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FQHCs in The Age of Digital Health
Episode

Jinsy Jacob, Medical Director- Innovation, Quality, Research at Nevada Health Centers

FQHCs in The Age of Digital Health

 In today’s episode, we have the opportunity to connect with Jinsy Jacob, the Medical Director of Innovation, Quality, and Research at the Nevada Health Centers. Jinsy discusses what they are doing to increase access and improve care to the underserved communities. She also shares her thoughts on leveraging technology to improve health care delivery, and a few challenges health centers have encountered due to the COVID pandemic. It’s a great conversation so please tune in to learn more!

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FQHCs in The Age of Digital Health

About Jinsy Jacob

Jinsy is the Medical Director of Innovation, Quality, and research at the Nevada Health Centers. She’s a well-rounded, driven, and emerging physician leader with expertise in health care delivery, health care, innovation, chronic care, public health, strategic development, and more. Her specialty being pediatrics, she’s very focused on how we can use technology such as telemedicine and other access technologies to improve how we serve the underserved.

FQHCs in The Age of Digital Health with Jinsy Jacob, Medical Director- Innovation, Quality, Research at Nevada Health Centers transcript powered by Sonix—easily convert your audio to text with Sonix.

FQHCs in The Age of Digital Health with Jinsy Jacob, Medical Director- Innovation, Quality, Research at Nevada Health Centers was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best audio automated transcription service in 2020. Our automated transcription algorithms works with many of the popular audio file formats.

Saul Marquez:
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Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the Outcomes Rocket, Saul Marquez is here and today I have the privilege of hosting Jinsy Jacob. She’s the Medical Director of Innovation, Quality and research at the Nevada Health Centers. She’s a well-rounded, driven and emerging physician leader with expertise in health care delivery, health care, innovation, chronic care, public health, strategic development and more. Her specialty being pediatrics, she’s very focused around how we can use technology such as telemedicine and other access technologies to improve how we serve the underserved. And so today we’ll be diving into some of her experiences around the work being done at the Nevada Health Centers, but also her experiences as a physician leader in the space. Such a privilege to have you here with us. Jinsy, thank you for for joining us.

Jinsy Jacob:
It’s an honor to be here Saul, thank you.

Saul Marquez:
Yes. And so we’ll dive into some of the some of the programs and things that you guys are doing and the partnerships that you’ve established to to better serve the population there. But before we do, I’d love to hear more about what inspires your work and health care.

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah. So I think I’m going to quote every physician and say my patients. That is so true. I had a pretty, I would say, sheltered childhood in Dubai and I moved here in 2012 and I started working as a pediatric resident in Camden, New Jersey, which for those of you who don’t know, Camden is not the most glamorous part of it. I think at one point it was called the murder capital. And and.

Saul Marquez:
It’s a big contrast, right.

Jinsy Jacob:
To me that traveled around a little bit more. I lived in other places, too. But when I when I moved out there, the stories that I heard and just the journeys people and how difficult life was, it was sort of something that awakened something in me. And I knew that I would I would at least spend a lot of time in my career working with these folks. And I’m so glad I did, because, like, every day I see more and more stories that inspire me to continue to do the work that I’m doing and stick to. Another passion of mine is sort of being in the health care technology space and seeing how that has really helped my patients, I guess when I was also a resident. I started getting exposed to the space and I started attending meetings where I saw what other people were doing. And it was twenty 12 things were just sort of stacking up. But I saw the potential. And, you know, after my training, when it was sort of time to decide whether I wanted to leave or stay, I stayed because of all the potential that it had and all the work that I was doing.

Saul Marquez:
Now, that’s really interesting. And so you’ve always gravitated toward innovation and how we could use that to improve access and quality. Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at the Nevada Health Centers and just the overall kind of the impact there?

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah, the last two years, we predominantly started working on improving access to our patients. So with Nevada Health Centers, there are 16 clinics and we serve the urban underserved. We serve people in the rural frontier towns. So we really wanted to devise a way to get the expertise from different clinics in our company to the areas that were on menschel, essentially. So we started our telemedicine program sort of focusing on that. And then we we learned a ton from our experience. And so when COVID hit, you know, it was sort of like building on that strength, it was easy for us to transition from a predominantly brick and mortar kind of the day to day workflow to now I think we have about 30 percent to 40 percent of our patients are direct to consumer virtual visit. So that’s that’s that’s pretty impressive. I’m very proud of myself.

Saul Marquez:
So where did that start? So what was the number? You said 30 to 40 percent. What was the number before COVID?

Jinsy Jacob:
It was definitely a minority of people and I would say less than 10 percent. It was definitely more rural to urban. But when right. before covid had also sort of started on this role of, hey, let’s see, now that we’ve sort of done telemedicine, let’s start incorporating more of these technologies that have been out there and let’s see what we can afford and B, roll out within our company. So we started looking at some of our goals and started looking at startups that were sort of in that space and able to deliver on those.

Saul Marquez:
That’s really great. That’s really great. It just you’re gravitating toward. All right. We figured out telemedicine where we’ve incorporated it. And that helped you guys in a big way with I mean, now 30 to 40 percent of all of your patients being cared for that way that year. Your foresight really helped both the practice, I’m sure, and patients wanting the care. Would you say what would you say when this is over? I mean, do you feel that mix is going to change or do you feel like this is a transformation that is going to stick?

Jinsy Jacob:
I think we were always down going down this road. I think COVID just is the steroid that pushed as there. So I don’t think we’re going to go back to business as usual. I think we’ve sort of been evolving from this thing where health care was all about, OK, I got my clinic open, you come to me where now it’s changing and we’re meeting people where they’re at. And I think that’s the most important lesson that I’ve been sort of learning from my mentors and also the people that I have the honor of working with. So I think that transition is just going to keep continuing. So, yeah, our goal is to keep things as is because our patients love connecting to us via the technologies that we have and they don’t want to go back.

Saul Marquez:
So I know it’s like once you feel the difference, you’re like, well, wow, I don’t take this away from me. Yeah.

Saul Marquez:
So, Jinsy, tell me more about how you guys have delivered care differently and in an innovative way that beyond the telemedicine, you mentioned a couple other things that maybe you guys are dabbling in or maybe implemented. I’d love to hear about those and how you feel they’re making a difference.

Jinsy Jacob:
I think the one space that we decided to focus on was we’re going to be in tech for that sort of differentiating feature. So apart from just the telemedicine aspect, we are looking at, you know, reaching out to our patients and we’re doing a lot of speaking engagements, just focusing on rolling out like bidirectional texting because patients hate calling and waiting in those keys, also focusing on like patient education, using some of our resources to, for example, help our diabetic patients in rural Nevada who don’t really have access to nutritionists there. We’re using technology to make our operations a lot smoother as well. So these are all things that we’re looking at or are in the process of implementing. So it’s been a challenge because with everything, it’s sort of how do you fit things into the existing workflow fitted in without having to move your existing workflow? So much that I think from all of this, that’s the one thing that we’ve sort of learned is like, OK, let’s make our workflows a little more dynamic, change things around so that we can incorporate these things. So we have cross-functional teams that we’ve started developing now that need and kind of go through these issues so that we can implement things without too much hassle.

Saul Marquez:
Hmm. Yeah, that’s a good column. I like that a lot. And I was recently I was spending some time with the founders of Unitas. I don’t know. Have you heard of that that company?

Saul Marquez:
No. Could you tell me a little bit more?

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, just in a nutshell, they they they provide so they basically help merge social care with medical care. And they are kind of the go between all of the environment, including FQHC which is community and providers, and they help bring together services and make it better. And one of the things that they mentioned is helping centers like yours automate and adapt and do more. I was just curious if you had worked with anybody like that to help with the social determinants of care.

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah. So we haven’t yet. And that’s something that we are it’s one of our goals to focus on in the next year. So we have our own social workers within our system and they’re tremendously helpful with connecting our patients to some of these resources, because as you and I both know Saul very little of health care is actually like the medicine piece of a lot of it really is all the things that you were talking about of all of those social determinants. So if we can address some of those barriers, yeah, you’re right. It’s a tremendous help for our patients. So, yeah, I will be taking up UNITAS. That’s going to thanks again.

Saul Marquez:
And I’ll make sure to be give the intro to you, no sweat there. Well, your work has been impactful. And look, there’s a lot of there’s a lot of us working from home and kids are not going to school. You’re your background is in pediatrics. I’d love to hear your perspective on maybe what we should be thinking about as far as parents and caring for our children during this time. Maybe some some thoughts, recommendations or tips there.

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah. So with children, from what I’m hearing from a lot of my parents is that, man, we need to be paying our teachers because they have to deal with that children. But but all kidding aside, I think I know there’s a lot of talk right now about sort of that. And I see some of these inflammatory systems disease, but I think thankfully for most for our children, it’s been a milder form, every every child that I’ve had that has been COVID positive. It’s it’s been milder. So in that sense, I think that’s that’s a huge relief. I think it’s it’s really important to keep them safe. So that whole social distancing, the whole staying away from people who are sick, staying away from grandparents, even though, you know, it’s really hard for the children. So those are all those are all things that, yes, it’s difficult, but it’s so important. And also just talking to them, there’s a lot of kids are also scared and anxious, especially as they get to those teen and tween years. Just having a conversation with them as well would be so helpful.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, good tips there. And so you guys have done some really innovative things and your tech forward, what issues have you run into? What setbacks have you had? Maybe share one and how you use that to to become even better at what you guys do?

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah. So this is I mean, I don’t know that we have a solution per say. Everybody always assumes that the barrier to people in underserved communities having access to technology related to health care is Oh don’t have smartphones. They don’t have tablets. No, that’s not true. Most of my patients have smartphones and tablets. But the challenge that we’re dealing with is the broadband. So we’ve recently learned that 70 percent of Nevada has not great broadband. And I think we really need to sort of step up and maybe have partnerships with people in industry to improve that. And I think that we would be a great thing to do to improve the health outcomes of people who are in all communities.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, it is a big challenge. You know, it’s another social determinants of health, you know, and it’s interesting. And yet I think about the different technologies out there. Right. I met I met a guy who started a company called the Outer Net. And somehow he he fixes like Internet. But it’s a different, more basic Internet. But it still works really well and it’s super cheap. And I’ve got to I’ve got to get his name for for you and everyone. But it is super interesting. And then you have folks like Facebook, Right., and think that they’re they’re doing like drones and provided, you know. Yeah. Finding a way to get our populations that need broadband to get this telemedicine is key.

Jinsy Jacob:
Yes. I completely agree with you. With COVID hitting a lot of a lot of community health centers have found it challenging and some of them are even closing because, A, this population is not accessing care. And we know that people are assuming that their health center is closed or because of the whole social distancing thing, they cannot go into clinic. So one of my pet projects has been how do we get that out to patients and how do we have telemedicine be available to underserved communities? That’s like one of my pet projects that I’ve been working on on the side. So, yeah, it’s it’s definitely a challenging thing. But if we don’t get the help that we need, that they need to, then I think I think we’re going to see issues like what we’re seeing right now where the pandemic is unfortunately affecting communities of color and underserved communities.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah, yeah. That’s so true. And and so, you know, thinking through those challenges is going to be critical, especially now where we are kind of at a turning point in digital health and telemedicine where, like you said, the steroids was COVID. And a lot of people are advancing efforts there. So then we find the gaps of broadband and the other issues. So making sure that we we cover our bases there is critical. And what would you say you’re most excited about today?

Jinsy Jacob:
I think as we go forward, I think the fact that we’re not going to go back to business as usual, that’s something I’m really excited about. I’m excited to see all these cool new startups coming up with solutions to problems that like, wow, that’s really out of the box thinking excited about personalized medicine. And the role that that’s going to have is, as we know, it’s challenging because a lot of the drug trials currently are not with people from the populations that it’s challenging. So some of those things, I think, to see where it can go and the ability of technology to make ourselves better. I think that’s really exciting. And that’s why I am so grateful and excited to be a part of this community.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great Jinsy. Yeah, it’s it’s certainly an exciting time. And, you know, I’m also excited about that we’re not going back to business as usual. And and that that’s fantastic in health care to be more consumer centric, to be using more digital technologies. As you guys continue doing your work and you continue to do the innovation and quality work that you’re doing, what would you want to leave our listeners with? What parting words or call the action would you leave them with? And what would be the best place they could reach out to you if they want to continue the conversation?

Jinsy Jacob:
Yeah, my message is don’t forget about the underserved communities, because really, when you look at health care spending, that’s that’s really where the bulk of it comes from. So so focus on that. And then I am available on LinkedIn or you can even email me. I think. So would you be able to share my LinkedIn?

Jinsy Jacob:
Yes. OK, yeah, I’ll have that.

Saul Marquez:
The links to Jinsy’s LinkedIn and email will include those in the show notes. If you go to Outcomes Rocket that health and in the search bar type in Jinsy. You’ll be able to find ways to contact her as well as all of the show notes and transcripts that you’ll you’ll be able to get there. So Jinsy, such a such a pleasure having you on the podcast today. I definitely am excited for the continual work that you’re doing to increase access and improve care for those that need it most.

Jinsy Jacob:
Thank you so much Saul.

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Things You’ll Learn

Now that things are evolving in healthcare, our goal is to meet people where they’re at.

The barrier to people in underserved communities is not that patients don’t have the phones, but it’s the broadband. We need to step up and have partnerships with people in industries to improve that.

References
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jjacobmdmba/