Thrilling our clients with innovation and impact – it’s not just rhetoric. This belief is instrumental for our clients’ success. Earlier this year, we announced the first class of Chief Strategists, who provide vision and leadership to help our clients remain competitive. Get to know each of our strategists as they share their unique insights on their areas of expertise.
It’s no surprise that today’s healthcare organizations face some significant challenges. Rising consumer expectations and industry regulations are among the biggest factors behind this tidal wave of change.
With more than five years at Perficient, Juliet Silver, Healthcare Chief Strategist, runs the healthcare strategy and advisory services team. We recently spoke to her and learned more about what she hopes to accomplish as a chief strategist, her perspective on the healthcare industry, and her interests beyond the world of healthcare.
As a Chief Strategist, you’re considered an expert in healthcare. How would you describe your domain of expertise?
Juliet Silver: There are three key themes that define today’s healthcare industry. One is around population health and value-based care. Another is around digital health, or how technology impacts patient engagement and delivery of care. And the last is healthcare optimization – either from an operational or clinical perspective.
What does the role of a Chief Strategist entail?
JS: We’re charged with staying abreast of industry trends, innovations, and best practices. Then, we apply this knowledge, critical thinking, and ideation to advise clients so they can achieve goals related to healthcare strategy or any other domain.
What are you focused on day to day?
JS: Running the healthcare strategy and advisory services team enables me to be involved in three things. First, part of my role is a working practitioner. I serve as a thought leader and executive responsible for assisting our clients as they develop, communicate, and execute strategic initiatives. I provide industry trends, insights, and proven practices to the conversation, which help them shape executable strategies that drive results.
Second, I support Perficient’s internal teams with specific healthcare domain knowledge. As our business development teams work to solve specific digital transformation or operational challenges for our healthcare clients, I provide advisory assistance for them.
And finally, I’m looking ahead for Perficient and our healthcare practice, surveying the industry landscape to identify tip of the spear opportunities where we may want to expand.
What do you hope to accomplish as a Chief Strategist?
JS: Among my top goals are growing and improving our clients’ business. For healthcare specifically, it’s to help our clients achieve success through ideation, innovation, and orchestration of next-generation healthcare.
What do you see happening in healthcare over the next few years?
JS: Digital health is coming of age. Three years from now we anticipate 25 percent of healthcare consumer interactions will be digital and take place outside of traditional care settings, such as in-person visits with a doctor. The other 75 percent of these interactions will gravitate towards digitally coordinated, real-time health systems.
This shift brings some new options, technologies, experiences, and solutions for care delivery. It’s also driving the majority of efficiencies and capabilities in healthcare interactions. And in general, it’s going to improve the quality of care for patients and members and how we interact with providers. The ecosystem that supports all of this will be greatly impacted.
Regarding value-based care, I expect to see health insurers take a very aggressive stance related to the pay for value agenda in the next three to five years. We’re beginning to see some health insurance organizations target 50 percent of their provider relationships for value-based arrangements.
Personalized medicine is another major trend as we do additional research to leverage genomic data. I think it’s going to become more mainstream compared to where it is today. Healthcare futurists share this view, and of course, the National Institutes of Health is supporting it with substantial investments.
What excites (or scares) you about what’s happening in healthcare?
JS: Healthcare transformation is pushing the boundaries of traditional healthcare models – from driving the need for more affordable care and better access to delivering personalized, contextualized experiences that improve the quality of health outcomes.
All of this has to meet the patient where they’re at in terms of consumer expectations. The possibilities around innovating new products and channels to serve and support them is mind-boggling.
What gives me reservation is the rate of change and the industry’s ability to sustain this rate of change. It’s multifaceted and coming in a variety of ways. Sometimes I worry about the adverse consequences that all of this change has on our physicians and care delivery teams.
Then, there’s the overall support networks or ecosystem that has to change. To reduce the risks of this rapid change, employee engagement and organizational change management are critical components of the journey.
If you’re on the leadership team at a healthcare organization, why does strategy matter for your business?
JS: We’re experiencing some uncharted waters in healthcare. Part of this is driven by the quest for value, but it’s also being driven by consumerism. The industry as a whole is grappling with consumer expectations that are shaped by experiences occurring outside of healthcare. As an industry, healthcare has a lot of catching up to do.
Then, throw in factors such as regulatory reform, increased competition, market conversions, and disruptive new market entrants. All of this creates opportunities and challenges for our clients.
Our goal is to help filter out the market noise and bring some clarity. By providing insights and knowledge, we enable them to chart actionable strategies for navigating and achieving the quadruple aim. At the same time, we’re helping them to delight and engage customers, patients, and members with personalized, contextual experiences to meet the healthcare consumer where they are at.
Think like a Chief Strategist
How should healthcare organizations prepare for the future?
JS: They have to look at where the market is going and understand where they are today. Then, identify what needs to be done to embrace future market trends and changes. And finally, they need to make sure there’s a clear path and roadmap in place that allows them to adapt.
How does your team help clients on their digital transformation journey?
JS: We help them assess the healthcare landscape including regulatory changes, market changes, clinical developments, and innovations. My particular area helps develop models, strategies, and frameworks that can be applied to help our clients get from where they are today to where they aspire to be in the future.
For example, when we worked with a large academic medical center in New York, I was involved with leading a data and analytics strategy. This provided our client with a path forward for implementing an enterprise data warehouse, master data management, and analytics to meet the state’s requirements of the delivery system reform incentive payment program (DSRIP).
DSRIP is the program by which the state of New York is implementing its Medicaid Redesign Team waiver amendment. The purpose of the program is to restructure healthcare delivery by reinvesting in Medicaid. The primary goal of DSRIP is to reduce avoidable hospital visits by 25 percent over the next five years.
New York has allocated $6.4 billion for this program with payouts based on achieving predefined results in system transformation, clinical management, and population health.
Part of the strategy that we helped implement for this academic medical center will help yield some of those benefits.
How do you stay up to date on the healthcare industry? What are your favorite sources to read?
JS: I’m very interested in not only reading about what’s happening in healthcare but also learning about what’s happening outside of the industry. The healthcare industry has traditionally been much slower to adopt competitive, consumer-driven culture. And there’s a lot to be learned from proven approaches and best practices from other industries. Of particular interest to me are some of the white papers and blogs on subjects like conquering complex customer journeys and personalization.
Among the industry-specific sources I read, Modern Healthcare and publications from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) and Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) are go-to resources for me. I’m also constantly reading about specific innovations as they relate to population health.
Beyond the World of Strategy
What are your interests or hobbies when you’re not wearing the Chief Strategist hat?
JS: I have many diverse interests. Just to give you an idea, I live on a 20,000 acre lake at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I like a lot of water sports and outdoor activities – boating on my personal watercraft and kayaking.
A few years ago, I began studying for my private pilot’s license. I never finished so I’m committed to completing that and passing the test to gain my license.
In my spare time, I also enjoy playing Spanish guitar, cooking, and entertaining. I consider myself to be a movie buff and a foodie.
Follow along on this series to learn more about each of our Chief Strategists. And, take a look at recent blog posts they’ve written on trending topics for their industries.