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Episode 6: Rishi Sikka on the crossroads of technology and pop health

Eric Tower March 12, 2020

Rishi Sikka
Rishi Sikka

This week on Talking Pop Health, Dr. Rishi Sikka, President of System Enterprises at Sutter Health, joins host Eric Tower for a captivating discussion about the crossroads of technology and pop health. Rishi shares Sutter’s experience adopting predictive analytics and virtual doctor visits. He also speaks about care coordination and patient engagement on an industry level. 

Dr. Sikka, who began his career in business before transitioning into the health care sphere, has been with Sutter since 2017. Sutter started its population health division just over a year ago. Since its inception, the framework for the division revolves around high quality, cost-effective care with appropriate utilization for its managed care populations.

Some highlights from their conversation:

On obtaining and using data:
“When you’re analyzing data in population health, there are three things that you’re trying to work on. First, you want to know what your current state is. Then you ask, ‘What will be the future state?’ The third piece is that you want the ability to intervene on something that you predict will occur in the future. You want that intervention to be built into the clinical workflow in a way that can be meaningful and impactful and then prevent the thing that you were anticipating.”

On satisfying patient needs virtually:
“We do have a pilot that we will be expanding in the organization that will be full virtual practice. We have some analyses going on right now about the effectiveness of virtual doctor visits, but preliminary results and the anecdotal feedback from our patients is that they like it. It’s an on-demand primary care resource that patients can access from anywhere they are. It’s 100% virtual.”

On focusing on the best interest of the patient: 
“There’s so many different models and structures out there. I would say the common denominators in all of them is that you need to authentically involve physicians in the process. And when I say authentically, It means to be up front. It means to be early. That it is understood that their time and that any decisions, conclusions or feedback that they give will have value and input into a process and that there is patient follow-up.”