SCAN Health Plan
Promoting collaboration through workspace design
As a not-for-profit Medicare Advantage provider in a highly competitive field, it's crucial for SCAN Health Plan to find cost-efficient ways to offer enhanced, innovative care and coverage for its members. Serving more than 130,000 seniors throughout southern California and Arizona, SCAN's mission is to help seniors live independently for as long as possible – so every dollar saved is put back into care programs. "We need to be more cost effective so that we can provide the quality of care…rather than spending money on administrative costs," says Diane Coles, SCAN's Director of Workplace Solutions. "Our customers benefit from our ability to save money."
Designed for collaboration
One way SCAN has become more efficient is through the redesign of its offices to promote collaboration and enhance productivity – including the integration of SMART Board interactive whiteboards into the new workspaces. The new office concept, based on a philosophy of openness and teamwork, is designed to reduce the need for traditional cubicles and allow a more innovative use of office space. It's also projected to save the company more than seven million dollars.
The new office design includes a "townhouse" concept, in which groups of employees who sit together can redesign their own workspaces to accommodate their productivity needs. And while the SMART Board interactive whiteboards are intended to promote collaboration and creativity across the organization, SCAN staff even use them in the office redesign process itself – for space planning with architects and other vendors and for designing their townhouses.
"SCAN was trying to create an environment that would instill creativity and innovation in our staff," says Coles. "We wanted to break down silos, we wanted to have an 'adhocracy' rather than a hierarchy, we wanted staff to collaborate more – and the SMART Boards really help us do that."
Innovation through cross-functional collaboration
Collaboration using the SMART Board interactive whiteboard helps Nancy Longaza, Multipurpose Senior Services Program Supervisor with SCAN's Independence at Home Program, find innovative ways to deliver quality care to plan members. "The SMART Board definitely provides us an opportunity to look at a case and really focus on the details," says Longaza, whose case management team conducts weekly case review sessions to develop ideas for improving care. "We have a pharmacist, a nurse, social workers and also sometimes therapists come in and provide insight into the case, and then we can work together as a group and develop the best care plan for our clients." According to Longaza, being able to review case files collaboratively on the SMART Board interactive whiteboard makes it easier to take advantage of the entire team's expertise. "As an outcome of our interdisciplinary care-plan conference, [the case managers] can go back to the client and really provide the best care plan possible."
Training key to supporting SCAN's mission
For Jackie Beery, a project manager in SCAN's systems administration department, more effective training is an important benefit of using SMART Board interactive whiteboards. Beery's department maintains and administers SCAN's internal data management system, as well as ensuring staff in other departments know how to use it.
According to Beery, using the SMART Board interactive whiteboard during training sessions helps keep participants engaged and focused, because she can interact with her material and demonstrate procedures from the front of the room. "I don't have go back and forth between the board and my keyboard or mouse," Beery says. "I can do everything I need to at the interactive whiteboard, which helps me make sure people are paying attention and that they're actually understanding what we're working on."
Beery says having trainees work with material themselves helps keep them engaged. "I'm also able to have people come up to the board and get them involved in the training, as opposed to them just watching me do things," she says.
Beery also likes being able to record her actions and save her work on the SMART Board interactive whiteboard, saying it helps support and reinforce what trainees have learned. "If I'm in a session," she says, "and I can tell people need just a little bit more, rather than having to show it two or three more times I'll record what I'm doing, and then I can e-mail it to them and they can look at it at their desks. We can make recordings [of entire training sessions]. We can actually make notes on the screen, capture that as a picture, send it off to someone and make a training document out of that."
Improved training translates into efficiencies that help SCAN support its mission, says Beery. "The more efficient I am…the sooner they can get what they need to do their jobs," she says. "The more we support our internal customers, the more they can support our external customers, which are the seniors."
Interactivity makes communication easier
As a health care analyst in health informatics, Matthew Pasquale is responsible for finding patterns and opportunities in the vast amounts of data SCAN Health Plan processes – and communicating that information to his colleagues. "The value of the SMART Board is in being able to visualize," Pasquale says. "When I'm presenting data to my colleagues, I'm saying 'There is a message in here, and I've extracted the message, and it is my job to make sure all of you understand this message. There is a business opportunity here.'"
For Pasquale, communicating that message is key to SCAN's success. "If I'm not communicating effectively up to [executives], they don't have the information they need to make critical business decisions that move our organization forward," he says.
SMART Board interactive whiteboards help by enabling Pasquale to present data visually and interact with the information easily. "With the SMART Board you can show substantially more data and you can tie it back to the larger picture easier because you're using touch," he says. "Whatever I need to navigate, I just do it by touch."
Versatile collaboration solutions across the organization
So what kind of impact have SMART Board interactive whiteboards had on SCAN Health Plan's ability to deliver on its mission to help seniors live independently as long as possible? "The SMART Board has saved us 38 percent in productivity and cost savings," says Coles. "It fits well with what we're trying to do with our vision and our strategic plan." She adds with a laugh: "If I took these boards away I think I'd lose my job."