Dan Revers understands the power of investing in human ingenuity. In fact, it was his success in starting his own firm 20 years ago that fueled his drive to establish the groundbreaking Raymond James Revers Enterprise Fund for Patient-Centered Care at BIDMC with a generous $1 million gift.
A longtime patient of BIDMC, Dan most recently relied on its healthcare heroes to provide palliative care to his father, Raymond “Ray” James Revers, through the last years of his life. Dan is forever grateful for the care that Ray received, but speculated at the opportunities for a better patient experience that may arise from a concept that was entrepreneurial in nature—providing capital for ideas that break the mold of normal hospital care, particularly using technology.
When Dan discussed his idea with Eileen Reynolds, MD, chief of the Division of General Medicine, he grew even more confident in the possibilities. “Dr. Reynolds is a seasoned leader, running a sizeable hospital division,” says Dan. “She understands my priorities and she wants to use this fund to spark breakthrough thinking and really be disruptive.”
Reynolds, who was deeply moved by Dan’s father’s experience, was thrilled to put this concept to work. “Dan’s gift is financial, but it’s also a gift of flexibility and opportunity,” she explains. “He doesn’t want to fund one thing. He wants us to try many things, knowing some might fail, while others might completely change the paradigm of patient care.”
Some of the ideas being funded are directly connected to Ray’s experiences. According to his son, he was a “typical CPA” who preferred to have the same breakfast each day at a consistent time—and without filling out forms. “We can perform surgery on a 28-week-old baby in utero, but hospitals are one of the only places where you can’t order food on an app,” Reynolds says, explaining that food is a critical part of the patient experience. She and her team are working on an app that will enable patients to order meals to be delivered, to accommodate their nutritional needs on a schedule of their choosing.
Another idea centers on telehealth appointments with BIDMC doctors after palliative care patients are discharged to skilled nursing facilities. Telehealth has expanded rapidly during the pandemic, creating a tremendous opportunity for those with complex illnesses. The Revers fund is being used to capitalize on this opportunity and gather data to support telehealth appointments as a standard practice that will greatly enhance continuity of care for patients.
Keeping an entire family up-to-date with the latest information is another common challenge with patients who have complex care needs—particularly for large families like Dan’s. A major objective of the fund is to create, for patients who consent, a digital tool that allows everything—prognosis, care plan, patient wishes, and goals—to be shared with the entire family and care team.
These plans are only the beginning for the fund, and Dan has great faith in what the minds of BIDMC will continue to put forth. “Ideas are important, but equally so are the people implementing them and their ability to push the limits of conventional thinking to produce measurable outcomes,” says Dan. “I have complete confidence in Dr. Reynolds and her team.”