Episode 268

Transforming Care Through Virtual Innovation with Dr. Sarah Pletcher

Published on: 18th March, 2024

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Episode Overview: 

How can virtual care and innovative technology transform healthcare delivery? According to our next guest, Dr. Sarah Pletcher, it requires reimagining care models by leveraging cutting-edge solutions. 

As System Vice President and Executive Medical Director for Strategic Innovation at Houston Methodist, Dr. Pletcher leads the nationally renowned health system in developing and accelerating pioneering care strategies for the next decade.

An accomplished surgeon and telehealth trailblazer, Dr. Pletcher shares her valuable insights on virtual nursing programs reducing burnout, wearables enhancing patient monitoring, expanding hospital-at-home offerings, implementing ambient AI for safety, and rolling out system-wide virtual rounding capabilities. 

Join us to learn how Dr. Pletcher is driving innovation at Houston Methodist, enhancing experiences and outcomes through tech-enabled, forward-thinking care delivery. Let's go!

Episode Highlights:

  • Pioneering virtual nursing programs that reduce burnout and retain staff
  • Leveraging wearable sensors and remote monitoring to enhance patient care
  • Expanding "hospital at home" and virtual care offerings to improve access
  • Implementing ambient AI and computer vision for safety and efficiency
  • Rolling out system-wide virtual rounding capabilities in every patient room


About our Guest:

Dr. Sarah N. Pletcher is the System Vice President and Executive Medical Director for Strategic Innovation at Houston Methodist. In this role, she leads the health system on strategy, development, acceleration and execution of new care models and innovations that will move the health system into its next decade. 

Prior to joining Houston Methodist, Dr. Pletcher was the founder of the Centers for Connected Care & Telehealth at Dartmouth- Hitchcock, where she led the health system in the selection and implementation of new strategies utilizing telehealth technology platforms, and developed new clinical products and telemedicine programs across multiple specialties, and in multiple settings. This work includes a national scale telemedicine program which includes more than 60 specialties and six 24/7 hospital service lines, covering 100 hospitals across 10 states, and providing care through 20,000 patient encounters every month. 

As a consultant, Dr. Pletcher has advised health systems, policymakers, and investors about disruptive technologies and new business models that can provide value in serving populations. With over 25 years of healthcare innovation experience, she is frequently sought as a thought leader and invited speaker in areas of telemedicine, mhealth, innovation, clinical quality improvement, provider education and rural program development; and has been the principal investigator on over 15 million dollars of grant and foundational funding to advance these initiatives.

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Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli
Healthcare and Innovation
Passionate Pioneers with Mike Biselli, a nationally ranked healthcare and innovation podcast, and a member of the Health Podcast Network, highlights the innovators, the game changers, and the pioneers who are deeply passionate and relentless in valiantly solving the problems our healthcare industry is facing.
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Mike Biselli

Community Builder | Health-tech Entrepreneur | Podcaster | TEDx Speaker | Dedicated to Reimagining Healthcare