'Reduce friction in every sense': How 1 leader is redesigning Northwell's workflow

Physicians and patients face a variety of barriers in the healthcare system when delivering or seeking care, with many healthcare leaders seeking solutions to reduce these challenges and deliver high quality care.

Sven Gierlinger, senior vice president and chief experience officer of Northwell Health, spoke with Becker's on his mantra for the next year, which focuses on how the health system aims to adjust its workflow to reduce the "layers and intricacies" faced when seeking care.

Editor's note: This response was edited lightly for brevity and clarity.

Question: What is your mantra for the next 12 months and why?

Sven Gierlinger: "Reduce friction … in every sense." Today's healthcare ecosystem is highly complex and constantly evolving. As a result, it has become increasingly difficult for patients, families and healthcare professionals to navigate through such layers and intricacies. It shouldn't be this hard. As leaders, we are responsible for reducing the amount of work it takes to provide and consume healthcare. This requires pragmatically improving and streamlining how we organize care in a way that it's both patient- and provider-centric. At Northwell, we are becoming an Epic organization, and the journey thus far has helped us reconsider and redesign our workflows to reduce friction and redundancies. We are also exploring the creation of a "customer effort score" where we examine the totality of effort it takes to do business with us — from access, clinical care and medical management to administrative tasks and billing/financial services.


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