Watsi is committed to 100% transparency. In light of that, we wanted to share a recent operational challenge that resulted in a breach of our partnership procedures, and outline the steps we’re taking to scale our operations more effectively moving forward.
We require that our medical partners follow a set of rules.
These rules ensure that our partnerships run smoothly and that we can accurately communicate how Watsi works. One rule is that partners must submit patients to us for approval before they begin providing treatment.
We ask medical partners to submit patients to us before providing treatment because after we approve a patient, we leave their profile posted until they are fully funded. This enables Watsi to better balance patient approvals with donor support. Most importantly, this ensures that no patient begins receiving treatment under the assumption that Watsi will fund it, only to later not receive this funding.
A recent internal audit showed that this rule had been broken.
We came across data showing that several patients began receiving treatment before the medical partner submitted them to us for approval. Most of these patients began treatment no more than a few days before they were submitted. All of them had their healthcare fully funded by Watsi donors, and were able to access the care they needed free of cost.
The rule was broken due to scaling issues with our medical partners.
In the last two and a half years, Watsi has gone from 0 to 4,000 patients funded. While this growth has enabled our medical partners to treat patients at an unprecedented rate, it has also required them to scale their operations faster than ever before. For some partners, operational scaling issues resulted in administrative backlogs that prevented some patients from being submitted to Watsi until after they started receiving treatment.
We’re taking steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again.
We should have anticipated that our growth would require our partners to significantly scale their operations, and that they would need support from us in order to do it effectively. Now that we are aware of the issue, we are taking steps to ensure that our partners have the support they need to effectively scale with Watsi moving forward.
We have completed an audit of the operational processes at each of our medical partners, and we have identified points of inefficiency to help them better incorporate Watsi into their daily routines - particularly by using technology to reduce manual labor. We are also launching a Watsi Fellows program, which will place highly-qualified volunteers on the ground to support our partners as they scale their operations. We are confident that these initial steps will have an enormous impact on our partners’ ability to effectively scale with us.
Watsi is an open book.
We will always be 100% transparent about our operations. Connecting donors to fund healthcare for patients around the world is hard. But we are confident that sharing the challenges of our work, alongside the successes, will only help us fund healthcare for more people. If you have any questions, please email chase at watsi.org.