00:00 AM

From the Frontlines: Teams in Action – Innovation in Medicine


In this installment of our From the Frontlines series, we touch on how COVID-19 has created a demand for clinicians (and the entire U.S. healthcare system) to be more innovative. 

At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, we launched our From the Frontlines series—a biweekly gathering of clinicians across the country to discuss topics at the forefront of medicine and build connections with one another as we continue to learn more about the Novel-Coronavirus (COVID-19) and confront its newest challenges. The voices of clinicians and their supporters have never been more valuable. Clinicians are on the frontlines of our national response to this virus, called upon to develop immediate strategies and solutions to keep their communities and colleagues healthy and safe.

In this installment, we touch on how COVID-19 has created a demand for clinicians (and the entire U.S. healthcare system) to be more innovative. From the way we engage with patients to how we diagnose and treat them – never before has change come so quickly. Read below for highlights from our conversation with Tejal Patel, MD, Regional Medical Director, and Rich Sanders, Vice President of Innovation.

Tejal Patel, MD  
Radiologist and Regional Medical Director

Tejal Patel, MD

On Artificial Intelligence in Radiology: Radiology is the grandparent of virtual health. We were one of the first specialties to practice remotely, so we are used to new technologies. One of the most recent developments is utilizing artificial intelligence (AI) to help us read. AI evaluates data points from a scan to guide the physician toward a correct diagnosis and increase efficiency.

We just implemented AI software and an application at my hospital to help with stroke and perfusion studies for the brain. We have an application that connects us to our interventional neurologists and residents and drastically decreases the time to treatment. Trained radiologists must still diagnose whether a patient had a right-sided stroke, what vessel it is, where the occlusion is, and more. However, technology is aiding us and increasing connectivity. With AI, we interpret the data and discuss treatment options with our teams.

“To keep up in our field, you always have to be learning. Just as we continue our medical education, we must also continue learning new technologies that help improve patient care and provide faster, more accurate diagnoses.” – Tejal Patel, MD

Rich Sanders
Vice President of Innovation

Rich Sanders

Our pain practices are implementing virtual reality (VR) as an alternative therapeutic, so instead of prescribing an opioid, we are able to prescribe a virtual reality regimen. Patients can put on a VR headset and go through coaching sessions to manage their pain. Ultimately, our goal is to help clinicians provide better care when and where it’s needed most.

We are on the tip of an iceberg with technology-enabled physician practices. My broad scope definition of innovation is anything that adds value to our practice. But how does VR do that? How does it make a difference? Well, it's the beginning of a journey that may open up opportunities for us. VR is new to us, and we will be studying its specific impact. However, new technology-enabled services could create a new business model or workflow, and as we collect more data and continue to explore how we can participate in making our communities more healthy, we will find some exciting solutions.

“We are resilient and embrace change. That's what innovation is all about. The biggest lesson I have learned is if you want to transform something, you must be willing to transform yourself.” – Rich Sanders

From the Frontlines is a biweekly teleconference panel of multispecialty clinicians nationwide who speak from the frontlines and discuss the evolving best practices as they address the COVID-19 pandemic. Visit www.evhc.net/coronavirus to watch past webinars and learn more about our work on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a leading national medical group, Envision brings clinicians together to offer transformative patient care and hospital practices. Our strength is in the shared expertise of thousands of clinicians across the country, each with a unique story and thoughtful understanding of medical practices.