Engaging physicians with text-based nudges at SSM Health
- John "JP" Pollard
We recently invited Bradley Schmidt, MD, VPMA from SSM Health to share their journey in getting meaningful feedback into the hands of their hospitalists and advanced practitioners. The webinar was an insightful discussion that covered these topics:
- SSM Health’s goals and use cases for the Agathos tool
- Successful ways to engage physicians with data
- Practice changes as a result of the unblinded peer comparison
- Key insights related to behavior change, independent of technology
Agathos Chief Strategy Officer Stephanie Trees moderated the discussion and added her insights from working on the project.
The journey with data to date
Dr. Schmidt started by sharing how they had worked with clinical data in the past. They had plenty of dashboards, but they struggled to make them relevant to the physicians. Mostly the EHR dashboards were used by administrators to monitor trends. SSM Health had also struggled to isolate and attribute data to specific physicians in a way that was trustworthy. Furthermore, Dr. Schmidt explained that they had seen the power of peer comparison but lacked the process to deliver that at scale. Finally, they simply did not see the type of behavior change they had hoped for in their various approaches.
The Agathos trial
Becoming familiar with Agathos, Dr. Schmidt and the team at SSM decided that they would run a trial with Agathos. The team was curious about whether
- The tool could deliver ROI
- Physicians would use it
- It would deliver the objectivity we needed to inspire behavior change
Dr. Schmidt explained that, “As the trial began, we had a variety of reactions to the Agathos data: some were apprehensive, most were curious — especially the newer physicians who don’t know what is normal — and some were quite enthusiastic.”
In the webinar, Dr. Schmidt walks through the areas that showed statistically significant improvements and a few individual user cases with dramatic changes. Here is one of those user change stories he discussed.
Dr. Schmidt and Stephanie also overviewed the behavior change data following the trial — that is, once Agathos was rolled out across the entire SSM Health System. They then discussed some of the metrics that SSM Health was considering for the future.
Physicians now are past apprehension, settling in
Throughout the conversation, Dr. Schmidt shared insights and concepts that would help any physician leader inspire change at a healthcare organization. He also shared that “now the physicians are getting used to the data and becoming more comfortable with it. They are past any apprehension and now settled in.”
Finally, he explained that “now physicians can see how their individual behaviors tie into the health system’s larger key performance indicators, and they are more connected to being good stewards of their patients’ finances.”
We are extremely grateful to Dr. Schmidt for taking the time to share about this exciting project and all the positive results to date. To watch the full webinar, click below.