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Compass Health COO on leading a century-old healthcare org into telemedicine amid a pandemic
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Stacey Alles, chief working officer for Compass Health. (Compass Health Photo)

The COVID-19 disaster isn’t the first world pandemic skilled by Compass Health, a nonprofit caring for psychological well being and substance abuse sufferers. It’s laborious to say how Parkland Lutheran Children’s Home, as it was known at its start, weathered the Spanish flu a century in the past. But in its present form, the group has undergone a tech transformation accelerated by the novel coronavirus.

In 4 weeks, the healthcare supplier serving low-income sufferers in Northwest Washington was in a position to ramp up a safe telemedicine portal and cloud-based platform and prepare 500 suppliers to use it.

Compass Health went from offering 550 telehealth services in January to almost 6,000 in May.

Chief Operating Officer Stacey Alles helped lead the fast adoption.

“As a behavioral health organization, our primary focus is about people and hasn’t historically been about technology,” said Alles, who joined 25 years in the past as a clinician. “This represented a way for us to use technology to enhance that connection with people. The staff were very enthusiastic about getting it on board.”

Pre-pandemic, Compass Health had began telehealth pilot initiatives and that have was important to the fast transition. The earlier effort included connecting with sufferers by means of cellular models that hold a pill and permit a clinician to flip the system and its camera 300 levels and pan up and down. The interactive setup offers clinicians a view to the home setting to better assess a affected person’s well-being. The gadgets have also been deployed to emergency departments and Compass Health places of work for distant care throughout COVID.

Alles and her husband Joe at Shoshone Falls in Idaho. (Photo courtesy of Alles)

The suite of telehealth instruments, dubbed Compass Health Bridge, helps remove sufferers’ obstacles to remedy, together with transportation and childcare challenges. They broaden the output of psychiatrists, who’re briefly supply.

The fast pivot to telehealth also drew from the nonprofit’s expertise shifting to digital records a few years back. That change took 4 months and gave Alles and her the workforce a confidence enhance and quite a few classes realized.

Now Alles is wanting to the next tech alternative. This fall Compass Health is partnering with the University of Washington and the Washington State Health Care Authority to check a cellular app’s skill to reinforce good coping methods for people with psychotic issues.

“This is just the next evolution in care,” Alles said. “And I really do think that there are advances that the behavioral health industry can make by paying attention to technology.”

We caught up with Alles for this Working Geek, a regular GeekWire feature. Continue studying for her solutions to our questionnaire.

Current location: Everett, Wash.

Computer sorts: Dell Latitude 5290 2-in-1

Mobile gadgets: Samsung Galaxy S7

Favorite apps, cloud services and software program instruments: My largest focus these last few months has been getting our Compass Health Bridge telehealth system up and working. We have been lucky that late last year, we’d began piloting use of a cellular telehealth system to lengthen the attain of our psychiatric suppliers. And then COVID-19 hit, and we had to scale up much more quickly than we’d anticipated.

Using our Bridge system, not solely our medical doctors but also therapists, case managers, nurses and peer counselors can provide telehealth services to shoppers on their own gadgets, all with a cloud-based platform that the majority of our remedy workforce had by no means seen before March. Our accomplice on this challenge is Integrated Telehealth Solutions, they usually’ve been terrific.

More typically, all my assembly notes, initiatives and to-do lists are organized in OneNote. As an group, our use of Microsoft Teams has considerably elevated with the pandemic; now I virtually by no means choose up the telephone if I can call somebody by way of Teams.

Outside of work, Pinterest is my go-to place to discover no matter pastime, challenge or journey plans I’m presently involved in.

Alles’ work from home space options a reclaimed library kiosk. (Photo courtesy of Alles)

Describe your workspace. Why does it give you the results you want? In a surplus retailer years in the past I found this nice old kiosk that used to belong to the King County Library system. It’s good as a standing desk, extra deep with tons of room for 2 screens, docking station and every thing else I need at my fingertips. I’ve got good pure gentle so I can usually get away with not turning on lights — besides my string of fairy lights, because I respect their cheerful whimsy.

Your best recommendation for managing on a regular basis work and life? I try to be absolutely within the moment with no matter I’m doing. At work, I don’t verify personal e mail or texts. But once I sign off my work pc, I’m off for actual. I don’t verify work voicemail or e mail after I’m achieved for the day, and if I have to squeeze in some work over the weekend, I do it in a block after which close every thing up and let it go till Monday.

On holidays I leave my work cellphone behind. If there’s an emergency at work, there are loads of different good, proficient people who can handle it.

Your most well-liked social network? How do you utilize it for business/work? I stay off social networks for probably the most half, maybe because I like to be more intentional about my social time and keep it separate from my alone time. Something about on-line social networks blurs that boundary. I’m on LinkedIn, which has been useful for watching tendencies within the healthcare business. And I’m on Ravelry, a social networking site for knitters and crocheters.

Current number of unanswered emails in your inbox? Zero, but you caught me on a good day. I try to triage my inbox every single day, loosely making use of David Allen’s method to “Getting Things Done.” Email does generally pile up in my to-do folder, but every one has been learn and prioritized.

Number of appointments/conferences on your calendar this week? 18

Stacey Alles (right) along with her sister Melissa and mom Judy at a efficiency of “Hamilton” in Seattle. (Photo courtesy of Alles)

How do you run conferences? I like a structured agenda in phrases of what the scope of the assembly is, the aim, the intention, but inside that construction, all members ought to give you the chance to convey their objects for dialogue.

I’ve developed the behavior of taking the minutes of the assembly live on display screen while I’m facilitating in order that people can weigh in on whether or not the salient points and particularly key selections and motion objects have been captured. At the next assembly, we evaluation the previous actions objects and any that aren’t achieved are rolled forward into the present assembly minutes, so we will hold ourselves accountable.

Everyday work uniform? Business informal — slacks, colourful top, sweater or jacket, and solely comfortable sneakers make the lower.

How do you make time for family? The best factor we do is schedule time to go RVing with our dad and mom and prolonged family. Even a 3-to-Four day weekend right here or there offers us high quality time to calm down and catch up.

Best stress reliever? How do you unplug? I’m a homebody and live on rural property surrounded by bushes the place I can’t see the neighbors. So for me, simply being at home, sitting out on the patio swing with some knitting while watching the wildlife is often sufficient to get me out of my head.

What are you listening to? I hear to a honest number of podcasts, often while I’m preparing for work. And I have virtually each Discworld novel by Terry Pratchett queued up in Audible, anybody of which I’ll put on while I’m puttering round the home, the best way different people play their favourite albums on repeat.

Daily reads? Favorite websites and newsletters? I often do a fast verify of the top stories from the New York Times, Seattle Times and The Everett Herald.

Book on your nightstand (or e-reader)? I’m rereading Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage.” I just lately began a sci-fi novel, “Dragon’s Egg” by
Robert L. Forward.

Alles and her pup Boomer at Mohawk Falls close to Skykomish, Wash. (Photo courtesy of Alles)

Night owl or early riser? I learn a examine once about check topics kept in a room with none means to inform the time or see if it was day or night time. Without the cues, the check topics shifted to a 28-hour day as an alternative of 24. I really feel like that is what my physique is making an attempt to do all of the time. I might simply stay awake longer at night time, but I nonetheless need 7 to eight hours of sleep, so I have to power myself to go to mattress on schedule. Maybe after I retire, I’ll try sleeping solely after I really feel prefer it and see what occurs.

Where do you get your best ideas? Other people. By which I imply, getting a group of enthusiastic, nicely knowledgeable, inventive people collectively to bounce ideas round may be invigorating and produce the best outcomes.

Whose work fashion would you want to study more about or emulate? Anyone who has realized to delegate more successfully than I have to this point. I’m getting better, but it’s a work in progress.



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