room talking about how we could bring three organizations together around a strategic plan,” said Entwistle to the group of nursing, medicine and administrative leaders. “We came up with hundreds of ideas and narrowed them down to 25 key initiatives.”
Some of those key initiatives fall within the realm of being a value-focused organization, one that delivers high-quality, personalized care at a competitive cost. One tangible example of progress in this area can be found in the latest Vizient and Leapfrog rankings, said Entwistle. Stanford Health Care is listed as #4 on the Vizient Quality ranking, a dramatic improvement from #71 a year ago. SHC also jumped from a “C” to an “A” grade on Leapfrog.
“While we are not chasing awards, quality rankings tell you if you’re making a difference,” said Entwistle. “I am so impressed to see how the organization is making progress.”
Many of the day’s speakers talked about the power of digital tools to transform medicine.
“Our location in Silicon Valley gives us a distinct advantage and opportunity to lead the digital transformation of health care,” said King. “We have an enormous breadth of clinical expertise at Stanford. Since our early days, we have served as a major care provider for the peninsula and bay area. With digital, we now have an opportunity to carry on this tradition, but on a much larger scale.”
As a key ISP initiative, Stanford Health Care and Stanford Children’s Health rolled out an Online Second Opinion program last fall to make the process simple and intuitive for patients and physicians. This new service has generated hundreds of consults with Stanford Medicine physicians, and in 67 percent of cases, the Stanford second opinion resulted in a change in the patient’s treatment plan.
“The online second opinion portal opens up Stanford Medicine to a much broader market,” said King. “This is the power of digital. Through the integrated strategic plan, we are in a better position to include digital innovation into the clinical enterprise for the benefit of our patients, families and care providers.”
The keynote speaker for the day, Aaron Levie, CEO and co-founder of Box, Inc., echoed the importance of developing digital solutions for health care. He challenged Stanford Medicine leaders to modernize the delivery of medicine, to make health care more user friendly, more accessible to patients using the technologies that are disrupting other industries.
“Think about yourself as a consumer and how you interact with all the apps in your life,” said Levie. “Figure out where your patients are in the customer journey. Think of the consumer experience in health care. Reverse engineer your processes, call up your tech partners and create a better experience for your patients.”
In an afternoon breakout session, Euan Ashley, MD, and Michael Halaas, Chief Information Officer for Stanford Medicine, led participants in a mini round of Shark Tank to inspire them to imagine new digital solutions for heath care.
“Other industries have been disrupted by digital technology,” said Halaas. “The potential to combine innovation with industry has real potential to change health care.”
Dean Minor took the podium to address what makes Stanford unique. “Our people,” said Minor. “And our alignment around our values.” To illustrate his point, he introduced a new program, the Innovation Accelerator Pilot. The program draws from the talent and experience at the School of Medicine and Stanford University. It brings together the community of scientists in medicine, engineering, humanities and chemistry and health to work together to accelerate the pace of translational medicine. The goal, said Minor, is to reduce the time it takes for a new therapeutic to become available to patients, a process which now takes an average of 10 years and $2.6 billion.
“We hope to be able to transform that,” said Minor. “Even if we’re not able to shorten the length of time for an individual therapeutic, we hope to at least dramatically increase the flux of potential new therapeutics into the various pipelines required to get a therapeutic to patients.”
“It’s exciting to know that there is a way and a place for our faculty to get the help they need as they drive their own innovations and new ideas,” said Singh. “The organic innovation that happens at Stanford is one of our biggest strengths.”
For Minor, the integrated strategic plan represents real progress and boundless possibilities. “Real progress in that we came together two years ago in this room to launch a strategic planning process,” he said. “We can look back over the last two years with a lot of enthusiasm and pride for what’s happened. That progress represents the boundless opportunities for the future. And those possibilities rest with each of you and the work you do everyday.”