Independence Blue Cross is always looking for innovative ways to engage with our community, members, customers, hospitals, physicians, and other business partners. It will take all of us to change the way health care is conceived, delivered, and experienced.
We're inspiring creative thinking and fostering collaboration to ignite fresh solutions and novel ways of doing things.
The Independence Blue Cross
Center for Innovation
That’s where the Independence Blue Cross Center for Innovation comes in. To drive this change, we use design thinking to foster the innovation process, encourage collaboration, and inspire creative thinking. Our team can facilitate design-thinking workshops, human-centered innovation training, and behavior and growth-mindset workshops to help spur new, fresh ideas and bring them to life.
What we do
Research opportunities and challenges by talking to stakeholders and digging into facts and supporting trends.
Design solutions by using the insights gathered and getting inspiration from other industries and parts of the world.
Test and pilot solutions with users to assess validity and impact before developing an implementation plan.
Our Innovation Team are experts in using a human-centered approach to solve problems. Here are some recent case studies that highlight how we’ve helped other organizations find the right solution.
HR-focused Sessions on New Ways to Recruit and Retain Employees, Improve Their Onboarding Experience, and Use Growth Mindset For Innovation
In one session, we worked with HR leaders from locations across the country to identify ways they could improve their recruitment processes. The goal was to design a standard process that leaders could use across all locations. First, we focused on insight gathering, where leaders drew out how they currently recruit. Each leader mapped out their journey as they detailed the existing processes. After sharing with the group, the teams did some reductive thinking and shared the highlights from their process. Finally, we sketched out their best practices to design a singular approach that all branches would utilize.
Innovation Challenge to Improve New Member Retention
The Greater Philadelphia YMCA Association Office reached out to Independence’s Innovation team to lead a full challenge to generate ideas around ways they could better retain new members. We used our entire suite of design tools with a group of nearly 40 high-performing YMCA employees from across 17 locations. Over the course of four weeks, consisting of four in-person half to full-day sessions, the Innovation team led the group through the design process. The group used scoping tools to understand the details and depth of the problem they were charged with solving. They also learned how to gather insight around their problem, generated lots of ideas through the use of multiple tools that support expansive thinking, and practiced reductive thinking to highlight their best idea. Finally, they learned the art of storytelling and effectively pitched their top ideas to executive leadership. Following the challenge, the Association piloted their top idea in two YMCA branches. Since the completion of the pilot, this idea is now being implemented in all 17 locations.
Idea Session Around How PGW Can Be a Better Corporate Citizen to Improve Their Reputation and Increase Customer Satisfaction
Around 25 people from multiple areas of PGW attended a one-and-a-half day session to come up with ways the company can improve their reputation in the community. Participants completed scoping exercises with PGW’s Director of Community Affairs to understand what they are currently doing and what would be within scope for future projects. They then used tools to examine what other companies are doing for this purpose. Finally, in small groups, the session participants came up with lots of ideas to address this challenge. Out of this session came a program called PG Works and Plays, a volunteer program in the community in which volunteers wear PGW-branded clothes. Another outcome of this session is that PGW is now piloting Paid Volunteer Time.
Idea Session With the School District Wellness Committee to Develop a Wellness Plan For Next Year
Representatives from district schools and local community organizations came together to craft a wellness strategy for the following year. First, group members individually came up with many high-level ideas. Then, they grouped similar ideas and built out each cluster to a full-blown idea with details on how, when, why, and where their idea could work. Finally, they prioritized their ideas and identified easy versus heavy lifts. After talking with stakeholders, the Committee decided to implement two ideas in year one — a social media campaign around healthy living and a full day, district-wide wellness fair.
Idea Session To Design a Dedicated Teen Space at The Fumo Family Library in South Philadelphia
The Independence Innovation Team facilitated a half-day session for the branch manager and nearly 20 teens from local schools to come up with ideas around how this space could be utilized and what it would look like for the students who would use this corner. First, the group learned how to think more expansively and flip any assumptions they were making about what the space should or had to look like. Then, through a post-it exercise, the students individually envisioned their new space and captured how they want to feel and what they want to do in that area. They also researched how color and design influence a space. Finally, with top tips from the Innovation team, the students processed that stimulus, sketched their ideal Teen Corner with detailed design and color, and presented their ideas to library staff.
Who We Are
Michelle leads the dynamic Innovation team at Independence. She has a passion for using design thinking to help solve sticky problems in health care and beyond, with the goal of creating sustainable solutions that make our community a better place to live, work, and play. Her specialty: taking a mess and making sense of it while giving people new tools and frameworks to get creative.
Patrick brings more than 29 years of health care experience to the Innovation team. In his role, he helps assess trends, oversees key pilots with various clients, and maps out the overall direction of the innovation function at Independence. Patrick is committed to ensuring the team continues on its path to meaningful transformation.
Driven by her desire to bring order to chaos, Alexandra uses the design-thinking process to help individuals and groups gain clear insight and new perspective on their market. She enjoys helping others think more expansively and work differently to ultimately improve their business.
On the Innovation team, Dan is known as the idea guy. He thrives on using the power of thinking big to help people solve problems. His guiding principles are to make innovation a relevant, fun, and relatable experience for clients.
Tori focuses on the insight-gathering portion of the design process, developing projects oriented on adjacent and disruptive innovations. She believes that science and creativity are best when used in sync and applies that principle whenever she facilitates design-thinking sessions.
Lori gets to live her personal mantra — we rise as we lift — every day as part of the Innovation team. Lori has a passion for empathizing and helping others, and this role gives her the opportunity to do just that — whether it’s coaching someone through a problem, working through departmental challenges, or leading someone through a self-iteration process.