“Want people to buy it? Sell it” The Pacific Clinics' Strategy for Implementing TCOM

by: Dr. Scott Fairhurst

Vice President, Outcomes & Evaluation, Analytics & Training at Pacific Clinics

There are over 4,000 Walmart locations in America. Ninety percent of the population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. Remember that baseball movie with the Iowa cornfield where they said, “If you build it…

In the past 5 years, Walmart has spent between 3 and 4 billion dollars annually on advertising. I think there’s a lesson there.

Consider this: More and more of our agencies are building dashboards and other ways of accessing data. We are all starting to move beyond dashboards that only show productivity.  By now- being a TCOM person- you understand that we’re not in a service industry where we should only measure time spent with clients.  Our reimbursement structures are headed toward value-based care because we’ve been in a transformational industry all along. 

At Pacific Clinics, we’ve built some (if I do say so myself) amazing dashboards.  We have two employees, Alice Loo and Neal Gecha, who have focused their coding skills on representing the clinical course of care in a way that visually tells the story.  Seriously, they’re amazing. The dashboards refresh every night, the data integrates client improvement with other relevant activities, and we’ve got diversity dropdowns that allow us to check for disparities.

But what I really want is for our employees to access the dashboards on their own and often. I want them to look at the changes in needs and strengths (Transformation), together with clients (Collaborative), in a way that connects services and clinical change (Outcomes), and to reach a consensus on adjustments to make treatment more effective as they move forward (Management).  I want our leaders to track areas where client improvement is more or less likely to occur and to build in training, coaching, and supervision to implement evidence-based practices that are based on our own clients. 

A team of professionals collaborating around a conference table
Pacific Clinics' Strategy for Implementing TCOM

We’ve got some agency leaders who are doing this, we’ve got a few supervisors who are, we’ve got hardly any direct care employees who are.  I guess I’ve maybe wished that everyone would magically walk out of the cornfield and have a catch.

But back to the real world, back to Walmart.  Almost 4 billion dollars were spent in 2022 to get customers to change their behavior and interact more with their product.  The lesson?  Now that it’s been built, it’s time to nudge, remind, inform, tempt, incentivize, and persuade.

My New Year’s resolution for 2023?  No more depending on the simple presence of amazing dashboards to change people’s habits. We are going to advertise. Maybe you’ve had a similar experience.  You know what?  Let’s work together by writing a strategy in the comments section about how to draw clinicians into the outcomes visualizations we build.

I promise, if you comment below I’ll beat the drum.

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Dr. Scott Fairhurst

Dr. Scott Fairhurst, the Vice President, Outcomes & Evaluation, Analytics & Training at Pacific Clinics, a large Community Based Mental Health provider in California, where he is focused on increasing the evidence-based work of the leaders, supervisors, and direct-service employees. 

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