SeamlessMD Podcast - Episode 55 - Dr. Rardi van Heest: Pioneering Digital Patient Engagement for Cancer Care

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December 14, 2021

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Video:

In this episode of the SeamlessMD Podcast, Dr. Joshua Liu, Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD, and marketing colleague, Alan Sardana, chat with Dr. Rardi van Heest, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Research & Academics at William Osler Health System, about "Pioneering Digital Patient Engagement for Cancer Care". See the full show notes below for details.

Guest(s):

Dr. Rardi van Heest, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Research & Academics at William Osler Health System

Dr. Joshua Liu (@joshuapliu), Co-founder & CEO at SeamlessMD

Episode 55 – Show notes:

[0:00] Introducing Dr. Rardi van Heest, the current Vice President of Medical Affairs at William Osler Health System. She currently works with cancer survivors and their families to support them in coping with the effects of cancer care treatment, and has begun early collaboration and planning for a Cancer Care Centre at Osler.

[1:38] How Dr. van Heest’s decision to go beyond clinical care and get more involved in hospital leadership stemmed from the desire to impact the healthcare system at a larger scale;

[5:00] Why Patient-Reported Outcomes (PROs) provide valuable information on what matters most to the patient, which helps provide clearer insight for continuous quality improvement; 

[7:20] Why Dr. van Heest is motivated to leverage digital technology to improve the patient experience because of the increased efficiency and big-scale changes technology can provide;

[8:34] How William Osler becoming the 1st health system in Canada to implement SeamlessMD’s Digital Patient Engagement platform for cancer care aligns with Osler’s mission to expand innovation and collaboration, and demonstrates their commitment to showing patients that their care goes beyond basic services;

[11:10] How Dr. van Heest would describe SeamlessMD as a “curated library” that provides patients with easy access to helpful information that allows patients to self-manage from home. It also keeps patients on track and provides comprehensive insight into a patient’s entire surgical journey;

[16:50] How SeamlessMD collaborates with its customers on the platform in an iterative process, so that any feedback can be applied to continuously improve the program for patients;

[19:00] How Dr. van Heest handled pushback from physicians when initially presenting the idea of SeamlessMD by actively listening to concerns and getting physicians involved in process mapping, and ensuring that the patient remained the focal point throughout the process;

[21:51] How Osler is currently using SeamlessMD to optimize the pre-op anesthesia data collection workflows by training the staff to use the dashboards to communicate information in real-time, avoiding unnecessary phone calls and faxing while also keeping patients in the loop on any changes via notifications; 

[28:35] Why Osler integrated SeamlessMD into their Meditech EMR and Picis OR Manager to automate data flow between the platforms, and how this has helped the staff flag patient predictors to more effectively prevent adverse outcomes and intervene more quickly;

[34:00] How Osler recognized the importance of patient accessibility, diversity, and community focus, identifying that over 45% of their patient population did not have English as a first language. That is why the care team ensured SeamlessMD was available in multiple languages (i.e. English, Punjabi, Urdu, Hindi, Portuguese, Italian and French) so that patients could participate in their health care for improved outcomes;

[36:17] How SeamlessMD has a high patient satisfaction rate at Osler, with 90% of patients recommending SeamlessMD to others. Specific patients at Osler have cited that the reminders, easy access to patient education, and reduced need for calls were key benefits that stood out to them;

[39:50] Why physicians have expressed satisfaction with SeamlessMD, as it decreases their workload and gives patients the tools to effectively self-manage from home;

[46:05] How Dr. van Heest believes that as a woman in STEM, nothing about gender predicates career choice and that your gender shouldn’t determine your success in a field;


Fast 5 / Lightning Round:

Q1: What is your favorite book or book you’ve gifted the most?

“Green Grass, Running Water” by Thomas King

Q2: How has an apparent failure set you up for greater success?

“I took five years off between high school and university to ski (alpine racing). I went to university after that five year break and I got 9% on my first midterm, and I was in science. I just didn't accept that [this] failure defined me, and figured it out - I just figured it out and I struggled, and I studied and it didn’t define me.”

Q3: Would you rather have Super Strength, Super Speed, or the ability to Read People’s Minds?

“Super strength.”

Q4: What is something in healthcare you believe that others might think is insane?

“We don't follow our own advice! For e.g. There are a whole bunch of healthcare providers who smoke.”

Q5: What is one hobby or activity that you’ve gotten into since the beginning of the pandemic?

“Online training (pilates).”

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