Generating Ideas for JHome

JHome is a preventative primary care program for elderly homebound patients established at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital in Baltimore, MD. The program seeks to keep patients out of the emergency room, saving strain for themselves, their families and the hospital system. Dr. Mattan Schuchman is the gerontologist who leads this organization, serving as the primary care physician for patients throughout Baltimore.   

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Our Task

The JHome team sought fresh insight into a variety of challenges that their organization had experienced since opening in the 1970s. In addition to securing stable funding to sustain the program, they sought solutions that addressed patient enrollment and quality of care. We began the project by interviewing Dr. Mattan and Grace Goodhew, the program's administrator, to determine their pain points and ideal outcomes moving forward. 


Our Process

My team (Maren Munoz, Mike Cameron, and Kyle Vaughan) sought to create a suite of solutions that could be both actionable and implementable. After iterating for several weeks and shadowing on home visits with the JHome team, we determined that our design criteria would be best met if we focused on patient initiation to the program. JHome currently serves approximately 180 patients in the Baltimore area,  but has the capacity to serve 250. Given Baltimore's population, our team estimated that there are about 1,313 qualified homebound patients residing within the zip codes JHome serves--all that we needed was a way to introduce them to the program. 

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Our Solution

My team chose to focus on JHome's unique complication of finding new patients to participate in their program. We ascertained that high patient enrollment could further justify funding and allow for improvements in the program's brand marketing. Through our research, we discovered that Meals on Wheels (MoW) of Baltimore serves an identical, but larger portion of the same population that JHome aims to help. Our team suggested fostering a connection between the two organizations through a sticker that could be placed on an initial Meals on Wheels delivery meal. Drivers (who are already trained to administer questionnaires and develop relationships) could ask potential patients whether they were interested in receiving a complimentary visit or more information about JHome. In addition to online branding and an updated intake form, we felt that this suite of solutions could provide small, but significant changes that would shape JHome's future enrollment.