Providence is a forward-thinking, large health system that includes 51 hospitals and 1,085 clinics across multiple states. In a recent webinar, Sara Vaezy, Providence’s Chief Digital Strategy & Business Development Officer, shared some insight into their current challenges and how Providence is tackling them.

Sara described Providence’s Digital Innovation Group (DIG) as a “health innovation center focused on delivering transformative digital technology.” They are facing potential disruptions from new models for care delivery, new payer-provider hybrid companies, big technology market entrants, and now in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has become the ultimate disruptor.

Building on a solid foundation

Providence believes that providing enhanced patient navigation and personalized experiences – true engagement – is a way to really differentiate themselves in the market. As they face challenges of patient loyalty, churn, and the new entrants into the healthcare market, they know a compelling engagement strategy is essential. Sara pointed out that they have to take a different approach from a typical consumer facing business. Without big budgets similar to companies like Amazon, Providence is building a powerful digital ecosystem.

This ecosystem includes brand awareness, discovery (e.g. search, website), transactions (e.g. booking appointments, finding a provider), and – perhaps most importantly: engagement.

“There are amazing things you can build on the foundation of a good digital platform with good digital partners…we consider Twistle’s automated digital care pathways a phenomenal chassis on which to build even more things and a better patient experience.”

Matt Cohlmia

Executive Director of Digital Strategy, Providence Digital Innovation Group

Focus on engagement 

Sara shared three essential components of patient engagement: unified access to services, frequency of personalized interaction between, within, before, and after episodes of care, and intelligent navigation around the whole experience.

To deliver these three components, Providence isn’t trying to out-innovate the market, but rather build on an ecosystem of partners who work together to achieve engagement. They collaborate with technology partners in an orchestrated way in service to patients. The benefit is the underlying foundation on which they can create a personalized and unique patient experience.

Watch this webinar on demand if you would like to hear Sara and her team’s complete remarks, including two important initiatives that fit under the engagement ecosystem: My Surgical Journey – a program that is guiding patients at every step through surgical episodes – and My COVID Diary, a research project that Providence hopes will help them understand the COVID-19 disease process, clinical manifestations, symptom duration, and more.

Some other key takeaways include:
  • Leveraging digital tools helps create unique, best-in-class patient experiences
  • Optimizing the patient experience by refining communication is a powerful way to keep patients activated
  • Technology doesn’t have to negatively impact the personal aspect of patient care – it can actually build loyalty and strengthen patient – provider relationships
Interested in learning more about Providence’s Digital Innovation Group? Visit For more information about Twistle, contact us at