Q&A with Lorie Spence and Carolyn Pritchard, CONNECT’s Co-Founders

Can you speak to the roles that each of you have at CONNECT and how you work together to achieve your mission?

Lorie Spence: My role at CONNECT is simply about applying the CONNECT approach to patient-provider communication. I look at how we’re going to gather insights into healthcare provider and patient communication and what the right strategic solution is to improve their collaborative consultation. I also support the development and implementation of the resources and tools we provide. We have a collaborative team based approach on how we work together and with our extended partners we are working to achieve the goal of addressing the disruptions in client’s care paths.

Carolyn Pritchard: My role is predominantly supporting the collaboration between stakeholders and providers in the industry. The two of us collaborate on a daily basis to fulfill our vision of the company. Lorie brings in her strategic and business background and I work on networking to identify key stakeholders or key players to involve CONNECT. Our business itself is collaborative because the tools we develop are multidimensional and multidisciplinary.

Why is collaboration crucial to the success of CONNECT?

Carolyn Pritchard: We are a company that is all about collaboration in the healthcare space. CONNECT is about iterative solutions and you need multiple perspectives and stakeholders in order to get those iterative solutions. We believe that different perspectives help make us stronger. If we’re looking at problems from different perspectives, we’re going to help get the best possible solution.

Lorie Spence: At CONNECT, our vision involves implementing, empowering and optimizing. When we talk about implementation, we are referring to healthcare providers facilitating connections and collaboration, encouraging more patient participation. At CONNECT we aim to empower patients by giving them the ability to freely communicate and use our specialized tools and resources to become more involved in their own healthcare journey. We are optimizing these interventions by encouraging further collaboration and acknowledging their need for more informed care.

You focus particularly on the importance of empowering patients to take control of their own health. Do you have any memorable health experiences of your own that led to the innovation of this work?

Lorie Spence: Based on personal experience and navigating the healthcare system with my extended family, I’ve been shown time and time again why it’s important to be knowledgeable and participate in your own healthcare journey. Being able to participate in the decision making and ensure that you know, as a caregiver or extended family, that the patient knows what their diagnosis and treatment is, what their options are and what their plan can look like will help them take control of their own care.

Carolyn Pritchard: Looking back on my past experiences, being a nurse is all about advocating for patients. It’s your responsibility. I think what I’ve learned is that most people when they have an issue and enter into the healthcare system, once they get in, there’s a lot of unknowns. It’s about helping patients problem solve and critically think through the process of working with the system and their healthcare professionals. In my life as a nurse I was always navigating systems for people that required support, whether it be through addiction services or healthcare services.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned since beginning CONNECT?

Carolyn Pritchard: The collaborative effort to work through a problem is part of what’s required in order to be successful. We need the perspectives of all stakeholders in order to provide the best solutions for healthcare providers and for patients. We support the implementation of the different types of tools that we offer for CONNECT but we are always looking for ways to expand on how to provide more support, and involving every key player has been crucial to our efforts.

Lorie Spence: I would say that there’s two lessons for me. Lesson number one is that we haven’t even scratched the surface of what CONNECT can provide. And number two is how important it is to actually have an approach and a plan for implementing CONNECT’s solutions, from who is involved in collaborating to implementation. A great tool is only great if it’s implemented properly.

What does the future look like for CONNECT? What are you hoping to achieve?

Lorie Spence: For the future of CONNECT, we hope to help clarify for people how CONNECT aligns to their business and their health care plans and show them how to get their patients more involved. We hope to be able to present to them a way of understanding how CONNECT aligns with their goals more clearly and how they can achieve their needs as healthcare providers.

Carolyn Pritchard: The opportunities available to CONNECT are far and wide since we would be able to support endless initiatives. In the future we hope to expand our partners and continue to create tools and resources that help amplify patient empowerment. Depending on where there may be disruptions in care, leveraging partnerships is key to CONNECT’s success.

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Carolyn Pritchard
Lorie Spence