“I aspire to change the world and be a legend in my own time. Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ is my life primer. Winston Churchill quotes inspire me. You (probably) inspire me.” – Jess Jacobs
Maybe Jess Jacobs will inspire you – to innovate the patient experience.
In 2013, at the young age of 26, Jess Jacobs was recognized by Fierce Health IT as one of the “Ten Most Influential Women in Health IT”. On August 14, 2016, at 29, she unexpectedly passed away after a battle with rare disease.
I met Jess Jacobs at a code-a-thon (remember those?) in 2011, hosted by then newly-minted HHS Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. – Ted Eytan, MD, Remembering Jess Jacobs
Jess has many accomplishments in health IT, including work for federal government, detailed below, and most recently served as a Director with Aetna’s Innovation Labs. She was also an unrelenting patient advocate who detailed many of her own experiences with the healthcare system from which we can learn.
— Andy Slavitt (@ASlavitt) August 15, 2016
On the Waste of My Time: The Numbers
Jess writes, “Since I’m a numbers person, I downloaded my claims data from my insurer to get a better idea of how much time I’ve wasted in the healthcare system since January 2014. … Here I looked at how long it takes to schedule an appointment, wait in the waiting room, fill out paperwork, wait for nursing, discuss the case with the student/intern, and consult with the physician responsible for my care by specialty.”
“The most egregious offenders here are GI, Psychology, and Rheumatology, all of which have, on average, three hour wait times as they routinely forget I’m physically in the office waiting for them and/or cancel my appointment without calling me,” according to Jess.
What is egregious is the amount of time wasted from patients’ lives, patients like Jess who may have little time left. “In Lean, there’s the concept of Value Added Time (things the customer will pay for) and Non-Value Added Time (things not of value to the customer). Since I’m the customer in this situation, I get to define what’s valuable to me and what’s not,” explains Jess.
For instance, Hematology took six months and over four hours of my life to schedule one visit; however, the time spent with the doctor herself is quite valuable. – Jess Jacobs
In the ten months Jess tracked her “useful” healthcare interactions, she found the “useless” hours added up to 64.18 days.Jess spent more than 2 out of 10 months that she 'lived' wasted on a failed healthcare system. Click To Tweet
We need to do better, not to make Jess’ life mean something. Jess’ life already meant a lot. We need to do this work — policy and love, to make our own lives in some small way measure up. – Carly, My friend, Jess Jacobs
Patient experience at the center, not as the latest trend
As the system moves from fee-based to value-based care, the patient experience can no longer be ignored for other efficiencies. HealthLeaders released a new report on the patient experience and found that organizations’ top three patient-focused areas for improvement are patient satisfaction (79%), patient safety (65%), and clinical outcomes (54%).”
Patient experience should be at the center of our thinking for everything that we do in healthcare, not as the latest trend or another program. – Pam Guler, MHA, FACHE, CPXP, LSSMBB
Raj Ganguly and Eduardo Saverin of B Capital Group say that 2017 will bring a return to the core practice of medicine, “Our view is that in 2017, the market will reward innovative startups that are in the business of enabling providers and pharma companies to personalize care and participate in greater outcomes-based economics.”
We need to remember that those economies need to measure what matters to patients. The winners will be those who solve the problem of time in healthcare – time for patients, and time for physicians, so they can return to the core practice of medicine.
In Memoriam, Jess Jacobs
She was always smiling, laughing, even if it was at the absurdity of life with chronic illness. – Carly, My friend, Jess Jacobs
For the last three years, Jess Jacobs was a Director with Aetna’s Innovation Labs. Prior to Aetna, Jess was with the department of Health and Human Services where she:
- Co-founded the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research’s Health IT Council,
- Wrote the Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Text4baby promotional plan, and
- Helped lay the groundwork for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s (ONC) Investing in Innovations initiative.
Additionally, Jess helped stand up the Federal mHealth and Telehealth Collaboratives in coordination with the White House. For her work with the federal government, Jacobs was recognized as one of the ten most influential women in Health IT in 2013 by Fierce Health IT. For two years, she was vice chair of HIMSS’s Innovation Taskforce, was a member of the inaugural Congressional Apps steering committee, and chaired the mHIMSS Policy and Regulatory Implications workgroup.
Jess inspired so many people — many of whom, she may have never met, or even directly engaged. Her influence was far greater than perhaps even she knew. – Mandi Bishop
— Wen Dombrowski MD (@HealthcareWen) August 16, 2016
— Carly Medosch (@CarlyRM) August 17, 2016
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