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Preparing For the Future of Healthcare and Promoting Health: HealthStream Living Labs

HealthStream’s Living Labs Program embodies our intention to turn the vision for healthcare improvement into reality. From reengineering how annual training is delivered and better identifying rising nurse leaders, to innovating how we care for our aging population, HealthStream partners with our customers to understand and tackle some of healthcare’s biggest challenges.

In this episode, we spoke to Richard Galentino, Ed.D., Vice President, Professional Development Pathways & Living Labs, HealthStream who heads up the Living Labs program. Hear Richard explain why HealthStream decided to undertake these ambitious projects and how some of the findings are leading to real transformation in the practice of healthcare.

Below is an edited excerpt from the recording with HealthStream’s Brad Weeks, our host:

Brad Weeks:

You’ve talked about solving big problems. We use that term a lot because it’s one of our business principles. It really is at the core of what defines us in HealthStream in many ways. I want to get your thoughts on what you think is perhaps the most significant problem healthcare is facing today and how Living Labs can perhaps contribute to that.

Dr. Richard Galentino:         

Solving big problems as you mentioned, Brad, is a part of our core fabric. It’s actually part of our constitution, and it’s why I’m here at HealthStream. Before HealthStream I worked in global health and was interested in development of healthcare systems in Africa, primarily looking at malaria initiatives and other HIV/AIDS awareness programs throughout Tanzania, Kenya, and Central Africa. One of the big challenges that I see in healthcare is a resource constraint. We can see that as healthcare evolves here in the US, we are moving from a fee-for-service model to how are we are managing a certain population of patients. When I was in Africa, there was always a resource constraint. So all grant funding was always based on population management. That’s what we did. If you were working on a malaria initiative, it was based on a region and population, and resources were allocated to that. I think about the finite resources we have here in the US. We’re kind of moving to that model as well, to how are we best managing a population and providing the best health for them. So I think we’re moving in that direction. I think the biggest challenge we face is how do we address the resource constraint in moving from a system in which we are treating sickness if you will, to trying to really promote health. So I think we’re going to have more and more coaches, and more and more health coordinators, as we move on and try to tackle managing population health.

Brad Weeks:                                     

So where do you see the Living Labs program going in maybe the next three to five years?

Dr. Richard Galentino:         

We’re developing solutions in key areas and the Living Labs is going to play a role in that. Leadership is one broad topic that we are diving into and trying to address the future leadership challenge or shortage in nursing and in other areas in healthcare. We’ll continue to be part of the development of future leaders. I also think broadly that we’ll be a part of a new way to look at education and the knowledge that a work force has. Living Labs will help develop the concept that education is really a snapshot of what the work force knows at a point in time, not that they just completed a set of courses by a certain date. We will continue to work on evolving education beyond one facility or healthcare system to a continuum of care. As we evolve education, we need to know that regardless of the fiscal entity that you might be connected to, education will meet a certain standard of excellence across the whole continuum of care, whether you’re in a home health, a skilled nursing facility, assisted living facility, acute care facility or ambulatory care setting. We’ll continue to evolve education models that are broad enough to encompass a region of care. If you really think about that follows the population management concept.

Listen to the full podcast here.

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