Senior vice president for service lines, WellSpan Health
Lecas leads efforts to create woman-specific digital health tools at WellSpan. That includes connecting young women who don’t have a regular primary-care doctor with services they need for birth control; using an online platform to replace some prenatal visits for low-risk patients; and allowing new moms to shop online for items approved for use by their pediatrician, ensuring they are using safe products. The tools proved especially valuable during the coronavirus pandemic as pregnant women and new moms wanted to minimize exposure to risk.
How do you identify opportunities for innovation?
I believe the best opportunities for innovation, especially in healthcare, come from listening to patients and consumers. Their perspectives are paramount–they are the proof-points of a successful interaction or the pain-points of a system that might not be serving their needs. Often, patients will share feedback such as, “It would be easier if” or “I wish I could receive care in this way.” By listening to their ideas, we can begin to develop common themes and apply creative thinking.
What advice do you have for people who know how to get an idea in front of managers but may be afraid of failing?
I think it comes down to sharing the intent of the idea; we all strive each day to do right by our patients. If you start with your “why”—your reason for bringing the idea forward—managers will immediately understand that your intent is not to criticize or complain but to continually improve for those you serve. If you feel more comfortable emailing an introduction before a face-to-face conversation, that can be an option to set a tone and context for the idea you are about to share. I believe, especially in large organizations, this is why just culture is critical to ensuring a positive patient experience; when leaders set an expectation that their staff speak up and share information, the organization will then best achieve its mission and vision.
How do you stay focused on innovation during a crisis?
Some of the greatest opportunities exist within the greatest challenges. A crisis brings everything to the surface—you quickly see where processes are functional and areas where processes are needed or gaps exist. I believe it is our obligation, especially as healthcare leaders, to carefully observe what works and what doesn’t during a crisis, so we can inventory our own organizations, look for opportunities and support our teams in taking risks that will make meaningful difference in care delivery. Our communities are counting on us more than ever to be trusted partners in reimagining healthcare.