What’s the Fix? Conference Returns in 2018 With New Partner: The Design Institute for Health at Dell Medical School

Conference brings ordinary people with kick-ass health care solutions to Austin, TX

PORTLAND, Ore. (December 12, 2017) – What happens when you put patients with amazing stories in front of medical students, industry executives and health care leaders at one of the most forward-thinking medical schools in the country? You get the second annual What’s the Fix? conference – an event determined to “kick the hell out of health care” by challenging the industry to learn and gain inspiration from people changing care for the better.

This year, the Design Institute for Health joins the company that founded the event, HealthSparq, to co-present What’s the Fix? on May 17. The conference will be held at the Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin (hook ‘em horns!). During the inaugural What’s the Fix? conference held last June in Seattle, normal people — not industry insiders — shared their incredible stories of struggle and triumph. This year, a new group of people will describe how they overcame challenges in ways that could improve health and health care for everyone.

The conference will once again be broadcast live online, free of charge, to the health care industry and anyone passionate about health care. Dell Medical School is also encouraging the Austin and Central Texas community to attend in person (also free!).

“In rethinking health, we invite and elevate the patient voice and role in their care – and ultimately in their health,” explains Dell Medical School Dean, Clay Johnston. “That’s why this conference that spotlights stories of real people is so aligned with our approach.”

The first What’s the Fix? conference featured 13 patients, innovators, parents, journalists and pioneers sharing raw and inspiring stories of perseverance, navigating health care challenges through an ineffective system. Beto Lopez, the co-founder of the Design Institute for Health, was one of those speakers. His thoughtful contributions to the conference helped build the partnership between HealthSparq and the conference’s new host.

“This is the first time a health care conference has solely spotlighted amazing patients and real people creatively battling health care – and these are exactly the stories, voices and perspectives we embrace to move health care forward,” explains Lopez. “The livecast of the conference online opens it up to everyone, anywhere, which is also key to its down-to-earth change-making.”

More than 650 people participated online and in-person earlier this year. They generated 5,700 tweets, making the event’s hashtag, #WTFix, trend nationally.

“We started What’s the Fix? because we felt like it was time for the industry to stop talking about people and patients and to start learning from them,” says HealthSparq’s Chief Marketing Officer Burt Rosen. “We are thrilled to partner in year two with the Design Institute and Dell Med to build on the movement we created last year to inspire patients, leaders, health care insiders and now med students, to think and behave differently. We share a passion for giving people power over their care and designing a system with the patient at the center. We are going to do big things together.”

The 2017 What’s the Fix? conference is available in its entirety at whatsthefix.info. If you’d like to follow the ongoing conversation, search Twitter for #WTFix or sign up for email updates. Speakers for the 2018 conference will be announced over the next several months. 

About HealthSparq

At HealthSparq, we help people make smarter health care choices by partnering with health plans to provide members with cost and quality information about doctors, hospitals and medical services, based on their individual benefits. We put people at the core of everything we do by conducting continuous usability testing, eliciting consumer feedback to enhance product development, hosting industry panels featuring everyday people and bringing human stories to the forefront through our #WTFix campaign. Using these insights, we create solutions to help people understand and navigate the health care system better than ever before.

Growing since our founding in 2008 from our home in Portland, Oregon, we now serve more than 70 health plans and their 74 million members nationwide. Interested in helping us kick the hell out of health care? Contact us at HealthSparq.com or tweet us @HealthSparq.

The Design Institute for Health, a collaboration between Dell Medical School and the College of Fine Arts at The University of Texas at Austin, leads profound change in health systems through design. An embedded team of health care design specialists, the Design Institute works within the new Dell Medical School to infuse design into every aspect of Dell Med from the beginning. The Design Institute focuses on designing health systems to provide care that is self-enabled, human-centered, integrated and broadened to health. Tweet us @DesignInHealth.

Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin is revolutionizing the way people get and stay healthy. Dell Med is the first medical school in decades to be built from the ground up at a Tier 1 research university. Created in unprecedented partnership with local taxpayers, who in 2012 voted to support the vision of improving health and making Austin a model healthy city, the school is focused on harnessing the power of innovation, technology and partnerships to modernize academic medicine, create new clinical care delivery models and foster a thriving research environment. Contact us at dellmed.utexas.edu or tweet us @DellMedSchool.