All Publications


  • Engaging Frontline Physicians in Value Improvement: A Qualitative Evaluation of Physician-Directed Reinvestment. Journal of healthcare leadership Vilendrer, S., Amano, A., Asch, S. M., Brown-Johnson, C., Lu, A. C., Maggio, P. 2022; 14: 31-45

    Abstract

    Purpose: Physicians can limit upward trending healthcare costs, yet legal and ethical barriers prevent the use of direct financial incentives to engage physicians in cost-reduction initiatives. Physician-directed reinvestment is an alternative value-sharing arrangement in which a health system reinvests a portion of savings attributed to physician-led cost reduction initiatives back into professional areas of the physicians' choosing. Formal evaluations of such programs are lacking.Methods: To understand the impact of Stanford Health Care's physician-directed reinvestment in its first year (2017-2018) on physician engagement, adherence to program requirements around safety and fund use, and factors facilitating program dissemination, semi-structured qualitative interviews with physician participants, non-participants, and administrative stakeholders were conducted July-November 2019. Interview transcripts were qualitatively analyzed through an implementation science lens. To support contextual analysis of the qualitative data, a directional estimation of the program's impact on cost from the perspective of the health system was calculated by subtracting annual maintenance cost (derived from interview self-reported time estimates and public salary data) from internal cost accounting of the total savings from first year cohort to obtain annual net benefit, which was then divided by the annual maintenance cost.Results: Physician participation was low compared with the overall physician population (n=14 of approximately 2300 faculty physicians), though 32 qualitative interviews suggested deep engagement across physician participants and adherence to target program requirements. Reinvestment funds activated intrinsic motivators such as autonomy, purpose and inter-professional relations, and extrinsic motivators, such as the direction of resources and external recognition. Ongoing challenges included limited physician awareness of healthcare costs and the need for increased clarity around which projects rise above one's existing job responsibilities. Administrative data excluding physician time, which was not directly compensated, showed a direct cost savings of $8.9M. This implied an 11-fold return on investment excluding uncompensated physician time.Conclusion: A physician-directed reinvestment program appeared to facilitate latent frontline physician innovation towards value, though additional evaluation is needed to understand its long-term impact.

    View details for DOI 10.2147/JHL.S335763

    View details for PubMedID 35422669

  • Developing best practices for PPE Portraits across 25 sites: a systematic assessment ofimplementation and spread of adaptations using FRAME. BMC health services research Baratta, J., Amano, A., Parsons, P. K., Vilendrer, S., Winter, S. G., Verano, M., Perez, C., Kalanithi, L., Asch, S. M., Heffernan, M. B., Brown-Johnson, C. 2021; 21 (1): 1182

    Abstract

    BACKGROUND: Adaptation, a form of modification that aims to improve an intervention's acceptability and sustainability in each context, is essential to successful implementation in some settings. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians have rapidly adapted how they deliver patient care. PPE Portraits are a form of adaptation, whereby health workers affix a postcard size portrait of themselves to the front of their personal protective equipment (PPE) to foster human connection during COVID-19.METHODS: We used the expanded framework for reporting adaptations and modifications to evidence-based interventions (FRAME) method to better understand the reasoning behind and results of each adaptation. We hypothesized that using the FRAME in conjunction with design-thinking would lead to emerging best practices and that we would find adaptation similarities across sites. Throughout multiple implementations across 25 institutions, we piloted, tracked, and analyzed adaptations using FRAME and design thinking. For each adaptation, we assessed the stage of implementation, whether the change was planned, decision makers involved, level of delivery impacted, fidelity to original intervention, and the goal and reasoning for adaptation. We added three crucial components to the FRAME: original purpose of the adaptation, unintended consequences, and alternative adaptations.RESULTS: When implementing PPE Portraits across settings, from a local assisted living center's memory unit to a pediatric emergency department, several requests for adaptations arose during early development stages before implementation. Adaptations primarily related to (1) provider convenience and comfort, (2) patient populations, and (3) scale. Providers preferred smaller portraits and rounded (rather than square) laminated edges that could potentially injure a patient. Affixing the portrait with a magnet was rejected given the potential choking hazard the magnetic strip presented for children. Other adaptations, related to ease of dissemination, included slowing the process down during early development and providing buttons, which could be produced easily at scale.CONCLUSIONS: The FRAME was used to curate the reasoning for each adaptation and to inform future dissemination. We look forward to utilizing FRAME including our additions and design thinking, to build out a range of PPE Portrait best practices with accompanying costs and benefits.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/s12913-021-06922-2

    View details for PubMedID 34717597

  • Financial Incentives for Medical Assistants: A Mixed-Methods Exploration of Bonus Structures, Motivation, and Population Health Quality Measures. Annals of family medicine Vilendrer, S., Brown-Johnson, C., Kling, S. M., Veruttipong, D., Amano, A., Bohman, B., Daines, W. P., Overton, D., Srivastava, R., Asch, S. M. 2021; 19 (5): 427-436

    Abstract

    PURPOSE: Medical assistants (MAs) have seen their roles expand as a result of team-based primary care models. Unlike their physician counterparts, MAs rarely receive financial incentives as a part of their compensation. This exploratory study aims to understand MA acceptability of financial incentives and perceived MA control over common population health measures.METHODS: We conducted semistructured focus groups between August and December of 2019 across 10 clinics affiliated with 3 institutions in California and Utah. MAs' perceptions of experienced and hypothetical financial incentives, their potential influence on workflow processes, and perceived levels of control over population health measures were discussed, recorded, and qualitatively analyzed for emerging themes. Perceived levels of control were further quantified using a Likert survey; measures were grouped into factors representing vaccinations, and workflow completed in the same day or multiple days (multiday). Mean scores for each factor were compared using repeated 1-way ANOVA with Tukey-Kramer adjustment.RESULTS: MAs reported little direct experience with financial incentives. They indicated that a hypothetical bonus representing 2% to 3% of their average annual base pay would be acceptable and influential in improving consistent performance during patient rooming workflow. MAs reported having greater perceived control over vaccinations (P <.001) and same-day measures (P <.001) as compared with multiday measures.CONCLUSIONS: MAs perceived that relatively small financial incentives would increase their motivation and quality of care. Our findings suggests target measures should focus on MA work processes that are completed in the same day as the patient encounter, particularly vaccinations. Future investigation is needed to understand the effectiveness of MA financial incentives in practice.

    View details for DOI 10.1370/afm.2719

    View details for PubMedID 34546949

  • Supporting First Responders and Essential Workers During a Pandemic: Needs Assessment and Mixed-Methods Implementation Evaluation of a COVID-19 App-Based Intervention. Journal of medical Internet research Vilendrer, S. n., Amano, A. n., Brown Johnson, C. G., Favet, M. n., Safaeinili, N. n., Villasenor, J. n., Shaw, J. G., Hertelendy, A. J., Asch, S. M., Mahoney, M. n. 2021

    Abstract

    The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for first responders (e.g., police, fire, and emergency medical services) and non-medical essential workers (e.g., food, transportation and other industries). Health systems may be uniquely suited to support these workers given their medical expertise, and mobile applications ("apps") can reach local communities despite social distancing requirements. Formal evaluation of real-world mobile app-based interventions are lacking.We aimed to evaluate the adoption, acceptability and appropriateness of an academic medical center's app-based intervention (COVID-19 Guide App) designed to support first responders and essential workers' access to COVID-19 information and testing services. We also sought to better understand the COVID-19 related needs of these workers early in the pandemic.To understand overall community adoption, COVID-19 Guide App views and download data were described. To understand adoption, appropriateness and acceptability of the app and workers' unmet needs, semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted by phone, video and in-person with first responder and essential workers in the San Francisco Bay Area, recruited through purposive, convenience, and snowball sampling. Interview transcripts and field notes were qualitatively analyzed and presented using an implementation outcomes framework.From April 2020 launch to September 2020, the app received 8,262 views from unique devices and 6,640 downloads (80.4% conversion rate, 0.61% adoption rate across the Bay Area). App acceptability was mixed amongst 17 first responders interviewed and high amongst 10 essential workers interviewed. Select themes included the need for personalized and accurate information, access to testing, and securing personal safety. First responders faced additional challenges related to inter-professional coordination and a culture of heroism that could both protect against and exacerbate health vulnerability.First responders and essential workers both report challenges related to obtaining accurate information, testing services, and other resources. A mobile app intervention has the potential to combat these challenges through the provision of disease-specific information and access to testing services but may be most effective if delivered as part of a larger ecosystem of support. Differentiated interventions that acknowledge and address the divergent needs between first responders and non-first responder essential workers may optimize acceptance and adoption.

    View details for DOI 10.2196/26573

    View details for PubMedID 33878023