Illuminating the Bright Spots: goShadow at the IHI Forum

As we move towards a new year and for goShadow’s last blog post of the year, we wanted to bring you another moment from goShadow’s 2021 highlight reel. Despite another tough year with Covid, the staff at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) met the challenge head on and put together an amazing virtual forum. They attracted hundreds of quality improvement enthusiasts from around the world to share and generate ideas about something we’re all passionate about, humanizing patient experiences and safety. goShadow had the honor to present at the IHI Forum “What Matters to You?: Bright Spots” Session, where we demonstrated an operationalized “What Matters to You?” framework and its impact on patient experiences and care. 

Patient reported experiences are becoming increasingly recognized as a valuable asset to inform decisions made about their care and overall experience. The industry is slowly but surely moving away from archaic, paternalistic models of care towards more modern patient-centric models that utilize codesign tools such as “What matters to you?” to inform decisions. “What matters to you?” is an internationally recognized person-centered care movement that gets to the root of what matters most to patients by flipping the conversation from the more traditional “What's the matter with you?” to the more humanistic “What matters to you?.” The goal is to ensure that patients and families are heard, create genuine partnerships, and build more person-centered and individualized care pathways.

How do I get started? It’s easy! It’s all about Ask, Listen, Do. Start a conversation with patients! Dig a little deeper than the diagnosis and create a personal connection. Ask about their experience, what can be improved, how they would improve it and identify shared needs amongst stakeholders. Actively listen to build a foundation of trust and show that their engagement is valued and taken seriously. You may even identify simple yet meaningful things you can do for them in the moment, such as grabbing them a warm blanket or giving them playlist recommendations! Finally, it’s time to do something with all the data you’ve collected. Aggregate the qualitative and quantitative data from all your collection avenues to learn what matters most to your patients (in their words). Use this information to align strategic plans with the themes or commonalities you see from patient responses.

Unsurprisingly, asking patients how to improve their experiences works, which goShadow demonstrated with the UPMC Bone and Joint Center (BJC). In 2021 the BJC launched the Center for Bone and Joint Health (CBJH). The CBJH is a patient-centered program that seeks to address the health disparities amongst patient populations. Roughly 26% of women have arthritis as compared to 18% of men and of the 10 million in the US with osteoporosis, an astounding 80% are women. African-American women are more likely to develop osteoarthritis than white women with higher prevalences of severe pain. There are clear differences in needs amongst bone and joint health patients that need to be understood so that we can meet their needs to create equitable access and quality of care. To accomplish this, “What matters to you?” was built into the CBJH intake process. This took the form of a 1 hour tele-visit prior to their first in-person appointment. The focus of the tele-visit is to identify specific needs, priorities and patient goals to develop a personalized treatment plan before patients even step foot in the clinic. 

After just six months, new patient interest grew by 48% and return patients grew by 50%. Provider and patient satisfaction, efficiency, and specialist coordination have been celebrated organization-wide as bright spots for 2021. Patients reported feeling heard, their goals being revisited regularly and seamless coordination of their care across providers as chief reasons for continued engagement. They were finally decision makers in their care. 

Looking ahead to 2022, there is no better time for providers and organizations to experiment with “What matters to you?.” Even just starting with one or two patients, you’ll quickly see how much patients appreciate the time you take to connect with them and be amazed by the ideas they have. If you want more information the “What matters to you?” community is large and growing everyday. More information can be found at IHI,, goShadow, and Montefiore Hudson-Valley Collaborative. If you’re a quality improvement enthusiast and want to jumpstart your 2022 quality improvement initiatives, check out our data-driven toolkits and resources and contact us!    


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Posted on

December 31, 2021