Geisinger’s Navneet Dang on How Optimizing Just One Administrative Process Can Change the Lives of Millions 

In this episode… 

Ohad speaks with Navneet Dang, MD MBA MS CPE FACP, Chief Medical Officer at Geisinger, about his journey to hospital management and what he likes best about it: being able to touch millions of patient lives. 

They also discuss how the US healthcare system measures outcomes as well as how technology and other innovations to the healthcare landscape are improving these outcomes.

Topics discussed:

  • Navneet’s professional journey and decision to transition from clinical practice to hospital management.
  • How the scope of affecting patient lives expands exponentially as a hospital manager.
  • How the US healthcare system measures patient outcomes and whether they’re measuring the right ones.
  • The pivotal role technology plays in achieving better patient experiences and outcomes.
  • How improvements on existing technologies such as handheld ultrasounds have shaped patient care in clinic and at home.
  • Focusing on improving accessibility to preventative care such as with physicians so that hospital outcomes are even better.
  • How innovative programs such as hospital-at-home services are shaping the landscape of patient care.

Dr. Navneet Singh Dang knew early on that he wanted to go into healthcare, but he wasn’t quite expecting to go into an administrative role like hospital management. Now, Navneet is Geisinger’s Chief Medical Officer. In this role, he focuses on quality and performance improvement and has been spearheading transformational changes that he hopes will improve the lives of millions. 

“I have been in practice for 15, 20 years now,” he says. “One of the things that was intriguing for me, when you are a practicing clinician, you are only able to impact the lives of the patients that you touch, that you are in direct patient care. So if you are practicing in an outpatient practice, you can only impact the lives of the panel of patients that you are directly responsible for.”

On a recent episode of our Healthcare Disruptors podcast, Navneet talks about his journey to his current role as Chief Medical Officer, and what he has learned about using patient outcomes as metrics for success or where to improve. He also discusses the many ways technology can help in the mission to improve these outcomes. 

How Does Geisinger Measure Outcomes and Know Whether They’re Measuring the Right Ones?

With data more readily available, and easier to leverage, than ever before, it’s only natural for the healthcare field to incorporate data as a metric for how well their patients are doing. At Geisinger, Navneet uses various benchmarks to compare both internally and externally to see how everything measures up. 

“I can tell you that Geisinger is a very data rich organization, and we have a lot of internal tools where we are able to track our performance. And one of the ways that we are able to quantify our patient outcomes is by using a tool, which is called Vizient, that really gives us an opportunity to not only just do internal benchmarking, but we are also able to benchmark ourselves against other like-sized health systems. We also participate in a lot of programs through CMS and Leapfrog, and there is a huge focus on measuring our outcomes.”

The goal, Navneet says, is to see what processes and services most affect a patient’s outcome and then to try to improve those as much as possible. For example, a hospital-at-home program that helps reduce patient readmissions and emergency room usage. 

What Role Technology Can Play in Improving Patient Outcomes 

Nevertheless, having all that data and information is only as useful as the actions it inspires. This is where technology can be a huge help. Not only can technology such as AI help ease the administrative burden on clinicians, it can also help the patients themselves.

“I would say technology has a pivotal role to optimize patient outcomes. I will give you a few examples of how we have leveraged technology to improve patient outcomes. So one of the things that we have worked on is remote patient monitoring. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the remote patient monitoring tools that are available for our patients, where our patients can monitor their vital signs, they can monitor their weight, and they can also monitor their oxygen saturation once they are discharged from the hospital. 

“And then you can also leverage technology to improve the care and the management of some of the chronic diseases. And we have seen that once we have leveraged this technology in terms of, for appropriate patients who are at high risk of readmission, we are able to move the needle on appropriate decrease in emergency room utilization and appropriate decrease in our inpatient utilization as well.”

When care teams have fewer distractions that are not directly related to a patient’s care, they can more efficiently provide an excellent, successful experience for their patients. 


With technology, innovative solutions that put patients in the best position to recover are increasingly possible and are likely to become even more common and accessible. Indeed, it is accessibility that should be the next focus in the healthcare field, according to Navneet; now that high-quality care is available, making it more widespread to more people and broadening the innovation to preventative care will round out the bigger picture.

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