Small Creations, Big Improvements

DynaLIFE Dx has raised the bar in health-care services by thinking small

Jason Pincock, president.

5 Questions
with Jason Pincock

1. What does innovation mean to you?
Innovation is about bringing new ideas, services, and platforms to industries. If you can take great ideas from other places and bring them to yours, that’s a terrific way to innovate.

2. Is there a technology, trend, or idea that is driving your company forward?
I think we’re learning we are an IT company and not an analysis company. We need to shift gears and think of ourselves as information managers versus a laboratory sitting with lab coats on, mixing stuff up in beakers.

3. How do you innovate on a day-to-day basis?
We give our people the freedom to change. It doesn’t have to be on a monumental basis; we make little changes every day. Empowering people to try things without risk has been a powerful tool, and getting them addicted to challenging themselves.

4. How has the notion of innovation changed in the past decade?
Innovation used to be seen as monumental breakthroughs, the reinvention of something. People are realizing innovation is not a breakthrough thing; it can be a culture, and it can be something that is consistent and going on all the time incrementally, rather than monumental steps.

5. How can a company encourage innovation without breaking the bank?
Sometimes innovation is simple. For example, we had an issue with privacy. People would crowd the front desk while standing to register, overhearing others’ health information. We happened to have an employee who worked in a bank, and she said, ‘Why don’t you put up a pole?’ Banks place poles up in front of the tellers and customers stop there until the next teller is available. For $45, we put a pole in our patient-service centres, and now people stop and stand there and don’t go up to the front desk until the next person is gone. Innovation doesn’t have to be million-dollar solutions.

DynaLIFE Dx knows innovation. Whether it’s a state-of-the-art GPS tracking system or a simple shift in how tasks are completed around the office, the independent, private diagnostic laboratory-services company is constantly finding ways to help patients.

DynaLIFE Dx has applied a patient-centric approach to looking at how laboratory services are delivered. “In our industry, there is a tendency to focus on the providers, what’s in the interest of the lab, what’s in the interest of the physician, what’s in the interest of the funding model,” says Jason Pincock, president. “Instead, we’ve flipped that around and treated patients as consumers and designed a lab model that supports them. There aren’t many tools to do that in our industry, and so we’ve had to build tools to support that mandate.”

Intense focus has been put on being completely patient-centric. Even the locations of collections facilities are placed near retail spaces and where people go for other activities, rather than in the basement of a doctor’s clinic, and hours are made convenient for patients who need to come in prior to work. “We’ve gone to a single process flow where you come to the lab and only deal with one person all the way through the whole process,” Pincock says. “There’s no handoff. It’s a level of service you don’t expect, especially in the Canadian health-care system.”

After a brainstorming session, every new facility DynaLIFE Dx builds has a room specifically designed for parents who bring their children and need blood taken. There are activities for kids, and it’s a quiet and controlled environment. “It doesn’t make us any more efficient,” notes Pincock, “but it improves the experience for the parent.”

The company implemented two technical programs into its system: a web-based appointment system and a GPS-tracked home-collections system. Essentially, the appointment system checks people in as they walk in. It has logic built in that manages the waiting room and puts clocks on patients, tracking how long every person has been waiting, who walked in first, who walked in second, and who should be taken next. “For someone sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room, that’s a pretty revolutionary system,” says Pincock. “In most health-care environments, there’s no order. We put the times up on the wall, and when patients walk in they know where we are at in terms of time. They can also book and manage their appointments through their own personal web account from home.”

DynaLIFE Dx took this idea to the streets when it created its GPS/WiFi home-collections system. If a patient cannot make it into one of the collection sites, the doctor can electronically order the service through the web. They arrive at the door with a GPS/WiFi-equipped laptop with all of the patient records and additional information for the physician and can be dispatched while on the road. “We built a tracking system for all our couriers,” Pincock says. “It’s very similar to a UPS model, where they are bar-coding and scanning in everything they pick up and drop off, so we have complete confidence where everything is.”

As it pertains to being innovative in the industry, he says, “We recognized that if you want to be a private-health-care player in Canada, you have to have a clear value proposition, both to the government and the public. You need to differentiate yourself clearly from the public sector, as to what it is you stand for and what it is you deliver. We’re trying to drive innovation and service into the health system and essentially raise the bar. We’ve taken up a position to being the first-step innovators, but not at the expense of everyone. We demonstrate what’s possible and share information—that normally you would consider proprietary—with the public sector and government.”