Good Health Starts with Helping People


When two divergent paths cross, it’s not necessarily an impasse. Instead it can be a convergence full of possibility rooted in empathic understanding. That’s why when Mark Briesacher, MD, Senior VP & Chief Physician Executive and President of Intermountain Medical Group and Todd Dunn, Director of Innovation at Intermountain Healthcare's Transformation Lab, met to chat about why they “hired” healthcare to help other people, we stopped to listen.


Although Mark and Todd have strikingly different careers—a pediatrician and an innovator respectively—they have a powerful common interest: making things better for patients and caregivers alike.

They follow one, unified philosophy, which we call Design for People.

Design for People puts people at the center of design. Based on Clayton Christensen’s Jobs-to-Be-Done framework, Design for People assumes that people don’t buy products or services; instead they “hire” them to get important jobs in their lives done. That understanding helps us more effectively innovate.

Intermountain innovates to improve both our caregivers’ ability to provide care and the quality of care we provide our patients. In order to develop innovations that make a difference, we must start with a deep understanding of the work our physicians, clinicians, staff, and patients do. What better way to accomplish that than to directly—and empathetically—observe people in the context of where they live and work?

Intermountain is recognized nationally for its innovative work in healthcare. It takes many dedicated professionals on both the clinical and business sides to innovate around the “jobs to be done” for the benefit of people’s lives - whether they wear scrubs or surgical gowns. We embody this connection through Design for People.

Intermountain’s key strategy of caring for whole populations—the healthy, those maintaining their health, or the chronically ill—can best be met by getting ever closer to where people are trying to make progress, whether it’s following a Home Care nurse for a day or observing a healthy patient who wants to be even healthier. Design for People helps teams know how to observe in the circumstances of where people are trying to make progress and therefore understand what’s really important to people. The goal is to learn how we can make things better for both caregivers and patients, whether in their daily tasks and functions or by providing better outcomes in disease management.

Meanwhile, the Intermountain Medical Group has improved access to medical care by staggering caregiver work hours and breaks to allow more availability for patients to make the progress they seek when they seek it. Our caregivers “hired” healthcare to help people. They are deeply motivated to improve the lives of others, and finding out how to provide care to patients where and when they want it will go a long way in making Intermountain the obvious healthcare company to hire.