Q&A: Clinician Impacts Patient Outcomes with Health Tech Career
As an occupational therapist by background and a manager within hospitals and post-acute facilities, Lindsey Weaver’s focus has always been to positively impact patient outcomes. She experienced first-hand how challenging it can be to care for vulnerable patients moving from the hospital into a sub-acute care setting or the home. Her drive to impact more patients, led her to a surprising new career almost a year ago: working for a technology company.
Lindsey’s clinical and management experience made her the perfect hire for Olio, a software solution that simplifies engagement between health systems, physicians, payers and their post-acute partners to improve patient care and outcomes. “By being on our Customer Success team, Lindsey is taking her clinical experience and helping acute and post-acute providers work together in a modern way,” says Ben Forrest, CEO of Olio.
We talked to Lindsey to learn more about why she made the transition and how it’s helping her to continue to provide the best possible healthcare for patients, while working closely with skilled nursing facilities and population health teams at hospital systems.
Why did you first decide to work in occupational therapy?
I always had a drive to help and connect with people who are experiencing some type of acute condition. A lot of times when a patient comes in, they're struggling with basic daily activities and I got to be creative on how I could help them modify, adapt their life or even set up their home differently. I love being able to use that creativity to help improve patient outcomes.
How did you transition from working in the clinical world to working for a technology company?
Once I graduated from a leadership training program with the health system I was working with, I realized it wasn’t my forever. A former colleague said I should consider Olio with my experience and that they wanted team members that understood the challenges of coordinating care for senior or vulnerable populations. I did my research and felt I could more broadly impact fellow clinicians and patients by working for Olio.
How do you describe Olio to people who’ve never heard of it before?
Olio is an active engagement tool that provides a simple way for acute and post-acute providers to communicate and collaborate on patient care.
When you first saw Olio, what did you like the most?
Olio was a missing link between the hospital, physician and post-acute world. The active engagement solution helps providers communicate and collaborate back and forth, and no one else offers that.
When you're in that post-acute environment, you're wanting the best for your patients. We're always working so hard to give patients the best care, to try to progress them and get them back to the safest environment. Olio helps to paint a picture of patient care. It was a missing link, and I wanted to be part of that.
It’s completely different from an EMR and it's easy to use. When we say that it's simple, it is truly simple. It takes 20 to 30 minutes for training the acute side and post-acute users, where we cover all of the main features and functions. It's like any technology, you need to go in and use it to feel comfortable and confident. We also have a mobile application to get timely feedback and responses.
Watch the Video to hear Lindsey discuss how simple Olio is to use:
Did you have any hesitancy about how Olio would work to improve patient outcomes?
When you say the word software or any type of technology to a health system or to a post-acute provider, that's scary. A lot of times, we just feel overloaded. We're focusing on our patients. We all know that there's a learning curve with technology, but Olio doesn’t slow you down — it makes you more efficient.
For me, it’s about communicating what Olio does in the appropriate manner. Post-acute entities have Olio to help them reach out to acute-care providers and it's in real time. No one likes faxing and it's a paper train. You don't have to pick up a phone or wait on a return call. Without Olio, you’re just wasting time with often unanswered phone calls or missing documents when you could be focusing on your patients.
Can you give an example of a SNF submitting an escalation through the healthcare software solution?
In one situation, the health system team and post-acute provider were able to communicate in real time through Olio for a patient who was in the final stages of life. Comfort is very important for a patient during that time. They were able to arrange an immediate telehealth visit with the acute provider, and ordered the medications they needed to be comfortable, rather than possibly waiting hours for a return call.
It’s important to treat the patient in place at the skilled nursing facility whenever possible. How can this technology help?
I've seen a lot of situations where patients have been able to be treated in place. Maybe a patient falls, there's been great questions back and forth between the post-acute and acute providers through Olio where a treatment plan was decided right away and they were able to keep that patient at the skilled nursing facility.
There is nothing more stressful than moving a patient back and forth from the skilled nursing facility to the hospital. That's just so hard on the patient. It's so hard on the families, too. They're wondering why there’s a breakdown in communication when these transfers occur. Before there was no connection between the two providers, and now we can make that happen, while improving patient outcomes.
Any closing thoughts on how Olio is helping skilled nursing facilities and population health teams improve patient outcomes?
I keep going back to it, but with Olio it is simple. It's in real time. You’re able to focus on your patients, you're being efficient and you're often being more productive.
It’s about bringing everyone together. They can go to their patients’ families and inform them that they utilize a tool where everyone is connected to provide the best care for their loved one.