Cedars-Sinai has a simple philosophy: Do the right thing. And doing the right thing has opened the doors to a myriad of leading practices and innovations that have earned the health system Most Wired’s Level 10 certification in 2019 and a Superior Performance Excellence Award.
Cedars-Sinai’s culture empowers employees to innovate, according to Darren Dworkin, chief information officer and senior vice president of enterprise information. It instills confidence among employees, which frees them to pursue a vision of something better, whether for patients, clinicians, the healthcare system or all of those together. “An organization that is wired around doing the right thing creates this trust platform where people’s curiosity rises and their willingness to experiment and collaborate grows,” he says. “Those are the underpinnings of what innovation is all about.”
For patients at Cedars-Sinai, that might lead to a seamless visit to a physician’s office or a more pleasant hospital stay. Their digital initiatives include a tool that lets patients text directly with their physician offices, allowing them to set up appointments, reschedule appointments, ask questions and more. “I think we often underestimate all of the friction that exists for our patients before they arrive in the ambulatory setting and it is nice to see a digital solution that makes it much easier for them,” he says.
On the inpatient side, Cedars-Sinai has added a voice-activated tool to more than 100 patient rooms that gives patients a hands-free way to connect with clinicians and the outside world. The Alexa-powered platform lets a patient make standard requests like ask about the weather or music, activities that are entertaining and lessen loneliness. In addition, it can be used to control the TV and lights, or through Alexa, to contact a nurse.
Hand-in-hand with innovation is a focus on the fundamental mission of an IT department. “The main work that we do is making sure the electronic medical record is up and running and optimized, fitting the workflow patterns of our physicians,” Dworkin says. “That really is the core of the core.”