Becoming a “System Thinker” to Enhance Care

Dr. Navin Bhojwani is thinking outside the box to meet the needs of patients.

One of the greatest assets in any healthcare organization is a practitioner who combines exceptional diagnostic skills with compassionate bedside manner.

For a healthcare system to truly flourish, however, it’s important to have medical professionals who are not only good clinicians but good “system thinkers” as well. Every healthcare organization needs people who can visualize the best ways to enhance efficiency and expand access to vital services.

Navin Bhojwani, MD, fulfills this role at Hemby Children’s Hospital. Dr. Bhojwani first joined Novant Health in 2005 as a specialist in obstetrics and gynecology. Over time, however, he drew attention for his ability to envision systemwide improvements that advanced patient outcomes and collaboration of teams.

In 2014, Dr. Bhojwani worked to enhance the coordination of care for maternity patients before, during and after childbirth, which led to a consolidation of services under the auspices of the Novant Health Women’s & Children’s Health Institute.

Later, when Novant Health faced challenges stemming from increase in demand for pediatric endocrinology services at a time when qualified specialists are challenging to find, Dr. Bhojwani sought out innovative solutions drawing on his success as a “systems thinker.”

Dr. Bhojwani spearheaded an initiative to leverage Novant Health’s relationship with the UNC School of Medicine. Hemby Children’s Hospital providers now can partner with pediatric endocrinologists in Chapel Hill as they deliver care. “Our expanded relationship with UNC has been a tremendous benefit,” Dr. Bhojwani said. “It’s a terrific way to maximize the full capabilities of both organizations for the benefit of our providers and patients.”

Dr. Bhojwani said technological advances during 2021 not only improved the effectiveness of telemedicine but increased public acceptance as well. “Telemedicine has evolved to be a great tool to connect with patients while providing a near bedside experience,” he said, “Patients and families have adapted very quickly to this new way of connecting with their providers.”

Pediatric endocrinology patients have benefited in particular because telemedicine enables remote monitoring of type 1 diabetes.

“One thing we discovered during COVID-19,” he said, “was a larger number of patients with new endocrinological conditions requiring immediate attention. We have been able to accommodate demand by having our team of providers collaborate with UNC’s experts.”

Dr. Bhojwani said success in pediatric endocrinology will lead to other beneficial partnerships between Novant Health and the UNC School of Medicine. Genetics, he said, is another specialty experiencing significant growth in demand with very limited access. “Patients who need genetic evaluation and counseling face extremely long waits for service today,” he said. “We anticipate improving access to this valuable service in the very near future by facilitating consultations with pediatric genetic experts in Chapel Hill.

Dr. Bhojwani enjoys the added diversity of his new role as a strategist as well as a clinician, though many of his current assignments are far removed from his clinical expertise as a practicing ob-gyn.

“Our success in helping patients who need remote access to limited subspecialty care,” he said, “is just another example of thinking outside the box to meet the needs of our patients. Being able to implement solutions like our pediatric endocrinology expanded coverage is what excites me about being at Novant Health. Our commitment to the care of our patients starts with ‘yes’ and then often requires thoughtful innovation to make the ‘yes’ a reality.”

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