Innovation happens every day at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health – from primary care physicians to information services teams to our nursing and clinical staff, we are brimming with the passion to find new ways to improve and transform health care and the health of our community. The Center for Health Care Innovation at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health helps faciliate innovation projects with the aim of scaling them across the system, but this result is not the only one we consider successful. Our innovation processes also allow us to fail fast and learn at low cost. Some of the projects summarized below did not extend beyond an initial exploration phase but are still considered successful because we could incorporate what we learned into other projects.
COVID Digital Patient Flow
We are creating a digital experience for our community utilizing two COVID-19 focused technologies developed by CHCI in Philadelphia. The Q&A Chatbot and the Symptom Checker answer common questions and help users get triaged to the appropriate level of care. COVID Watch monitors COVID-positive patients at home and helps ensure they receive appropriate care if their conditions worsen.
Colorectal Cancer Screening
This project seeks to test assumptions for why patients hesitate to get screened. By remotely educating, engaging, and navigating patients for CRC screening before and after primary care visits, the clinical team will better understand and be able to overcome patients' hesitation to screening.
SAM in Oncology
This project aims to engage, educate, and guide high-risk patients to take charge of their health. The creation of Symptom Assessment Management (SAM) in Oncology has the potential to significantly improve the clinical team's ability to communicate with patients, control symptoms, reduce hospitalizations, and improve patient quality of life.
CHCI-LGH worked with a regional specialty practice to provide remote access to world-class hepatologists at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. Read more about the project in an article for the journal Hepatology co-authored by Executive Director, Innovation Allen Cubell.
Telederm I & II
Telederm I allowed primary care practitioners to decrease wait times for dermatologist consults by sending smartphone camera images for screening. Launched in the winter of 2020, Telederm II equips primary care practitioners with a dermatoscope that provides increased accuracy for the screening of images of pigmented skin lesions.
Executive Director, Innovation Allen Cubell ran a pilot program addressing clinician burnout by providing them with scribes to help administer electronic health records. Allen wrote about the program’s successes and challenges in an article for the Journal of Lancaster General Health.
KneeKG is a 3D weight-bearing knee functional test, which documents and measures kinematics and outcomes to personalize the treatment plan (like the cardiac electrocardiogram but for the knee). The initial pilot allowed the practice using the test to find answers to billing and technical issues. Word of mouth has spread and the practice is now looking for ways to increase use of the test.
Center for Connected Health
In collaboration with the leadership of the Penn Center for Connected Care, we are establishing a Penn Center for Connected Care – Lancaster General Health. This is a community-based arm of the overall organizational approach to virtual medicine and virtual health. The CHCI-LGH team is managing the launch of the Center.
Breathe Better Together
Breathe Better Together (BBT) is a transition-to-home program that uses daily texts to check in on patients with COPD forty five days after they are discharged from the hospital. Launched in January of 2021, BBT utilizes a respiratory therapist to help patients manage their breathing at home with the ultimate goal of reducing readmissions.
Diabetes & Endocrinology Specialty Care
CHCI-LGH worked to help enable practices to identify instances that would put patients at risk for a hospitalization or a decline in their co-morbid disease state. Weekly text-based communications are being used to increase patient response, engagement and outcomes.