Bio


Experienced physician with a focus on healthcare delivery innovation. Strong clinical experience in internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics, geriatrics, and focused training in integrative/functional medicine & global health. Broad business experience in health technology, medical devices & entrepreneurship. MD from Stanford School of Medicine with concentration in Health Policy and Bioinformatics. MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business with Certificate in Public Management & Social Innovation.

Academic Appointments


Professional Education


  • Board Certification: Family Medicine, American Board of Family Medicine (2018)
  • Residency: Sutter Santa Rosa Medical Center (2018) CA
  • Medical Education: Stanford University School of Medicine Registrar (2015) CA
  • Master of Business Admin, Stanford University, GSB-MBA (2015)
  • Doctor of Medicine, Stanford University, MED-MD (2015)
  • Bachelor of Arts, Stanford University, HUMBI-BAH (2008)

All Publications


  • An Incentive to Innovate: Improving Health Care Value and Restoring Physician Autonomy Through Physician-Directed Reinvestment. Academic medicine : journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges Vilendrer, S. M., Asch, S. M., Anzai, Y., Maggio, P. 2020

    Abstract

    PROBLEM: Many health care systems in the United States are shifting from a fee-for-service reimbursement model to a value-based payment model. To remain competitive, health care administrators must engage frontline clinicians in their efforts to reduce costs and improve patient outcomes. Engaging physicians and other clinicians is challenging, however, as many feel overwhelmed with clinical responsibilities and do not view cost reduction as in their purview. Even if they are willing, providing a direct financial incentive to clinicians to control costs poses ethical and legal challenges. An effective incentive in the current system must motivate clinicians to engage in creative problem solving and mitigate ethical and legal risk.APPROACH: Evidence suggests the most successful behavior change interventions in physicians are multi-faceted and combine intrinsic motivators, such as increased autonomy, with extrinsic motivators, such as access to funding or social recognition. Two academic health centers-the University of Utah Health and Stanford Health Care-have begun experimenting with an alternative value-sharing arrangement. Physician-directed reinvestment is an explicit agreement in which a health care system reinvests a portion of savings attributed to physician-led cost reduction initiatives back into areas of the physician's choosing, such as capital investment, research, or education.OUTCOMES: Both organizations reported similar positive outcomes, including increased engagement from clinicians and administrators, sustained or improved quality of care, reduced costs of care, and benefits from reinvested funds. Many savings opportunities were previously unknown to administrators.NEXT STEPS: Physician-directed reinvestment appears to effectively engage physicians in ongoing efforts to improve value in health care, although formal evaluation is still needed. This incentive structure may hold promise in other configurations, such as inviting non-physicians to apply as project leaders (clinician-directed reinvestment) and expanding the program to non-academic and ambulatory settings.

    View details for DOI 10.1097/ACM.0000000000003650

    View details for PubMedID 32739931

  • PPE Portraits-a Way to Humanize Personal Protective Equipment. Journal of general internal medicine Brown-Johnson, C., Vilendrer, S., Heffernan, M. B., Winter, S., Khong, T., Reidy, J., Asch, S. M. 2020

    Abstract

    The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) has skyrocketed, as providers don masks, glasses, and gowns to protect their eyes, noses, and mouths from COVID-19. Yet these same facial features express human individuality, and are crucial to nonverbal communication. Isolated ICU patients may develop "post intensive-care syndrome," which mimics PTSD with sometimes debilitating consequences. While far from a complete solution, PPE Portraits (disposable portrait picture stickers- 4" * 5") have the potential to humanize care. Preparing for a larger effectiveness evaluation on patient and provider experience, we collected initial qualitative implementation insights during Spring 2020's chaotic surge preparation. Front-line providers reported more comfort with patient interactions while wearing PPE Portraits: "It makes it feel less like a disaster zone [for the patient]." A brief pilot showed signs of significant adoption: a participating physician requested PPE Portraits at their clinic, shift nurses had taken PPE Portraits with them to inpatient services, and masked medical assistant team-members requested PPE Portraits to wear over scrubs. We believe PPE Portraits may support patient care and health, and even potentially healthcare team function and provider wellness. While we await data on these effects, we hope hospitals can use our findings to speed their own implementation testing.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s11606-020-05875-2

    View details for PubMedID 32410125

  • Qualitative Assessment of Rapid System Transformation to Primary Care Video Visits at an Academic Medical Center. Annals of internal medicine Srinivasan, M., Asch, S., Vilendrer, S., Thomas, S. C., Bajra, R., Barman, L., Edwards, L. M., Filipowicz, H., Giang, L., Jee, O., Mahoney, M., Nelligan, I., Phadke, A. J., Torres, E., Artandi, M. 2020

    Abstract

    The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic spurred health systems across the world to quickly shift from in-person visits to safer video visits.To seek stakeholder perspectives on video visits' acceptability and effect 3 weeks after near-total transition to video visits.Semistructured qualitative interviews.6 Stanford general primary care and express care clinics at 6 northern California sites, with 81 providers, 123 staff, and 97 614 patient visits in 2019.Fifty-three program participants (overlapping roles as medical providers [n = 20], medical assistants [n = 16], nurses [n = 4], technologists [n = 4], and administrators [n = 13]) were interviewed about video visit transition and challenges.In 3 weeks, express care and primary care video visits increased from less than 10% to greater than 80% and from less than 10% to greater than 75%, respectively. New video visit providers received video visit training and care quality feedback. New system workflows were created to accommodate the new visit method.Nine faculty, trained in qualitative research methods, conducted 53 stakeholder interviews in 4 days using purposeful (administrators and technologists) and convenience (medical assistant, nurses, and providers) sampling. A rapid qualitative analytic approach for thematic analysis was used.The analysis revealed 12 themes, including Pandemic as Catalyst; Joy in Medicine; Safety in Medicine; Slipping Through the Cracks; My Role, Redefined; and The New Normal. Themes were analyzed using the RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, and maintenance) framework to identify critical issues for continued program utilization.Evaluation was done immediately after deployment. Although viewpoints may have evolved later, immediate evaluation allowed for prompt program changes and identified broader issues to address for program sustainability.After pandemic-related systems transformation at Stanford, critical issues to sustain video visit long-term viability were identified. Specifically, technology ease of use must improve and support multiparty videoconferencing. Providers should be able to care for their patients, regardless of geography. Providers need decision-making support with virtual examination training and home-based patient diagnostics. Finally, ongoing video visit reimbursement should be commensurate with value to the patients' health and well-being.Stanford Department of Medicine and Stanford Health Care.

    View details for DOI 10.7326/M20-1814

    View details for PubMedID 32628536

  • Rapid Deployment of Inpatient Telemedicine In Response to COVID-19 Across Three Health Systems. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA Vilendrer, S., Patel, B., Chadwick, W., Hwa, M., Asch, S., Pageler, N., Ramdeo, R., Saliba-Gustafsson, E. A., Strong, P., Sharp, C. 2020

    Abstract

    To reduce pathogen exposure, conserve personal protective equipment, and facilitate health care personnel work participation in the setting of the COVID-19 pandemic, three affiliated institutions rapidly and independently deployed inpatient telemedicine programs during March 2020. We describe key features and early learnings of these programs in the hospital setting.Relevant clinical and operational leadership from an academic medical center, pediatric teaching hospital, and safety net county health system met to share learnings shortly after deploying inpatient telemedicine. A summative analysis of their learnings was re-circulated for approval.All three institutions faced pressure to urgently standup new telemedicine systems while still maintaining secure information exchange. Differences across patient demographics and technological capabilities led to variation in solution design, though key technical considerations were similar. Rapid deployment in each system relied on readily available consumer-grade technology, given the existing familiarity to patients and clinicians and minimal infrastructure investment. Preliminary data from the academic medical center over one month suggested positive adoption with 631 inpatient video calls lasting an average (standard deviation) of 16.5 minutes (19.6) based on inclusion criteria.The threat of an imminent surge of COVID-19 patients drove three institutions to rapidly develop inpatient telemedicine solutions. Concurrently, federal and state regulators temporarily relaxed restrictions that would have previously limited these efforts. Strategic direction from executive leadership, leveraging off-the-shelf hardware, vendor engagement, and clinical workflow integration facilitated rapid deployment.The rapid deployment of inpatient telemedicine is feasible across diverse settings as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    View details for DOI 10.1093/jamia/ocaa077

    View details for PubMedID 32495830

  • Two treatments, one disease: childhood malaria management in Tanga, Tanzania MALARIA JOURNAL Foster, D., Vilendrer, S. 2009; 8

    Abstract

    In the Tanga District of coastal Tanzania, malaria is one of the primary causes of mortality for children under the age of five. While some children are treated with malaria medications in biomedical facilities, as the World Health Organization recommends, others receive home-care or treatment from traditional healers. Recognition of malaria is difficult because symptoms can range from fever with uncomplicated malaria to convulsions with severe malaria. This study explores why caregivers in the Tanga District of Tanzania pursue particular courses of action to deal with malaria in their children.Qualitative data were collected through interviews with three samples: female caregivers of children under five (N = 61), medical practitioners (N = 28), and traditional healers (N = 18) in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas. The female caregiver sample is intentionally stratified to reflect the greater population of the Tanga District in level of education, marital status, gender of household head, religion, and tribal group affiliation. Qualitative data were counted, coded and analysed using NVivo7 software.Results indicate that a variety of factors influence treatment choice, including socio-cultural beliefs about malaria symptoms, associations with spiritual affliction requiring traditional healing, knowledge of malaria, and fear of certain anti-malaria treatment procedures. Most notably, some caregivers identified convulsions as a spiritual condition, unrelated to malaria. While nearly all caregivers reported attending biomedical facilities to treat children with fever (N = 60/61), many caregivers stated that convulsions are best treated by traditional healers (N = 26/61). Qualitative interviews with medical practitioners and traditional healers confirmed this belief.Results offer insight into current trends in malaria management and have implications in healthcare policy, educational campaigns, and the importance of integrating traditional and biomedical approaches.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/1475-2875-8-240

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272254600001

    View details for PubMedID 19860900

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2779815